Armor School Hosts Inaugural Gainey Cup

by U.S. Army Armor School

The U.S. Army Armor School’s 316th Cavalry Brigade is hosting the first Gainey Cup competition March 2-5 at Fort Benning, GA, to determine the Army’s best scout team. The Gainey Cup will test Cavalrymen physically and mentally on their fundamental skills in reconnaissance and surveillance.

Twenty teams from Regular Army maneuver divisions, separate brigade combat teams and the Army National Guard are projected to provide their best organic scout team to compete in the event. Teams will consist of five military-occupational specialty 19D Soldiers: two noncommissioned officers (corporal, sergeant or staff sergeant) and three Soldiers (private/private first class and specialist).

“The 2012 Inaugural Gainey Cup will determine the best scout team in the U.S. Army,” said COL Paul J. Laughlin, 47th Chief of Armor. “It is a physically and mentally demanding world-class event that will rigorously test the troopers’ competence and fortitude in reconnaissance and security skills. This year we are excited to start up and host a high-quality team competition that our troopers will want to attend and compete in … now and in the future.”

Scout teams will run a gauntlet of tasks to evaluate their Cavalry-specific skills such as reconnaissance fundamentals, target identification, call for fire, troop-leading procedures, day and night live-fire, obstacle courses, observation-post establishment, helicopter landing zone establishment, knowledge of weapons, communication devices and sensors, and physical endurance.

The Cavalrymen will charge headfirst on Day 1 with the validus disciplus. The event will challenge their physical aptitude and ability to work as a team. The validus disciplus will start with a five-mile foot march. Cavalrymen must complete their march as a team in no more than 75 minutes; anything less will gain them a five-point reward, and anything slower will result in a five-point penalty. Each team can only begin the other events after each scout on their team finishes the march.

Once scouts complete the march as a team, they will move toward the seven-event circuit that will consist of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, dips, rope climb, tire flip and a “last 100 yards” dash that will consist of a humvee push, skedco pull, “farmer’s walk” with two five-gallon water cans and a final sprint.

Each event will consist of one team accomplishing the event’s tasks individually, with the only exception the last 100 yards, where the event must be accomplished as a team.

  • Push-ups and sit-ups will be graded by how many repetitions each scout on the team can do under one minute to the Army Physical Fitness Test standard.
  • The pull-up event will begin and end with each scout in the dead hang, doing as many pull-ups as possible by bringing his chin parallel to the top of the bar for each repetition until muscle failure.
  • The dips station will start with the each scout’s arms locked in the up position, doing as many dips as possible by lowering his body until his upper arms are parallel to the bar, then returning to the up position until muscle failure.
  • The tire flip will force each scout to flip a tire across the field from a set starting position to a finish line.
  • The rope climb will task each scout to climb the rope, touch a marker portion of the rope and return to the ground with no time limit.
  • Finally, the last-100-yards event will test the whole team’s strength, speed and teamwork with a humvee push across a parking lot, a simulated skedco pull, a “farmer’s walk,” where a scout carries two five-gallon water cans, and a sprint to the finish as a team.

After the team completes their lanes, they will take a target-identification exam, where they will identify friendly and threat vehicles, and their weapon systems.

The LFX of Days 2 and 3 will test Cavalrymen’s ability to observe named areas of interest, acquire targets and engage them with both direct and indirect fires, and properly report. Fragmentary orders will instruct teams to observe two NAIs and will specify their engagement and displacement criteria. From a pre-established OP, scouts will engage targets with the section of 81mm mortars that is providing them indirect-fire support. A series of trucks, troops and armored fighting vehicles will also be present to test scouts’ marksmanship and their knowledge of the engagement and displacement criteria.

Concurrently, teams on the DMPRC will be tested on weapons familiarization. Scouts will assemble, disassemble and perform a func-tions check on a variety of different weapon systems that are organic to Cavalry formations. Weapon systems the scouts will be tested on are the M9 automatic pistol, M4 carbine, M240B machinegun, M2 heavy-barrel machinegun, Mk19 automatic grenade launcher and command launch unit for the Javelin. Each team must complete the day LFX, weapons familiarization and night LFX.

The reconnaissance lane of Days 2 and 3 will test Cavalrymen’s ability to plan and execute a dismounted reconnaissance operation. Teams will be issued a FRAGO instructing them to observe an NAI that is about seven kilometers from their current location. They will be required to plan their route, conduct a link-up with a host-nation force, maneuver into their OP and report any activity within their NAI without being compromised by enemy forces. Once they report activity in the NAI, they will displace to a specified location and establish an HLZ to standard. Following the HLZ’s establishment, the teams will be tested on their ability to establish a dismounted observation post to standard. At the OP site, teams will be given a Long-Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System with all needed equipment, tripod, range card and all equipment to build a directional antenna.

On the final day, Day 4, the teams will be airlifted out of the training areas back to Harmony Church to complete the last events, which will consist of a two-mile foot march, a written exam, a six-lane obstacle course and a final three-mile foot march to the finish line. Each team will conduct the air movement with all their gear and, upon landing, will start their two-mile foot march to the obstacle course. Once the teams finish the march’s first leg, they will then take a written test that will challenge their knowledge on reconnaissance fundamentals.

After each team completes their test, they can begin the obstacle course, which team members must start and finish together. Cavalrymen must take all their assigned equipment through each obstacle, with the exception of “The Tough One” obstacle.

After all six obstacles have been negotiated, each scout team will conduct the final three miles of the foot march to the finish line at Brave Rifles Field. Once all teams have crossed the finish line and have accounted for all their assigned equipment, the scores will be tallied and the 47th Chief of Armor will recognize the best scout team in the Army.

The Gainey Cup will be a spectator-friendly event that will allow friends, family and other interested personnel the opportunity to view the competition as it is underway. Buses will be used to transport spectators from Harmony Church to the competition sites. People interested in viewing the event should report to the 316th Cavalry Brigade’s battle captain’s desk at Bldg. 5142, Harmony Church, Fort Benning, for a copy of the events and transportation schedules. No special equipment is required for spectators to watch the competition.

For more information about the Gainey Cup, contact CPT Joshua S. Hearn at (706) 626-8169 or Or, visit either the official Website or the competition’s Facebook page at and!/groups/528944870458594/.

See also: Best scout team competition named for top enlisted leader.

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