FORT BENNING, Ga. -- For the son of a Wichita woman, maneuvering undetected deep behind enemy lines is what's expected for a day's work, if his Marine unit is called into battle. As a reconnaissance Marine competing against cavalry scouts, he is among a specialized class of warriors. So when Marine Sgt. Matthew Stormen, was selected to represent his unit at the inaugural Gainey Cup here, a competition to determine the Army¹s best cavalry scout team, he accepted the physical, tactical and mental demands, as well as the unique position of leading the only Marine five-man team in the competition. Storment is a reconnaissance Marine with the U.S. Marine Corps detachment, located at Fort Benning, Ga. Nearly 100 cavalry-scout soldiers and five Marines, hailing from U.S. Army commands around the globe, recently made their way to this massive, heavily wooded Army post to compete in five-man teams to test their scout proficiency. Physical tests included pushups, sit-ups, flipping massive tires, pushing a vehicle uphill, road marching for miles with 35-pound rucksacks on their backs, climbing ropes and negotiating extreme obstacles after already reaching exhaustion. Their knowledge of American and foreign vehicles, aircraft and weapons were also tested. They fired machine guns day and night and reacted to enemy weapons firing at them. The scout teams established a landing zone for Chinook helicopters, boarded them and flew to their next event. They crept through the woods for long distances, remaining undetectable, and provided emergency first aid to simulated casualties. Each event was timed and evaluated on a point scale.
Storment said reconnaissance Marines and Army cavalry scouts are the eyes and ears on the battlefield. Through reconnaissance and surveillance, we provide the battlefield commander details about the terrain and enemy ahead of him. We also provide security and target acquisition. Currently, I'm a ranger instructor, said Storment, a 2005 graduate of Hutchinson High School. During the competition, I was the team leader. This competition tested our physical capabilities and our competence, he said. While these cavalry scout soldiers were selected by their respective units as among the best in their specialty, those who competed here felt a sense of pride and desire to take away new ways of accomplishing their tasks. I am honored to have represented the Marine Corps in the first Army Gainey Cup competition. Events like this help with my small unit leadership skills, said Storment. To compete in a demanding five-day competition, cavalry scouts and reconnaissance Marines focused on physical, mental and technical aspects of their occupational specialty before stepping into these South Georgia woods. We put the team together in two days and performed to the best of our abilities, said Storment. His team finished sixth in the competition. Storment has more than seven years of military service. He has deployed to Afghanistan with a force reconnaissance company. He looks forward to getting back into the fleet and continuing operations.