Echo Battery 3-4, ADAR held its annual Best Stinger Competition May 21-23. The three day competition tested Soldiers on paper and on the field.

Echo Battery 3-4, ADAR held its annual Best Stinger Competition May 21-23. The three day competition tested Soldiers on paper and on the field.

The purpose of the competition is to test Soldiers’ knowledge of what they’ll need to know on the battlefield, said. Staff Sgt. David Cameron.

The first day began around 9 a.m. and consisted of a paper general knowledge test, Army Physical Fitness Test and Visual Aircraft Recognition test. During the VACR, Soldiers were shown an image of an aircraft for 5 seconds. They had to be able to recognize it through binoculars.

The second day, Soldiers were ready at 5 a.m. to complete the 82nd Airborne Mile obstacle course.

When they were finished there, they completed tasks at three different vehicles.

For the first vehicle, Soldiers went through the entire process of loading the missile. The second vehicle is a march order in which they have everything set up, and they pack it up in order to roll it out. The third vehicle is machine gun reload.

The Soldiers are evaluated during each step. Evaluators have cut sheets from manuals for each step.

To earn full points for a task, Soldiers must say the proper commands to each other, loud enough so the evaluator can hear, and go through the proper steps in order. Points are taken off for safety violations and for going out of sequence, said Staff Sgt. Gregory Zaccagnino, EB 3/4 ADAR, one of the evaluators.

“For the new guys, it’s challenging, but it’s part of their job, so they’re enjoying it. They’re having fun with it, but they’re also learning,” said Sgt. Emmanuel Hopkins.

The third day, Soldiers participated in a 12 mile march and mystery event-- assembly and disassembly of machine gun.

The winning team, Specialist Ray Patterson and Private Tristan Briller, won the opportunity to fire a stinger missile over their shoulder--a rare occurrence--at their next live fire at Fort Stewart on June 16.

“It is great to see one of our younger teams take the initiative, train and execute at this level,” said Cpt. Alexandra Kilgore, 3-4 Commander.

“PV2 Briller is new from AIT, so to be able to coach and mentor him into part of the winning team says a lot about SPC Patterson’s dedication to both his gunner and his craft as an Air Defender. They did an outstanding job and should be proud of their accomplishment.”

Both soldiers were awarded the Army Commendation Medal on Thursday, May 24, for placing 1st.