Soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, took top honors this week in the Army’s searches to find both the best combat engineers and the best mortar crew in the service.
Two officers from the 39th Brigade Engineer Battalion were named best Sapper on Thursday, according to a release from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, while four noncommissioned officers from the 82nd Airborne Division aced the Best Mortar competition at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Capt. John Baer and 1st Lt. Terence Hughes were named best Sappers for the second year in a row, according to the release. Second place went to Staff Sgt. Lucas Tucker and 1st Lt. Sabin Vaira from the 27th Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg, while Capt. Erwin Marciniak and 1st Lt. Jeremy Matsumoto of Fort Carson, Colorado’s 299th Brigade Engineer Battalion took third.
Fifty teams competed over three days in events like weapons assembly and disassembly, sling loading, land navigation and wall ascension.
At Benning, four-man infantry mortar sections braved three days of events to test their general combat fitness, as well as their expertise on 60, 81 and 120mm rounds.
The top three teams were: