JOHNSTON, Iowa –
The 389th Engineer Battalion hosted a King of the Castle competition, dubbing the 402nd Engineer Company (Sappers) the rulers, providing their crown after an eight-event clash at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa, March 12, 2022.
The 402nd EN CO, out of Des Moines, Iowa, conquered all events over the two-day course, including a ruck march, obstacle course, and strength and knowledge events.
The competition is the second time the 389th EN BN, out of Dubuque, Iowa, hosted the event, allowing all eight companies under its command to vie for the title.
Each unit set up a unique event, showcasing their specific engineering expertise and Soldiering skill set, which meant no one unit had the advantage. Each separate combat unit, construction unit, geospatial unit and firefighter unit leveraged teamwork and know-how to take on the event.
“What I love about the competition is the esprit de corps,” said Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander, Capt. Louis D. Goldstein, who helped lead the charge that took the troops out to the field training exercise via CH-47 Chinook helicopter. “We can look to the left and to the right of us and see everyone across the battalion at one place at one time. That’s not something that gets to happen often in the Reserve.”
He said the motivation boost and healthy rivalry across the battalion is a growing point for all the Soldiers involved.
Sgt. Charles Steinfeldt, a combat engineer of the winning team, agreed. He said this culminating competition helps to showcase all the hard work that goes into monthly battle assemblies.
“We looked forward to the competition and had our minds set to work as a team during it to win,” said Steinfeldt, who added that the ground-based communications portion and sprint-drag-carry events were key to cinching the win. “We had phenomenal times on the OE-254 [ground-based communication antenna] and the sprint-drag-carry. We got with commo the day before and set up great strategies to set up the OE-254.”
He said they are already keeping next year’s competition in mind. “We have an understanding of many different strategies,” he said. “We will just keep working and build upon that foundation.”
Until next year, raise your head high, kings.
Sgt. Eric Rouse Jr. took all photos and contributed to this report.