Copyright © 2015 William E. Morgan Tous droits réservés. Édité par Clare P. Morgan Conception de la couverture par Emz Wright Illustrations par Rahul Arora Photo de couverture par DVID Conception du livre par William
Morgan Aucune partie de ce livre ne peut être reproduite sous aucune forme ou par aucun moyen électronique ou mécanique, y compris les systèmes de stockage et de récupération d'informations, sans l'autorisation écrite de l'auteur. Les seules exceptions sont celles d'un réviseur (qui peut citer de courts extraits dans une revue) et des citations officielles du gouvernement.
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Avis de non-responsabilité Les opinions exprimées dans ce livre sont celles de l'auteur et ne reflètent pas nécessairement la politique ou la position officielle du ministère de la Marine, du ministère de l'Armée, du ministère de la Défense ou du gouvernement américain.
Rien dans la présentation n'implique une approbation fédérale / DOD / DON. Les informations contenues dans ce guide représentent le point de vue de l'auteur à la date de publication. En raison de l'augmentation rapide des connaissances, l'auteur se réserve le droit de mettre à jour et de moderniser ses vues à mesure que la science le découvre
Plus d'information. Bien que tous les efforts aient été faits pour vérifier les informations, l'auteur ne peut accepter la responsabilité des inexactitudes ou des oublis. Tout manque de respect perçu envers les organisations ou les individus n'est pas intentionnel. L'auteur ne donne aucune garantie ou garantie quant au succès du lecteur utilisant ce matériel.
Les exercices et entraînements présentés dans ce livre sont intrinsèquement dangereux. Ces séances d'entraînement sont destinées à être un exemple du type de routines d'exercice auxquelles peuvent participer des unités opérationnelles spéciales. Ceux qui ne font pas partie d'une unité de guerre spéciale sont censés les lire uniquement à des fins de divertissement.
Toute personne souhaitant participer à un programme d'exercice devrait obtenir un examen détaillé de son médecin avant de commencer le programme d'exercice. Votre médecin doit approuver tout programme de conditionnement physique avant de commencer le programme.
Navy SEAL Endorsement: "Ce livre indispensable sur la formation des guerriers fournit des informations approfondies sur les principes de formation, une application pratique via des entraînements spécifiques et des exemples d'hommes qui incarnent l'éthique de notre profession. Il existe
deux types de connaissances: théoriques / académiques et kinesthésiques / expérientielles. Le Dr William Morgan est rare en ce qu'il possède les deux. Il est lui-même un opérateur, un passionné de fitness et, surtout pour ce livre, un étudiant permanent de la santé et de la performance humaines, ainsi qu'un guérisseur. Je ne fonde pas cela uniquement sur sa biographie. Ça a été
mon plaisir de servir avec le Dr Morgan, de m'entraîner avec lui et maintenant d'apprendre de lui. J'aurais aimé que ce matériel soit disponible à 20 ans. Il m'aurait épargné des années d'entraînement sous-optimal et de nombreuses blessures. Je vous suggère de profiter de l'occasion qui vous est offerte. "Patrick S. Mahaffey
Classe 118, SEAL Team One
Aperçu Kindle: Hero Workouts Hero Workouts brise la confusion et le bruit de la condition physique croisée pour aider le lecteur à comprendre comment atteindre les niveaux d'élite de la forme physique sans se blesser. Les forces opérationnelles spéciales s'entraînent pour accomplir des missions, mais
passionné de fitness croisé civil, l'entraînement est la mission. Les troupes opérationnelles spéciales ne peuvent pas se permettre d'être blessées car leur entraînement n'est pas réussi. De même, les civils ne souhaitent pas être mis à l'écart de leurs activités. Ce livre contient des exercices fonctionnels et des séances d'entraînement hardcore. J'ai exclu des exercices qui ont peu de fonctions applicables dans le monde réel
ou méritent ou sont plus susceptibles de causer des blessures. Ce livre est destiné à fournir des instructions pour maintenir la préparation au combat avec un minimum de blessures d'entraînement. La première partie de ce livre est pédagogique. Il fournit au lecteur des principes pour prévenir les blessures et maintenir les niveaux de condition physique de l'élite. Il présente également au lecteur des informations très spécifiques
exercice d'entraînement. Cela comprend les exercices de mise en forme croisée avec le plus grand avantage d'entraînement tout en omettant les exercices qui ont peu d'avantages applicables ou qui ont un rapport risque / bénéfice élevé. J'écris ceci juste un jour après avoir visité une unité militaire en tant que consultant. Sur les vingt soldats que j'ai interviewés, cinq avaient des blessures chroniques
qui s'est produite pendant une séance d'entraînement de remise en forme croisée et a nui à leurs activités quotidiennes. Quelle ironie que ces hommes, dans le but d'améliorer leur préparation au combat par l'exercice, soient maintenant moins capables que s'ils n'avaient jamais tenté un programme de conditionnement physique. Ce livre prendra les avantages très réels et positifs d'une forme physique multimodale diversifiée
programmez et tempérez-le avec la science qui maximisera les avantages tout en minimisant le risque de blessure.
