Above: A Soldier with the 10th Mountain Division (LI) simulates throwing a hand grenade as part of the D Series Winter Challenge, Feb. 11, on Fort Drum, New York. Left: Soldiers traverse snowy terrain during the annual event. (Photos by Pfc. Anastasia Rakowsky)
10th Mountain Division Soldiers battle elements, test skills in annual D Series Winter Challenge
Spc. Pierre Osias
27th Public Affairs Detachment
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Feb. 12, 2021) – More than 100 teams from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) participated in the annual D Series Winter Challenge on Fort Drum, New York. Soldiers braved frigid temperatures as they navigated to seven different testing stations over a 6.75-mile course.
The two-day competition began at 6 a.m. Feb. 10, with a new team departing from the start point every five minutes. Participants each carried a 35-pound ruck sack as their team navigated to testing stations where cadre challenged them on their mountain warfare skills.
The stations consisted of an equipment inspection with marksmanship testing in the Squad Advanced Marksmanship Training system, a stress shoot, the Ahkio sled drag, weapons assembly and disassembly, employing hand grenades, and a rope climb. Cadre scored the teams on their performance at each station and the amount of time the teams took to complete the course.
The D Series originally took place on Camp Hale, Colorado, in 1944. There, some 12,000 Soldiers took part during the original training exercise in preparation for the European theater of World War ll.
“This may have been the toughest training exercise in the history of the U.S. military,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Mario O. Terenas, 10th Mountain Division (LI) senior enlisted adviser. “During the toughest fighting of the Italian campaign, Soldiers joked that if things got any tougher it would be the D Series.”
This year’s winning team came from the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment: Staff Sgt. Jose Franquez, Staff Sgt. Adam Cayton, Sgt. Maxwell Johnson, Sgt. Alexander Routhier, Cpl. Dominique Reimprecht, Pfc. Jake Masters, Pfc. Anthony Hess, Pfc. Robert Fuentes, Pfc. Reece Hart, Sgt. 1st Class Tony Giannone, 1st Lt. Jalen Gomez, 1st Sgt. Tyson Regier and Capt. Johnathan Singleton.
“It was a true pleasure to participate today in the D Series,” said Pfc. Jake Masters, a member of the winning team. “I think it shows us that even though we’re a small platoon, together we can get through anything, no matter how hard the challenge.”