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NEWS | June 2, 2017

'A little friendly competition never hurts'

By Sgt. Stephanie Ramirez U.S. Army Reserve Command

"The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give," said Howard Cosell, an American sports journalist.


It’s been said that a little friendly competition never hurt anyone and Soldiers, families and civilians at the U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters weren't afraid to give their best and bare their competitive nature during an urban orienteering competition, June 2, 2017.


Orienteering is a competitive form of land navigation. It combines map reading, terrain study, strategy, competition, and exercise.


Competitors were split up into small groups during the event. The goal for each team was to find as many map points as possible in one hour. However, instead of using a grid map and a compass, the participants were required to use their basic map reading skills and their sense of direction.


“Sharpening this skill is important because when Soldiers go overseas they may not always get a grid map,” said Master Sgt. Thomas D. Schonfarber, USARC Force Management noncommissioned officer in charge. “If the Soldiers only get a local map he or she has to be able to use street signs and landmarks to find their way around the urban environment and complete the mission.”


On their quest for victory, the participants moved as fast as possible through the course. At the end of the time allotted, some of the groups ran as much as five miles and found over 30 points.


“Being out here is all about individual readiness first. We have to make sure we are taking care of ourselves and doing all that we can to be ready to accomplish the mission and ensure that we are fit to fight,” said Maj. Gen. David Conboy, USARC deputy commanding general (Operations).


Training events like this help to promote individual and unit readiness by ensuring everyone stays physically fit, an essential factor in mission readiness. Additionally, it plays a role in enhancing team cohesion and improving esprit de corps, according to Conboy.


Anke Wiggins, spouse of Maj. Ryan Wiggins, USARC operations officer, highlighted that occasions like this one give her the opportunity to train with her husband and integrate with his coworkers. It also gives their 9-year-old son a glimpse into the type of training his father does, but most importantly it gives all of them the opportunity to spend time together as a family doing things they would not normally do, she added.


Everyone shared a morning of competition, and the winners of the event gain bragging rights for a year, said Schonfarber.


The winning teams for the competition were separated into two categories: walkers and runners.


Lt. Col. Jeremy Lingenfelser, Lt. Col. Quentin Portis, Maj. Chris Murphy and Master Sgt. Terri Land, won first place in the running category. While, Lt. Col. Peter Brownlowe, Capt. Eric Doe, Capt. Mark Jepsen and Sgt. First Class Nicoli Gardner, won first place in the walking category.


Although the victors were clearly identified for the day, the inner satisfaction of knowing you’ve done your best, gotten the most out of what you had to give and competed, served as the true determination of victory for all those who participated according to many of the participants.


This was the second year the Force Management, Inspector General and Surgeon directorates joined forces to co-host the orienteering competition. Overall, the event took about five months to plan and safety was held as the primary consideration during the entire process.