Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Feb. 24, 2020) – More than 50 teams are slated to compete in the 14th Best Sapper Competition to be held March 30 through April 1 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Sappers will travel more than 50 miles in 50 hours throughout the rugged Ozarks during the grueling competition while carrying a ruck sack 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 Capt. Hilary Thomas and 1st Lt. Alyvia Orsini, both with the 21st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), make Army history by being the first all-female team to compete in the Best Sapper Competition. Thomas holds both Sapper and Ranger tabs and Orsini holds a Sapper tab.

For more information about the competition, visit the BSC website at Sapper/BSC.

Reporters wishing to cover this event should contact the Public Affairs Office at 573-563-5038, no later than 4 p.m. Monday, March 23.

Competitors in the 2019 Best Sapper Competition jump in the lake at Fort Leonard Wood’s Training Area 250 and swim across.
A competitor rappels down Fort Leonard Wood’s Sapper Tower during the 2018 Best Sapper Competition.
Competitors relax during the flight before having to jump into the lake at Fort Leonard Wood’s Training Area 250.


About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.

More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: