Fort Drum soldiers compete in cold weather contest

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 2:48 PM EST
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FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) - Fort Drum soldiers found out who is best in their brigade by going head to head in a two-day cold weather challenge.

“Your heart rate’s elevated as you approach the edge of the ice. Once you step off into, the shock of the cold water tends to make your body do things you don’t intend it to do,” said Sgt. 1st Class Seth Toy, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade.

The 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade hosted a two-day, five-event competition to determine the Best Sustainer of the Quarter. It’s geared to get soldiers to perform under stressful situations and extreme temperatures.

“You’re going to feel cold like you’ve never felt before. You’re going to feel your bones get cold,” said Toy.

One event was a plunge into Remmington Pond.

“At that point, I wasn’t cold. I feel excited. I feel ready to jump, ready to have that experience,” said 2nd Lt. Xingang Li, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade.

Along with the cold water challenge, soldiers competed in an Army Combat Fitness Test, a land navigation course, stress shooting, and a performance board testing their knowledge of Army regulations, policies, and programs.

“Right now, my body recovered. I feel like I’m ready for whatever the next challenge is going to be,” said Li.

The challenges teach the 10th Mountain Division soldiers combat skills for the frontline.

“Overall endurance and the ability to withstand the temperatures and being able to operate under these cold weather conditions being that we are 10th Mountain Division,” said Master Sgt. Victor Velez, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade.

The competition concluded with winners being awarded from three divisions: Junior Soldier; Noncommissioned Officer, and Officer.