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News | June 1, 2021

LRMC “Legacy Challenge” gauges grit

By Marcy Sanchez

Thirteen four-person teams vied for top honors in the inaugural Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Legacy Challenge, May 7.
The event tested the teams in physically demanding challenges, including various exercises, a six-mile ruck march, and numerous obstacles challenging competitors in warrior and life-saving tasks.
“It’s a serious team event,” explains U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christina Buchner, commander, Troop Command, LRMC. “It’s an event to test (participants’) mental, physical acuity and their abilities. (Participants) traverse an obstacle course, ruck march, do litter carry drills, and then maneuver through extreme brush to finish back in front of LRMC.” 
Each team was comprised of four Service Members with at least one female in each team, and included all ranks, from privates to colonels. The competition also welcomed a four-person team from the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr.) 
Buchner and her teammates named their four-person team the “Courageous Leaders,” an homage to Troop Command’s motto, “Be courageous, dare greatly,” which she explains means no one can ever tell you what can and can't be done. 
“Events like this build cohesion and collaboration for the team. It enhances the team through physical fitness and mental resilience,” said Buchner. “Over the last year we have been struggling our way through COVID-19 with the lockdowns, increase in COVID-19 response (operations) and it just truly hasn't felt like a break. This event today let us regroup and reset as a team to check in with one another and is just a reminder that no matter how hard it gets, we can still come together, have fun and test each other's energy.”
Although a break from the demanding COVID-19 operations the hospital has sustained over more than a year, event organizers aim to continue the Legacy Challenge for years to come. 
“This was something we signed up for to represent LRMC Troop Command and who we are as the Army,” said U.S. Army Spc. Briana Esposito, a radiology specialist at LRMC. “You have all these physical requirements for the Army already, (the Legacy Challenge) is just something that makes it more fun, makes it exciting.”
Esposito, whose team moniker was the Monstars, joined the challenge to build camaraderie, teamwork and as she states, “to come out and just have a good time.”
Additionally, the challenge aimed to drill trust and confidence in others while challenging participants’ own limits. 
“No matter where you are, no matter what you're doing, you have to always rely on the person next to you,” said Esposito, a native of Belington, West Virginia. “Sometimes if you don't have it in you, then they have it in them to pull you through.”
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