A junior officer-senior NCO team from the 21st Engineer Battalion can now call themselves the best Sappers in the Army, after their Thursday win at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Capt. Rudy Chelednik and Sgt. 1st Class Robert Clark beat out 40 other teams over the three-day competition, which tests the skills and stamina of combat engineers across the Army.

“Never quit. Take another step. Overcome another objective. Motivate each other and cross the finish line,” Brig. Gen. Robert Whittle Jr., the U.S. Army Engineer School commandant, said in a release Sunday. “Your families and friends are counting on you. Your chain of command is tracking you. Never quit.”

Competitors completed 35 events with more than 50 miles of movement, including minesweeping, breaching, detecting booby traps, operating a small boat and evacuating a casualty.

The Fort Campbell soldiers competed against dozens of other Army teams, as well as a Marine Corps captain gunnery sergeant from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.

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