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18 teams began the event, 17 of them finished. Most of the competitors were Soldiers, but there were also two Marines and one Airman. (Sgt. Shane Fox and Sgt. George Grimm Jr.)

Photo by Rudy L Fox

Marines Take First in Basic Water Survival Event

22 Sep 2014 | Melissa Buckley

For two grueling days, service members from across Fort Leonard Wood put their knowledge and skills to the test — and now two Soldiers from the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade hold the title of Ultimate Warrior.

The winners of the inaugural 14th Military Police Brigade Ultimate Warrior Challenge are Sgt. Joshua Jennings and Spc. William Hart, 988th Military Police Company, 92nd Military Police Battalion, 4th MEB.

Jennings said it felt great to win.

“It is like all of the hard work and training myself and Spc. Hart have put in is now showing,” Jennings said.

The eight-event challenge was held on post Aug. 26 and 27.

“The Ultimate Warrior Team Challenge was created with the intent to foster teamwork, camaraderie and espirit de corps across the installation,” said Sgt. Maj. Gregory Kleinholz, 14th MP Brigade S-3 Operations sergeant major. “With collaboration from the MP school, our goal and our mission was to conduct a first-class training event for anyone willing to take the challenge.”

The event was open to any service member in the rank of captain or below, and all units on the installation regardless of military occupational specialty or branch of service.

A total of 17 teams-of-two stepped forward to compete. Among the competitors were an Airman-and-Soldier team, a Marine team, an all-female team, a team made up of two Army privates first class and several teams made up of officers paired with noncommissioned officers.

Competitors came from all corners of the installation. A chaplain’s assistant, a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear officer, a supply specialist, a security forces noncommissioned officer, a corrections specialist and several military police Soldiers were among those that competed.

On the first day, competitors endured two minutes of pushups, two minutes of situps and three minutes of treading water, before swimming 100 meters — wearing their utility uniforms and fully loaded ruck sack.

“I liked the water survival challenge. I am not a good swimmer, but I surprised myself,” said Pvt. Justin Lineback, 701st MP Bn.

The competitors’ land navigation skills were tested next in 2 square-kilometers of rough terrain, where they were required to find six points in less than four hours.

Already exhausted, and with a heat index of more than 100 degrees, competitors went straight to conquer Warrior Tower and the Physical Endurance Course.

“The Physical Endurance Course was hard at the end of the day. Everything had taken its toll on us,” Lineback said.

Lineback said he had fun getting to know the other competitors.

“They are people who we normally wouldn’t get to meet. We are getting to know each other on a personal level, because we aren’t in an office setting,” Lineback said.

As the sun rose on day two of the challenge, competitors were met by a Chinook, ready to fly them to their next event — the 4-mile ruck march and run.

Following the strenuous challenge, the competitors were airlifted to a range where they would be tested mentally with Task and Battle Drills and their ability to shoot an M4 carbine assault rifle.

“What I saw out there is the magic of the battle-buddy team: the most basic of our formations. They supported and inspired each other to complete the next task and overcome the next challenge. What I witnessed was the trust that neither would quit or leave the other behind,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Dooley, 14th MP Bde.

Jennings said he will carry memories of the inaugural Ultimate Warrior Challenge with him throughout his Army career.

“I will remember all of the different teams pushing others to perform at peak levels, plus being the first annual event champion makes it special,” Jennings said.
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