Before dawn, soldiers from Fort Carson's 3rd Squadron of the 61st Cavalry Regiment sweated through the toughest physical training they've seen in some time.
A 2-mile run in their heavy gear including body armor was followed by a rope climb, a wall obstacle, kettle bells and overhead bars.
"All of this will get everyone in the mindset," said Command Sgt. Maj. Josh Carswell, the squadron's top enlisted soldier, after he completed the challenge last week.
That mindset the Apache Warrior event tries to spread is a big deal in the 3rd Squadron, which is part of the Fort Carson's 2nd Brigade Combat Team. The squadron came out of the past 15 years of warfare as one of the most decorated units in the Army, with soldiers Ty Carter and Clint Romesha earning the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan.
Many of the soldiers who joined in the event were fresh back from Afghanistan, where most of the squadron has spent the past nine months guarding the American delegation in Kabul.
"It's the same elevation we had in Afghanistan," said Carswell who called the Wednesday morning event "tough, good training."
The run, the weights and the obstacles saw many soldiers drop. Just surviving the challenge was something of a badge of honor. It's part of a wider program in the squadron to tell young soldiers about the unit's accomplishments and the legacy they're expected to uphold.
"It builds team cohesion," said Lt. Chad Libby, who organized the event.
The endurance test was part of a week of events for the brigade to put the unit's heritage in the spotlight.
On Friday, troops from the unit gathered at the post's war memorial off Colorado 115 to honor the squadron's dead.
"It's about being a part of a team," Libby said, "and being a part of something special."