Armed Forces News

U.S. Army Soldiers jump from a hovering CH-47 Chinook helicopter during the helo-cast event on day two of the Best Sapper Competition, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., April 20, 2010. DoD photo by Benjamin Faske.

A team of women will become the first females to compete in the Army’s Best Sapper Competition. The event will take place March 30-April 1 at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., home of the Army Engineers.

Like their male colleagues, the two women – Capt. Hilary Thomas and 1st Lt. Alyvia Orsini – will have to travel more than 50 miles through the Ozark Mountains while carrying packs that weigh in excess of 80 pounds – while competing in a series of events along the way.


Thomas and Orsini are attached to the 21st Brigade, 3rd Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Thomas holds both Ranger and Sapper tabs (she is the first to do so), while Orsini holds a Sapper tab.

The Best Sapper Competition gives engineers throughout the Army the opportunity to compete in a grueling six phase, three day competition to identify the Army’s best engineers.