Hommes-grenouilles opérationnels spéciaux
ne peut pas utiliser le papillon ou tirer des tractions enseignées dans les gymnases de fitness pour tirer eux-mêmes, leurs armes et leur équipement de plongée lourd de la mer lorsqu'ils montent à bord d'un navire. Ils ont besoin de la vraie force qui leur est offerte grâce à la variété d'exercices de traction, de traction, d'escalade sur corde et de traction en traîneau que l'on trouve dans ce livre.
Concevoir un programme de fitness
répondre aux exigences du monde réel d'un opérateur spécial est difficile. Imaginez les exigences de formation pour quelqu'un qui pourrait être obligé de parcourir à la nage trois milles sous l'eau, de grimper la chaîne d'ancre d'un navire avec quarante kilogrammes d'équipement, puis de grimper sur les cloisons du navire, de sauter par-dessus des rampes, de participer à des opérations de combat et enfin de nager
trois milles pour un rendez-vous avec un sous-marin; ou lors d'une autre mission, il peut être demandé à l'opérateur de sauter d'un hélicoptère dans une enceinte fortifiée, de sprinter, de franchir des portes, de sauter par-dessus des murs, d'engager un combat rapproché, puis de transporter des prisonniers, des blessés ou du matériel de renseignement capturé sur de longues distances.
Hero Workouts est dédié à ceux qui veulent aller n'importe où et faire n'importe quoi. Ce sont des athlètes guerriers qui savent se battre lorsqu'ils sont blessés, mais leur programme de conditionnement physique ne devrait pas leur faire de mal.
Faits saillants de ce livre: 1. Ce livre définit clairement les besoins de conditionnement physique uniques de la communauté de la guerre spéciale et comment ils diffèrent des programmes populaires de crossfitness. 2. Hero Workouts explique clairement les plus courants
risques d'entraînement et comment corriger la technique pour éviter les blessures. 3. Il contient des images à fort impact et des instructions d'exercice. 4. Il a plusieurs dizaines d'entraînements physiques spécifiques qui portent le nom des héros de la communauté de la guerre spéciale.
5. Après chaque entraînement de héros, le lecteur sera présenté au héros à travers les citations et photos officielles de la médaille d'honneur du gouvernement américain. 6. Les entraînements de héros portent le nom de héros des Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Marine Recon, Air Force Pararescue, Combat Controllers, Special Boat Units et Army Rangers.
7. Il comprend des informations générales sur la médaille d'honneur et sur les unités militaires d'élite américaines.
Les pages suivantes contiennent des exemples du contenu de ce livre: Informations sur la prévention des blessures et les soins
Ce sont des exemples d'illustrations et d'instructions d'exercices de haute qualité.
Il y a des chapitres consacrés à aider le lecteur à comprendre les besoins uniques des élites et des forces opérationnelles spéciales. Ce livre fournit également une introduction aux exigences de formation de ces unités et des exercices spécifiques qui auront le plus grand avantage transférable à ces troupes.
Une bonne technique d'exercice et la prévention des blessures sont également discutées en détail dans ce livre. Peu importe à quel point les séances d'entraînement sont difficiles si les troupes sont incapables de s'entraîner. Des dizaines de séances d'entraînement détaillées de «héros» de haute intensité sont dédiées aux héros réels des forces opérationnelles spéciales. Avec chaque séance d'entraînement dédiée aux héros,
citation officielle du gouvernement décrivant leurs actes de valeur.
