The Best Squad Competition - December 2022
Reported By MAJ J.LaFlash
FORT STEWART, Ga. — During his remarks at the October 2022, Company Promotion and Award Ceremony, Major John LaFlash announced that groups of Soldiers will compete together in the inaugural U.S. Army Best Squad Competition. This is slated to start on December 4th, 2022 and sign-ups will open next week so start searching for your team now!!
The most influential level of leadership is at the Squad – where the majority of our Soldiers reside. "Squad" extends beyond a traditional infantry squad to any small-unit group of Soldiers, connected by a squad leader, who has the most direct impact on their lives. Soldiers never fight alone, the unbreakable bonds forged through shared hardship and unending support for one another are the hallmark of our most successful small units.
The competition will assess each squad on their technical and tactical proficiency, as well as their ability to work as a disciplined and cohesive team. The competition features a multitude of different combat-related events ranging from the Army's various weapons lanes to a strenuous foot march and detailed individual and team warrior tasks and squad battle drills. To kick it all off, all squads will be assessed by First Sergeant in Uniform inspection (In-game and Website) and a board-style test of their knowledge and professionalism as a team and as individuals.
“For years I’ve talked about the importance of building a cohesive team that is highly trained, disciplined, and combat ready” and “Now it’s time to measure ourselves against that standard.” - MAJ J.LaFlash
For purposes of the competition, a “squad” will consist of five Soldiers:
- One Squad Leader – Staff sergeant, Sergeant, Corporal (Or Warrant Officer 1 or higher)
- One Team Leader – Sergeant, Corporal, Specialist
- Three Squad Members – Specialist and below - One being a Combat Lifesaver or Medic
Command staff members will not participate and only be raters
“We don’t want elements assembling super-squads,” he said. “But we have to figure out how that looks because each competing command is operated a little differently.”
For example, he said he would be open to allowing Soldiers from across different combat elements to compete together even if those Soldiers aren’t in an organic squad. For example, have 2 soldiers from one element and 3 from a different element.
“I want units to really think about what makes up a squad,” MAJ LaFlash explained. “’ This is My Squad’ isn’t just about the traditional infantry squad. It’s about those small groups of Soldiers who really know and care about each other and hold each other to a high standard of proficiency, discipline, and fitness.”
Major LaFlash said his goal is to assess squads not just on their technical and tactical proficiency, but also on their cohesiveness and ability to work together as a team.
“By the time the squads get to this level, we know they’re tactically sound,” Major LaFlash said. “So we’re going to challenge them in ways maybe they haven’t been challenged before, see how they respond when they’re stressed in other ways.”
The Army-level competition doesn’t begin until December, but units will begin assembling squads here shortly to have a chance to earn the title of "The Unit's Best Squad". The announcement for which element is "The Unit's Best Squad". will be announced after the holiday exodus on January 8th 20,23 at the Company Promotion and Award Ceremony, where Major J. LaFlash will also announce the final 2022 - 4th Quarter, Soldier of the Quarter!