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Football for 'the Fourth' celebrates camaraderie
A Soldier with 5/7 Cav. Regt., 1HBCT, 3rd ID, runs with the football as members of his team try to keep the noncommissioned officer team away, during a "NCO vs. Joes" squadron flag football game, July 3. - photo by Spc. Emily Knitter, 1HBCT Public Affairs

Fort Stewart, Ga.


To celebrate the Fourth of July holiday week, 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, took time to relax and build unit cohesion within the ranks during a friendly game of flag football. As the Georgia summer heat beat down, the non-commissioned officers and lower enlisted Soldiers took to the field as the rest of the squadron and Family Members cheered from the sidelines.

From the very beginning it was a close game, with either side never more than a touchdown or two behind. As the scores rose, so did the trash talking. Both teams and spectators contributed to the heckling, but the smiles that always followed ensured everyone took it as good fun.

"We came out here to play a game of football between the NCOs and the Joes of the squadron," said Sgt. Darin Devore, the intelligence non-commissioned officer in charge for Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 5th Sqdn., 7th Cav., and native of San Diego, Calif. "I had a great time playing and talking crap back and forth between everyone."

When the final whistle blew, the Joes came out on top and received the coveted, but yet to be named, squadron flag football trophy. As the team gathered around the gold spray painted, zip tied football on a slice of green turf, they were all smiles.

"We came out here to compete, and that is what we did," said Spc. John Ray, a cavalry scout with B Troop, 5/7 Cav. Regt., and native of Colstrip, Mo. "It built a lot of respect between the ranks."

They train us, they are hard on us, but to come out here and be equals on the field and beat them is a great feeling."

As the handshakes and backslapping ended and the field emptied, there was not a feeling of defeat but of togetherness.

"There is a good working relationship between everyone," Sgt. Devore concluded. "Coming out here and doing this kind of thing definitely helps our working relationship between everyone on a daily basis."

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