Created in 2005 to showcase the diverse capabilities of the combat engineer, while challenging those in the field, the Best Sapper Competition continues to be a benchmark for engineers across the regiment.
The 2017 competition is scheduled to take place across Fort Leonard Wood April 23 to 27, taking the 50 two-man teams through a myriad of events.
“Since its inception, the Best Sapper Competition has been a driving force for each engineer unit to train their Soldiers to be the finest combat engineers in our regiment,” said Capt. Robert Zimmerman, Sapper Leader Course chief of training. “Each team is a representation of their sponsoring unit and the standards to which they train for war.”
This year the organizers worked hard to evolve and improve the competition to test the Sappers mentally and physically, said Sgt. 1st Class. Stephen Olson, event coordinator.
“We tried to make it bigger and better compared to previous years,” Olson said, adding organizers “mixed it up” so competators will have to think on their feet to complete a lot of the tasks.
“One key trait of the combat engineer is the ability to accomplish the mission regardless of available assets. This principle drives the evolution of the Best Sapper Competition and necessitates a constantly evolving competition to ensure no two competitions are the same,” Zimmerman explained. “Competitors must demonstrate the ability to receive a mission, create a plan based on available assets, and execute.”
Olson said is because of this, the 2017 event will be different, and more difficult from the previous 10.
Organizers will not divulge details on the events, except to invite spectators out to Gammon Field to cheer competitors on as they finish the X-Mile run where they should be crossing the finish line from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 27.
Zimmerman said spectators are welcome to view events throughout the competition but will have to stop by the 1st Engineer Brigade staff duty desk located at 741 Iowa Avenue, each day to pick up a map of approved spectator locations.
All are welcome and encouraged to attend the awards ceremony scheduled from noon to 12:30 p.m. April 27 at the Sapper Memorial Grove.