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Posted: May 11, 2018 1:07 p.m.
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Provider Stakes held in Afghanistan

Sgt. Elizabeth White/

Maj. Ryan Wilson, the executive officer for STB, 3rd ID RSSB, fires his Beretta M9 during a Provider Stakes qualification range on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, April 23.

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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Leaders from across the 3rd Infantry Division Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade conducted Provider Stakes at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, April 23-24. 

Provider Stakes is a quarterly leader professional development session for command teams within the 3rd Inf. Div. RSSB footprint. Unlike previous iterations held at the unit’s home station of Fort Stewart, this is the first one conducted downrange, with task organized units not normally part of the 3rd Inf. Div. Sustainment Bde. footprint participating.

“This gives the command teams a chance to interact with each other,” said 1st Lt. Jacob Diebel, the 3rd Inf. Div. RSSB provost marshal who organized the two-day event, “and also offers a competitive forum where they can work through some tasks that they don’t regularly do.”

The first day of the event focused on testing the leaders’ knowledge of basic warrior tasks and battle drills (WTBD). In mixed-gender teams of three, the participants strapped on their rucksacks and moved out to several stations on Bagram, where they were given a scenario and had to complete tasks including calling for fire and air support, reacting to a chemical attack, and first aid.

“These tasks are things that every Soldier in the Army should know, regardless of rank,” said Diebel. “It’s important that leaders retain that knowledge, so they better understand what their Soldiers are doing.”

Following the WTBD course, the teams moved out to the range, where they qualified on the M9 pistol and M4 rifle, and were also tasked to assemble and disassemble a 240B machine gun and M249 squad automatic weapon.

While these larger weapons aren’t normally assigned to command teams or senior Soldiers, Diebel said it’s important that they still understand the weapons because their junior Soldiers will be carrying them.

The following day started with another physical event, as the teams conducted the Army Combat Readiness Test, a proposed replacement for the traditional Army Physical Fitness Test, which is still in development.

The proposed ACRT does away with the pushups and situps of the APFT replacing them with deadlifts, sled drags and a medicine ball toss among other exercises, according to the Army Times. It’s a noticeable departure from the traditional APFT that many of these Soldiers have been supervising for years.

“I’m very excited about the proposed ACRT,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Toby Grisham, senior enlisted advisor to the 3rd Inf. Div. RSSB. “It has one standard for all Soldiers, and is very doable to pass but extremely difficult to max, so Soldiers will have to really push themselves out of their comfort zones to achieve excellence.”

Diebel said in addition to including a physical competition, his intent was to give the commanders and other leaders exposure to the proposed ACRT before it takes effect.

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