Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. (March 22, 2024) — The 17th Lt. Gen. Robert B. Flowers Best Sapper Competition is slated to be held April 19 through 22 at Fort Leonard Wood and will showcase the Army’s elite combat engineering Soldiers, who support infantry forces.

The competition kicks off at 5 p.m., April 19, at the Roubidoux Park in downtown Waynesville, Missouri, with an opening ceremony that will feature competitors being dropped off from Blackhawk helicopters and non-standard physical fitness test events. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Throughout the competition, 50, two-person teams will travel more than 60 miles in 58 hours, throughout the wooded and hilly Ozarks, 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.

Soldiers will compete on limited amounts of sleep and will have to complete a series of tasks, including demolition, land navigation, steel cutting, mountaineering, a wire obstacle breach, marksmanship, timber cutting techniques, bridge reconnaissance and utilizing handheld mine detectors.

The name “Sapper” is derived from French, and originates from the early days of siege warfare, when military engineers would dig tunnels under castle walls. Among other skills, today’s Sappers breach fortifications, place and remove landmines, work with explosives and install portable bridges.

For more information about the competition, visit the BSC Facebook page at, their website at or contact the Public Affairs Office at 573-563-4145.

The opening ceremony, slated to begin at 5 p.m. CST April 19, will be livestreamed to, as well as the closing ceremony at 10 a.m. CST on April 23, and various events in between. Photos from the competition will be available at

Media wanting to coordinate competitor interviews or request competitor photographs should contact the Public Affairs Office NLT April 4, 2024.

The 17th Lt. Gen. Robert B. Flowers Best Sapper Competition kicks off at 5 p.m., April 19, at the Roubidoux Park in downtown Waynesville, Missouri.












About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 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.