After twenty years, the Army’s Greatest Warrior Competitors is over. As an alternative, this 12 months will see the inaugural Greatest Squad Competitors, because the service zeroes in on staff constructing.
On Tuesday, Sergeant Main of the Army Michael Grinston, the service’s high enlisted chief, introduced the brand new competitors, which is able to kick off in September. The profitable squad will likely be introduced throughout October’s Affiliation of america Army, or AUSA, convention.
“For over two years, I’ve talked concerning the significance of constructing a cohesive staff that’s extremely skilled, disciplined and match,” Grinston mentioned. “Now it is time to measure ourselves towards that customary.”
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The Greatest Warrior Competitors consisted of bodily health occasions, marksmanship drills, medical duties and written exams. The total listing of what the Greatest Squad competitors will function is unknown, however occasions will likely be staff oriented — corresponding to conducting a squad assault, wherein a part of the squad fires on a goal, whereas one other aspect flanks and assaults it. Twelve groups, together with one every from the Army Reserve and Nationwide Guard, will compete.
The brand new competitors won’t use conventional infantry squads, which usually have two groups of 4 troopers, with every of these groups led by a noncommissioned officer after which a squad chief accountable for these two NCOs.
As an alternative, the competitors will use five-person squads, with two NCOs accountable for three junior troops. A sergeant top quality or workers sergeant will lead; the squad can even have a sergeant or a corporal as staff chief, together with three junior enlisted troopers. Although workers sergeants historically lead infantry squads, the upper rank has been approved for items which can be usually led by an E-7.
“It is not going to be excellent, I acknowledge that,” Grinston mentioned. “However we’re nonetheless going to do it.”
However items shouldn’t attempt to construct a “tremendous squad” of their greatest troopers to dominate the competitors. As an alternative, Grinston mentioned he desires natural groups of troopers who work collectively every single day.
“Do not construct the tremendous squad to return. It is designed in your teammates to seem earlier than the Army,” Grinston mentioned. “The aim is you may have a squad that’s natural.”
Regardless of there being no formal Greatest Warrior Competitors, troopers within the new squad occasion will nonetheless be evaluated individually. Together with the profitable squad, the very best performing particular person soldier and noncommissioned officer will likely be introduced at AUSA. These two troopers could come from a squad that didn’t win the general title.
The announcement comes because the “That is My Squad” initiative has develop into a staple of Grinston’s time because the drive’s high enlisted chief. That effort is designed to copy the cohesion usually seen in small particular operations items. NCOs in squads have essentially the most impression on the drive’s junior troops; subsequently, efforts to embolden leaders in decrease ranges have been seen as crucial to the fundamental features of the service — the thought being sturdy squads imply a robust Army.
Past coaching, Grinston has urged leaders to get to know their junior troops and their households, and what sources these troopers may want, whether or not that is particular coaching for navy expertise or psychological well being care.
“I would like items to essentially take into consideration what makes up a squad,” Grinston defined. “‘That is My Squad’ is not simply concerning the conventional infantry squad. It is about these small teams of troopers who actually know and care about one another and maintain one another to a excessive customary of proficiency, self-discipline and health.”
— Steve Beynon might be reached at Steve.Beynon@navy.com. Observe him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.
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