Michael Patrick Murphy 7 mai 1976-28 juin 2005 Direction: U.S.Navy SEAL
Lieu / date d'action: près d'Asadabad, Afghanistan, le 28 juin 2005
Citation Pour sa bravoure et son intrépidité manifestes au péril de sa vie au-delà de ses devoirs en tant que chef d'un élément spécial de reconnaissance avec la Naval Special Warfare Task Unit Afghanistan les 27 et 28 juin 2005. Tout en menant une mission pour localiser un chef de milice anti-coalition, le lieutenant Murphy a fait preuve d'un héroïsme extraordinaire face à un grave danger dans les environs d'Asadabad, à Konar
Province, Afghanistan. Le 28 juin 2005, opérant dans une zone extrêmement accidentée contrôlée par l’ennemi, l’équipe du lieutenant Murphy a été découverte par des sympathisants des milices anti-coalition, qui ont révélé leur position aux combattants talibans. En conséquence, entre 30 et 40 combattants ennemis ont assiégé son équipe de quatre membres. Démontrant une résolution exceptionnelle, le lieutenant Murphy a vaillamment conduit ses hommes à engager la grande force ennemie. La fusillade féroce qui a suivi a fait de nombreuses victimes ennemies, ainsi que les quatre membres de l'équipe blessés. Ignorant ses propres blessures et
faisant preuve d'un sang-froid exceptionnel, le lieutenant Murphy a continué de diriger et d'encourager ses hommes. Lorsque le communicateur principal est tombé mortellement blessé, le lieutenant Murphy a tenté à plusieurs reprises d'appeler à l'aide pour ses coéquipiers assiégés. Conscient de l'impossibilité de communiquer sur le terrain extrême et face à une mort presque certaine, il s'est frayé un chemin en terrain dégagé pour gagner une meilleure position pour transmettre un appel. Cet acte délibéré et héroïque l'a privé de couverture, l'exposant aux tirs ennemis directs. Enfin en contact avec son
Quartier général, le lieutenant Murphy a maintenu sa position exposée pendant qu'il fournissait son emplacement et a demandé un soutien immédiat pour son équipe. Dans son dernier acte de bravoure, il a continué à engager l'ennemi jusqu'à ce qu'il soit mortellement blessé, donnant galamment sa vie pour son pays et pour la cause de la liberté. Par son leadership désintéressé, ses actions courageuses et son dévouement extraordinaire au devoir, le lieutenant Murphy a fait honneur à lui-même et a maintenu les plus hautes traditions du Service naval des États-Unis.
Table des matières Page de titre Préface Section I: Principes et contexte Chapitre un: Elite Fitness Chapitre deux: Qui sont ces gars-là? Chapitre trois: Unités opérationnelles spéciales Chapitre quatre: Les dangers de l'effort extrême Chapitre cinq: Limitations de la matière Chapitre six: Contreventement abdominal Chapitre sept: Le problème des redressements assis Chapitre huit: Repos et récupération Chapitre neuf: Occultation en eau peu profonde Chapitre dix: Rester En forme pendant le déploiement Chapitre onze: Les exercices Section II: Entraînements des héros Ola Lee Mize Humbert R. Versace Roger Hugh C. Donlon Charles Quincy Williams Frank S.Reasoner Bermard Francis Fisher Ronald Eric Ray Jimmie E. Howard
James Elliot Williams George Kenton Sisler David George Ouellet Charles Ernest Hosking, Jr. Gordon Douglas Yntema Drew Dennis Dix Eugene Ashley, Jr. Terrence C. Graves Fred William Zabitosky Ralph H. Johnson Roy Perez Benavidez Joe Madison Jackson John James Kedenburg William Atkinson Jones, III Laszlo Rabel James Phillip Fleming Robert Lewis Howard Robert David Law John L. Levitow Robert H. Jenkins, Jr. Joseph Robert Kerrey William Maud Bryant Richard A. Anderson Robert Joseph Pruden Franklin Douglas Miller
Gary Burnell Beikirch Gary Lee Littrell Brian Leroy Buker Jon Robert Cavaiani Loren Douglas Hagen Thomas Rolland Norris Michael Edwin Thornton Gary Ivan Gordon Randall David Shughart Michael Patrick Murphy Michael Anthony Monsoor Robert James Miller Leroy Arthur Petry William D. Swenson Plus d'entraînement: Médailles de service distingué David F. Cooper Jarion Halbisengibbs Mark E. Mitchell Opération Red Wings Brendan O'Connor Stephen Bass Mark L. Donald Britt Slabinski John A. Chapman Jason Dean Cunningham
Robert Gutierrez, Jr. Zachary J. Rhyner Justin Wilson Entraînements en prime Mon voyage Annexe: La médaille d'honneur Ressources
Préface Hero Workouts est essentiellement deux livres en un. La première section définit les besoins de conditionnement physique des unités militaires d'élite et établit les principes de programmes de conditionnement physique sûrs et efficaces. Il identifie également les points d'échec potentiels dans les programmes de remise en forme, en identifiant spécifiquement la forme d'exercice appropriée, les dangers de l'effort extrême, le repos et la récupération appropriés, les dangers de la panne d'eau peu profonde et les conseils pour rester en forme pendant le déploiement. La première section détaille également un catalogue d'exercices spécifiques avec des
