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Paratroopers earn Goodrich Riding Trophy, Gavin Cup, Iron Mike awards

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Story by PFC Alleea Oliver on 02/15/2018
FORT BRAGG, N.C. Paratroopers assigned to Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, received the Goodrich Riding Trophy, Gavin Cup and Iron Mike awards at Fort Bragg, N.C., Feb. 8, 2018.

The Division awards the Gavin Cup to the company that demonstrates the highest state of deployment readiness in physical fitness, weapons proficiency and completeness of medical and administrative tasks.

Also, Division awards the Iron Mike Award to the company with the highest average Army Physical Fitness Test scores.

According to the Office of the Chief of Armor, the Goodrich Riding Trophy represents the Armor and Cavalry Leadership Program and is awarded annually to promote, sustain and recognize outstanding leadership in armor and cavalry units.

Every division in the Army determines the standards for winning these awards, said Capt. Michael Blanco, commander of Troop B.

"I have a troop full of people who want to be the best, want to learn and want to be war fighters," said the Miami native. "We do not train for time; we train for standard."

Blanco believes these awards are the result of dedication to consistent training similarly displayed by professional competitors.

"We are warrior athletes," he said. "We have to get on the practice field before a big game. Training is critical. You can't win if you don't train."

Blanco also attributed the culture of the Division for the troop's drive to compete.

"Being in the 82nd is helpful," he said. "We are already in an organization that historically excels. The warrior fighter mentality that comes from being in the 82nd makes people want to excel."

One Paratrooper believes that combat skills gained from training is more valuable than the recognition.

"I didn't join the Army to get an award, "said Spc. Brent George, a cavalry scout assigned to Troop B. "I personally enjoy weapons qualification. I like to be proficient with any weapon system I use."

George, a native of Corvallis, Oregon, values rigorous training as much as his commander.

"Training is never negative," George said. "We set high standard and train to achieve them."


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