Spartan engineers selected for Best Sapper 2017

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Story by SPC Efren Rodriguez on 03/02/2017
FORT STEWART, Ga.- More than a dozen engineers from 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division competed in a selection at Fort Stewart, Ga., Feb. 14-15 to represent their division at this year's 11th annual Best Sapper Competition.

Two-man teams of engineers across the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines will travel to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. to compete at the 11th Annual Best Sapper Competition April 23-28, this year.

"The Best Sapper Competition tests a lot of sapper skills as well as warrior tasks, toughness and fitness," said Capt. Elizabeth Wagner, commander of Alpha Company, 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division and lead planner of the selection.

"It's important because it allows Soldiers to not only prove themselves in front of the whole battalion, but it also allows them a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow as an individual, leader, sapper, and combat engineer," Wagner added.

Alpha Company hosted the selection, which consisted of a non-standard physical fitness test, written exam, lanes to identify improvised explosive devices and establish a helicopter landing zone, 15-mile foot march, land navigation course, and a rifle marksmanship range.

"I chose to attend the competition to stay competitive and show my peers that in order to lead from the front you have to be out front," said Staff Sgt. Johnathan Hall, platoon sergeant with Alpha Co.

Hall was one of the two chosen to participate in this year's competition. He competed in the 2010 Best Sapper Competition as a specialist and this year he hopes to win. Staff Sgt. Jacob Rowe, engineer with Alpha Co. was chosen as Hall's teammate.

"I feel good and I'm proud that I have the opportunity to go to Fort Leonard Wood," said Hall. "I want to set the example to my Soldiers that whatever it takes, how hard it is, or whatever obstacles are in your way, you always have more to put out than what you think."

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