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Guard Team Becomes Army's Top Tank Crew

05-07-24 WR Tanks WEBSITE FINAL
05-07-24 WR Tanks WEBSITE FINAL
Washington Report

Four soldiers with the Tennessee Army National Guard are the Army’s best tank crew after winning the Sullivan Cup tank competition on May 3 at Fort Moore (formerly Fort Benning), Georgia.

The Sullivan Cup is conducted every two years. The competition is hosted by the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence and determines the best M1 Abrams tank and Bradley fighting vehicle crews in the Army.

This year, teams from Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland also competed in the series of head-to-head challenges running from April 29 to May 3. The other competitors were all from active-component Army units.

In all, 11 teams vied for the tank championship.

Some observers refer to the event as "the Olympics of tank competitions."

The victors were from the Tennessee Guard's Troop B, 1st Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

"If I ever wanted to win anything in my life, this is it right here," said Staff Sgt. David Riddick, the tank commander for the 278th crew. "It means everything to bring this trophy back to Tennessee as we showcased our combat skills and mettle."

Riddick — along with his crew members, Sgt. Joshua Owen, Spc. Noah Eddings and Spc. Seth Carter — competed in a series of rigorous challenges that tested their gunnery precision, tactical acumen and cohesion.

Through a combination of live-fire exercises, simulated combat scenarios and tactical drills, the Guardsmen were tested in various scenarios that replicated real-world battlefield conditions.

The Tennessee Army Guard soldiers said the win is not only proof of the skill of their team, but a testament to the quality of Guard training.

"The pressure was real," Riddick said. "We knew we were competing against the best, so we had to give it everything we had because everybody else was too."

Pride in the group's victory extends to the Tennessee Guard's leadership.

"This is an amazing honor, and these soldiers should be proud of all they have accomplished," said Maj. Gen. Warner A. Ross II, the adjutant general of Tennessee. "They competed against the best crews in the world and showed everyone Tennessee's warrior spirit and what it means to be from the Volunteer state."

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., also congratulated the tank crew on Friday for winning the recent competition.

A team from the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Cavazos (formerly Fort Hood), Texas, won the competition for the best Bradley crew.

Both of the competition's winning crews received commemorative pistols and posed with the Sullivan Cup trophy at award ceremonies on May 3.

The competition pays homage to retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, who served as an armor officer and commanded various armor formations during his esteemed military career.

Sullivan retired from the Army on July 31, 1995, after more than 36 years of active service, rising to the position of the military branch's 32nd chief of staff. This year's competition was the first since Sullivan passed away earlier this year.

This is the Army Guard’s second Sullivan Cup tank title.

A crew from the North Carolina Army Guard’s 1st Battalion, 252nd Armor Regiment, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, won the competition in 2016.

— Based on a Tennessee National Guard press release