180th Trans. Holds Month-Long Sports Competition

Story and Photos by Spc. Fabian Ortega
13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office

FORT HOOD, Texas — The 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) held its first annual sports month in September.

Eight companies from the 180th took part in the three sport initiative which featured soccer, softball and basketball tournaments.

“This is about camaraderie, esprit de corps, being able to do something and come together as a unit,” said Staff Sgt. Fritz Miller, noncommissioned officer in charge of the basketball tournament, Sept. 20. “We have been able to see a lot people do things we wouldn’t normally see them do,” said Miller.

First week of sports month featured a soccer tournament subsequently followed by softball and basketball tournaments the following Thursdays.

“We traditionally try to do some type of sports event on a Thursday for physical training, already, we just extended it,” said Maj. Lawrence House, deputy commanding officer for the 180th.

“We bracketed up the teams and said ‘lets make it an incentive, let’s build team work using sports,’ so sports has been the outlet to build team work for the battalion” said House.

The 180th awarded winning teams of tournaments individual medals and team trophies to display in their respective company unit cases.

“The theme is to compete and be rewarded for performance,” said House.

With the success of sports month, House said the 180th will implement it as an annual event.

In the end, all eight companies were competing for the Commander’s Cup, which is awarded to the company with the highest cumulative score in all three sports and an Army Physical Fitness Test.

“The Commander’s Cup is something that is handed off from year to year, this being, in recent history, the first annual sports month, the intent is that cup travel to the winner of sports month, year to year,” House said. “We plan to try to do this at least once a year.”

With all of the success the 180th had putting sports month together; it wasn’t without a careful balance of mission support and Soldier’s morale.

“It’s hard with the mission support, the 180th supports the entire installation,” said House. “There is not one customer we support over another; we equally support garrison organizations,” he said. “We provide post wide support with transportation.”
Because of mission requirements, not all of the 180th’s best athletes were able to participate in this years’ sports month.

“Did we have all of the best athletes that this organization has to offer, no,” House said. “We took the best of what remained after we provided mission support.” “The competitive nature is very high, considering that,” said House.

House said he knows because of mission requirements, it will always be difficult to try and get many of the battalion’s Soldiers to participate in sports month.

“We want to maximize participation without affecting mission support,” House said. “We would love to shut down and have an organizational day, but because our mission is so critical and it takes so many assets on a daily basis, that really we just wanted to break it up, so that it’s mini-organizational days as we go along, and we’re still providing the mission support required of the battalion.

We just wish all the Soldiers could attend and back their companies but we have two important missions right now, supporting the 3rd Armored Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division,” he said.
House said through soccer, softball and basketball, he knows sports month met its intent in building team work and esprit de corps.

“Sports month has absolutely been a success,” he said. “We have been able to reward Soldiers in a competitive environment and to build teamwork and competition within our formation.”

Soldiers of the 289th Quartermaster Company were crowned victors of the basketball tournament Sept. 20; the 406th Transportation Company won the soccer tournament, and the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 180th won the softball tournament. Each team was awarded a unit trophy to display in their respective unit case.

The Commander’s Cup will be awarded today.