instructions et illustrations. La section deux de ce livre est remplie de dizaines de séances d'entraînement d'opérations spéciales. Chaque entraînement porte le nom d'un héros particulier d'une unité opérationnelle spéciale. Après chaque entraînement, le héros est présenté via sa citation officielle Medal of Honor. La section deux contient également deux chapitres bonus: Médailles de service distingué et séances d'entraînement bonus. Certains lecteurs passeront en revue le matériel de base et iront directement à la viande du livre, les séances d'entraînement des héros, mais je recommande à tous les lecteurs de passer en revue les dangers de l'effort extrême (chapitre quatre), Repos et récupération
(chapitre huit) et Shallow Water Blackout (chapitre neuf). Je demanderais au lecteur de prêter une attention particulière à la clause de non-responsabilité figurant après la page de titre. J'espère que vous apprécierez ce livre, apprendrez quelque chose de nouveau et que vous serez inspiré par les histoires de nos plus grands héros des opérations spéciales. Bénédictions William E. Morgan
Section I: Principes et contexte
La section I de Hero Workouts présente au lecteur les besoins particuliers des forces opérationnelles spéciales et les principes nécessaires pour maintenir la forme physique et prévenir les blessures. La première section (chapitres un à onze) fournit également des instructions détaillées sur les exercices effectués dans les séances d'entraînement des héros. La section II est composée de dizaines de séances d'entraînement conçues pour les forces opérationnelles spéciales (SOF. Chacune des séances d'entraînement porte le nom d'un récipiendaire de la médaille d'honneur des SOF.
Après chacune des séances d'entraînement de héros, vous trouverez la citation officielle de la médaille d'honneur pour ce héros.
Chapitre un: Elite Fitness
Les forces d'opérations spéciales d'élite (SOF) et les unités militaires d'élite ont un besoin particulier de force et d'endurance dans leurs programmes de conditionnement physique. Ils doivent être adaptatifs, résilients et forts, tout en ayant de l'endurance. Ils doivent être capables de courir, grimper, se battre, nager sur de longues distances et porter des sacs à dos lors de randonnées pendant des jours sans repos. Pour bien performer dans un large éventail d'activités de remise en forme, ces athlètes d'élite sacrifient leur capacité à exceller dans n'importe quelle activité sportive. Aucun athlète ne peut
être un marathonien de classe mondiale et être capable de nager 7 milles et, aussi, être capable de porter un sac à dos de 80 livres sur 25 milles de terrain accidenté. Quelque chose doit donner. Pour être de classe mondiale dans tous les cas, vous devez vous spécialiser. Lorsqu'un athlète détourne son énergie de sa spécialisation, il abandonne l'avantage nécessaire pour être de classe mondiale. Les troupes d'élite sont généralement adaptées à un large éventail de paramètres de condition physique tout en n'étant en aucun cas de classe mondiale. L'athlète guerrier ne peut pas avoir une vitesse, une endurance et une force maximales. Vous ne pouvez pas avoir une puissance et une endurance explosives.
Certains aspects de la condition physique doivent être sacrifiés. Vous pouvez vous débrouiller assez bien dans tous, ou bien dans un aspect, mais vous ne pouvez pas être exceptionnel dans tous les aspects de la forme physique.
Différenciation entre les entraînements cross-fitness et les entraînements SOF Pour les passionnés de cross-fitness civils, l'entraînement du jour (WOD) est une fin en soi (l'entraînement du jour est la mission). En revanche, les unités SOF s'entraînent et s'entraînent pour pouvoir accomplir des missions. Les troupes des SOF ne peuvent pas se permettre d'être mises à l'écart en entraînant des blessures lorsqu'elles sont nécessaires pour
mission. Des études prospectives sur les pompiers et les policiers ont montré que ceux qui étaient les plus en forme étaient les plus blessés (McGill). Ironiquement, la plupart des blessures ne sont pas survenues au travail, mais pendant les entraînements. Alors que les policiers et les pompiers les plus aptes ont été blessés pendant leur entraînement, ceux dont le niveau de forme physique est marginal sont plus fiables pour pouvoir accomplir leur travail. En s'entraînant dur pour être plus efficace, ceux qui se sont entraînés le plus durement étaient les moins fiables. Pour atteindre un effet d'entraînement de fitness optimal qui est transférable au
tâches des missions SOF, ce livre fournira des séances d'entraînement qui sont difficiles tout en minimisant le risque de blessure. Certains exercices doivent être effectués pendant qu'un athlète est frais. Des exercices comme la pliométrie, le saut et les ascenseurs olympiques sont des exercices qui nécessitent une puissance explosive et une technique exigeante. L'exécution de ces exercices fatigués favorisera des schémas de mouvement défectueux. Les blessures surviennent lorsque la fatigue provoque une dégradation de la forme appropriée.
