Marne Week 2012 concluded Friday morning with an awards ceremony on Fort Stewart’s Cottrell Field. Individual, team and unit awards were presented by 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Commander Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams and 3rd ID Command Sgt. Maj. Edd Watson.
“Relax,” Abrams commanded the formation of soldiers standing at parade rest. “This is not the final event of Marne Week, although you guidon bearers are probably getting a good workout right now. You deserve a rest now.”
Abrams said some the reasons for Marne Week include not only celebrating 94 years distinguished service to this country by the 3rd ID but also to allow units to compete among themselves, bonding as individual soldiers while building unit cohesion and esprit de corps.
He praised those who participated in nearly 30 sports competitions as well as those responsible for setting up and running those competitions.
“I’ve personally seen units cheering on their soldier-athletes,” he said, noting that competition is good for morale. “(Of course) we know we all belong to the same big team. I commend you for your incredible efforts.”
In addition to recognizing an armor unit with the Draper Leadership Award, Abrams recognized the best infantry company, field artillery battery, engineer company, aviation troop, military intelligence company, maintenance company, transportation/distribution company, signal company, medical company and military police company.
The battalion with the most points accumulated during Marne Week was the 92nd Engineer Battalion, but the Marne Cup went to the brigade with the most points – 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team. Col. James Crider, 1st HBCT commander, and Raider Command Sgt. Maj. Herbert Kirkover, received the Marne Cup from Abrams and Watson.
Abrams also recognized individual and team winners for each of the competitions, including cross-fit, triathlon, battle-focused triathlon, BBQ cook-off and combatives.
The battle-focused triathlon included the physical fitness test, a 6-mile rucksack march and qualification with the M4 rifle. Army combatives consisted of eight classes, from bantamweight to heavyweight.
The winning triathlon team was 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment. The men’s triathlon winner was 1Lt. Robert Anderson, 5-7th Cav. The women’s triathlon winner was 1Lt. Blair Crimes, 3rd Brigade Support Battalion. Abrams also presented a special award to an Army spouse Jillian O’Malley for competing in the women’s triathlon.
The male cross-fit competition was won by 1st HBCT’s Brigade Support Combat Team, while the female cross-fit competition was won by 83rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Battalion.
Abrams thanked special guests, Col. Christopher Hughes, 3rd ID deputy commanding general-maneuver; Col. Robert White, 3rd ID deputy commanding general-support; Army Reserve Ambassador Luis Carreras; and Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes.