(Fort Leonard Wood)–Fifty teams are scheduled to compete in the 14th Best Sapper Competition to be held March 30th through April 1st at Fort Leonard Wood.
Sappers will travel more than 50 miles in 50 hours throughout the rugged Ozarks during the grueling competition while carrying a rucksack that weighs more than 80 pounds and competing in a variety of events, testing them to their mental and physical breaking point. The engineers will compete on limited amounts of sleep and will have to complete a series of combat engineer tasks including demolition and land navigation, as well as jumping out of a helicopter into a lake. Spectators are invited to watch as Captain Hilary Thomas and First Lieutenant Alyvia Orsini, both with the 21st Brigade, 3rd Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division make Army history by being the first all-female team to compete in the Best Sapper Competition. Thomas is the first woman to hold both Sapper and Ranger tabs and the fifth woman overall to obtain a Ranger tab. Orsini holds a Sapper tab.