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Posted: May 12, 2017 10:53 a.m.
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Mustangs place 2nd in Army scout squad competition

Photos By Staff Sgt. Candace Mundt/

Sgt. Evan Gunther, a team leader with the 3rd Infantry Division squad for the Gainey Cup Competition, climbs a rope during a stress shoot event May 2 at Fort Benning, Ga. The 3rd ID squad placed second at the 2017 Gainey Cup competition, which showcases the competence, physical and mental stamina, and competitive spirit of reconnaissance Soldiers serving in recon and cavalry formations.

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Troopers of 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division placed second in the 2017 Gainey Cup Best Scout Squad Competition at Fort Benning, May 1- 4.

The Gainey Cup is organized to determine the best scout squads from across the U.S. Army and various foreign militaries. It comprised of 24 teams: 20 U.S. Army teams and four international teams, two from Canada, one from the Netherlands and one from the British Army.

Last month, the 6-8 Cav. team qualified to represent 3ID by competing against other troopers within the division. Crowned the Marne Division’s best scout squad, the Mustang troopers moved onto the Army-level competition.

The competition is important because it validates cavalry scouts’ proficiency level. Readiness was on display during the competition, according to Staff Sgt. David Martin, a cavalry scout with 6-8 Cav.  and squad leader for the 3ID team.

Martin said, “It is a great way to see where you are and where you need to push yourself to get better in your job.”

Pfc. Brayan Hincapie, a cavalry scout with 6-8 Cav. and Gainey Cup participant identified each day’s events.

Day 1
- Cavalry knowledge written test
- Day and night land navigation
- Call for fire
- Medical lane
Day 2
- Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear operations training
- Route and area reconnaissance
- Live fire exercise
- Stress shoot
Day 3
- Communication lane
- Recon run
- Vehicle identification
- Obstacle  course

Day four started with the Final Charge which consisted of a two and half mile run finishing at Brave Rifles Field where exhausted competitors slogged through monsoon-like rains to complete seven fundamental cavalry tasks. Upon completion the Troopers caught their breath and prepared to receive the final results at the award ceremony.

The Gainey Cup competition was like a never-ending race, according to Martin. It was strenuous and required mental toughness.

The gruelling contest did not stop the 6-8 Cav. Soldiers from improving as a team and pushing forward to seek the title of Best Scout Squad.

“I think the team did fantastic,” said Martin. “They stayed strong and motivated. They did the task and did not get ahead of themselves worrying about the next challenge.”

“The good thing was that we all worked together,” Hincapie said. “We were ready and so strong together. When we went through the competition, we grew stronger.”

“Thank you for living the honor and traditions for those who came before us,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey when addressing all competitors at the closing ceremony. “Thank you for upholding that honor and traditions. Thank you for being a person that is emulated by all your peers back in the organizations, and that is by being the best.”

Hincapie added it felt great to see all the senior leaders and Families who traveled to Fort Benning to support the Soldiers.
“I am glad to be among the Soldiers that represented our unit in the Gainey Cup,” Hincapie added. “And I am proud that our effort as a team and the result in the end showed everyone that 3rd ID stays Army strong.”

On the final day of the event after the points were tallied, their hard work was validated by a second place finish. The 3ID team received the knives, the spurs and a St. George beer stein, but the valuable prize was representing the Marne Division in a decisively positive way.
“I feel very proud of our squad,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Walter A. Tagalicud, command sergeant major of 3rd ID. “The squad represented the entire 3rd ID, which brought a sense of camaraderie in the Marne Division. Every Division in the Army is going to know that 3rd ID is one of their toughest competitors.”

Members of 6-8 Cav. Best Scout Squad Gainey Cup competition (Staff Sgt. David Martin, Sgt. Blake Reyna, Sgt. Evan Gunther, Spc. David Mitchell, Pfc. Brayan Hincapie and Pfc. Matthew Bates).

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