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    • 3rd Infantry Division firefighters compete in Readiness Challenge X


      FORT STEWART, Ga.- Soldiers assigned to the 92nd Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, competed in this year's Readiness Challenge (RC), Readiness Challenge X (RC X), at Tyndal Air Force Base, Florida, April 22-26, 2024.

      This year Soldiers joined the prestigious RC, marking the first time the Army competed in this event. The RC, traditionally an Air Force Civil Engineer competition, has long been a hallmark event aimed at enhancing readiness and fostering leadership among military personnel. This year's inclusion of Army Soldiers marks a significant milestone in the competition's evolution.


      Since its inception in the early 1980s, RC has been a platform for testing the full spectrum of Civil Engineering readiness within military personnel, pushing participants to hone their skills and enhance their warfighting capabilities. Initially, the RC was a competition designed for U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), since then, the RC has expanded its scope to include other services and encompasses various aspects of combat support and a diverse range of civil engineering skills including firefighting, water supply readiness, emergency medical response, and force protection.

      Twelve teams competed in this year's RC. The 45-man teams were divided into smaller crews, each tackling a specific category of events related to their military occupational specialty (MOS). The six Soldiers from XVIII Abn Corps responsible for the firefighter challenges included Sgt. 1st Class Yorell Evelyn, Staff Sgt. Anthony Sprivey, Spc. Logan Brown, Spc. Nicholas Mills, Pfc. Shmar Christian and Pfc. Trent Smith.


      The competition provided an opportunity for the Soldiers to familiarize themselves not only with Air Force equipment but also with Air Force training methods. The competition served as a way for the Army to gauge how they stacked amongst other military branches.

      “Despite coming in as underdogs, our performance surprised not only us but everyone else,” said Evelyn. “I think it was an eye-opener for the Air Force and they could probably improve their training methods because we were able to place so high using their equipment and using their specific guidelines during events. I think both the Air Force and the Army have room to improve because we weren’t able to place first but we were able to outperform a lot of the Air Force teams.”



      The competition ended with the Army team placing third, beating out several Air Force teams, a Marine Corps team, and several teams from NATO countries.

      Evelyn credits their success to a strong understanding of their fundamental MOS task.

      “Focusing on your MOS-specific task can greatly improve your performance in the competition,” Evelyn stated. “You don't know the events you will be doing until the day of. We focus on training more on the basics because if you train on the basics, it will correlate in some way in any event.”

      Evelyn is not certain that he will compete at the next RC since it is scheduled to take place in 2026 but he knows the importance of passing down the knowledge and experience he’s gained from this year’s event.


      "Being a firefighter, one of our main purposes is to be ready to deploy," he explained. "These skills and tasks that we completed at this challenge show us where we're at in terms of deployment readiness.

      “I just hope to help as many people as I can," he said, expressing his desire to leave a lasting impact within the firefighting community and the Army.

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