Inter-service competition builds morale
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md (NNS) -- Service members from the Defense Information School (DINFOS) Air Force, Army, Marine and Navy detachments at Fort George G. Meade participated in the Det. Row Challenge, March 19.
The Det. Row Challenge is a day of friendly inter-service competition intended to build camaraderie and develop appreciation among the various services attending DINFOS.
"All the service detachment officers in charge got together and came up with the idea to take advantage of the in-service training day," said Lt. Cmdr. Ted Fries, the officer in charge at the Navy Center for Service Support (CSS) DINFOS Detachment. "Instead of doing a typical catch-up on general military training or speaking, we decided to do a little friendly athletic and culinary competition between the four detachments."
The challenge consisted of four events. The first event, won by the Marines, was a physical training relay made up of a variety of exercises. Six teams from each of the four detachments competed in push-ups, a bear crawl, a fireman carry and a one-lap sprint. Next was a culinary competition. Participants were tasked with preparing a three-course meal with items from two randomly selected meals, ready-to-eat. The judges liked the Navy students' idea to leave flameless ration heaters underneath the plates to keep the food warm and awarded Navy a first-place finish.
"We honestly just winged it," said Navy Seaman Zachary Kreitzer, a student at DINFOS. "We did not know what we were going to get. We grabbed what we grabbed and we kind of just went with it."
The third event, a military drill competition, came after a relaxed and friendly lunch. The drill competition was judged based on how well the formation was able to demonstrate a series of commands. Again the Marines earned a first place finish.
"As soon as we took off, I figured we were going to be good," said Marine Pfc. Logan Schade, a student at DINFOS. "It wasn't until halfway through that it really started clicking that we were actually in sync. I've always loved drill so for me it was fun and that's the most important thing."
The last event of the day was the obstacle course. The course required the students to run, jump, climb and muscle their way through for time. Before starting everyone was allowed a chance to run the obstacle course at their own pace after a demonstration, tips and safety briefing by the Marines. When the event began, teams of five represented each detachment in the relay. In a close contest between the Marines and Navy, Navy took first place for the event.
"I did well, I had a little hiccup on the first bar but then the rest was a breeze," said Army Pfc. James Melis, a student at DINFOS who participated in both the physical training relay and the obstacle course. "I think we should host one of these once every month. It brings everybody together. It's very nice, having all four branches getting together."
To determine the overall challenge winner each detachment received points based on their standings in each challenge. The Navy detachment's win on the obstacle course brought the Sailors to a close second place behind the winning Marine detachment.
The day ended with comments from each service detachment commander. The trophy, a plaque bearing each command's coin and room to have each year's winner engraved in hopes that the challenge becomes a tradition among the DINFOS service detachments, was presented to the winning Marine detachment. After a round of applause and three cheers for all the detachments, the second place Navy assured the Marines that the Sailors would take it next time.
"I like the camaraderie every branch has and how we have the rivalry but we still respect one another," said Air Force Airman Cody Miller, a student at DINFOS who also participated in the drill competition. "This was awesome, I think we should definitely do it again."
For more news from Center for Service Support, visit www.navy.mil/local/css/.