Figure 1. Les ascenseurs olympiques comme le clean and jerk illustré ici nécessitent une puissance explosive,
technique, coordination et athlétisme. Les haltérophiles olympiques pratiquent généralement ces ascenseurs avec une ou deux répétitions. Ils font rarement des «séries» de cet exercice. Vous constaterez que ce livre prescrira des ascenseurs explosifs au début de chaque entraînement et limitera le nombre de répétitions. Les ascenseurs nécessitant puissance et forme seront effectués pendant que le lève-personne est frais. L'entraînement des muscles à contraction rapide comme s'il s'agissait de muscles à contraction lente peut
entraîner une dégradation de la technique et des blessures ultérieures.
Ce qui n'est pas dans ce livre Vous ne verrez pas certains exercices qui sont nuisibles ou perturbent les schémas moteurs fonctionnels normaux dans ce livre. Ces exercices comprennent des redressements assis, des coups de pied flottants et des extensions de chaise romaine. De plus, vous ne trouverez pas d'exercices utilisant des machines d'haltérophilie, des ceintures d'haltérophilie ou des exercices d'isolement. Sont également exclus les exercices hautement dépendants de la technique et les exercices nécessitant une puissance explosive effectués tard dans un entraînement
lorsque le participant est fatigué. Un bon exercice peut devenir un mauvais exercice s'il est effectué dans le mauvais ordre ou lorsqu'il est fatigué.
Figure 2. Les levées explosives et l'entraînement pliométrique doivent être effectués au début d'une séance d'entraînement après que le participant s'est échauffé, mais avant d'être fatigué. L'intention des sauts en boîte est de développer une puissance explosive; ils ne doivent pas être utilisés pour produire l'épuisement. Celles-ci doivent être effectuées tôt au cours d'une séance d'entraînement.
Contenu de ce livre Dans ce livre, vous trouverez des entraînements durs qui sont destinés à soutenir les modèles de mouvements fonctionnels normaux et à améliorer les performances de l'athlète-guerrier sans causer de blessures. Le timing des exercices est important. Vous remarquerez également des séances d'entraînement qui présentent des degrés de difficulté variables. Vous ne pouvez pas faire des entraînements durs tous les jours sans vous attendre à des blessures ou à une dégradation de la forme physique. Il devrait y avoir des saisons d'entraînement dur et des périodes d'entraînement plus douces. Un athlète ne peut pas maintenir continuellement des niveaux élevés de condition physique et ne pas
panne et / ou blessure.
Vous pouvez faire n'importe quoi, mais vous ne pouvez pas tout faire. Dans la vingtaine, j'essayais de maintenir des niveaux élevés de condition physique dans tous les domaines de la condition physique: puissance, endurance et vitesse. Je poursuivais un développé couché de 400 livres tout en essayant de faire une pause de trois heures dans un marathon, de maintenir la capacité d'effectuer 30 tractions et de nager depuis Alcatraz. Ce but de développé couché me tuait. Je suis arrivé à 395 livres, mais je n'ai pas pu obtenir ces cinq derniers livres. Pendant des mois, j'ai continué à poursuivre cet objectif en soulevant de lourdes charges, mais mon
l'épaule a commencé à se décomposer. Dans ma quête de tout, j'ai fini par compromettre tous les aspects de mes objectifs. J'ai réalisé un développé couché de 395 lb, un marathon de 3 heures et un temps peu impressionnant dans la natation d'Alcatraz à San Francisco. Mon rythme de fitness n'était pas viable. J'avais besoin de reculer et de récupérer afin d'éviter une panne corporelle et des blessures. Principes des séances d'entraînement des héros Ce livre présente des programmes de conditionnement physique dans le but de promouvoir la préparation au combat. Voici les principes sur lesquels ce livre a été écrit:
Les blessures surviennent lorsque la fatigue provoque une dégradation de la forme
Courir ou se soulever alors que vous êtes fatigué entraînera des blessures
Les ascenseurs techniques et explosifs sont effectués lorsque l'athlète est frais
Les exercices de base doivent résister au mouvement et non créer du mouvement
La forme physique maximale est éphémère et devrait être poursuivie en phases périodiques
La flexion du tronc est évitée La formation doit être transférée à une compétence du monde réel
Chaque individu a une capacité maximale de formation
Un surentraînement peut entraîner des blessures
10. Les redressements assis et les craquements sont mauvais pour le dos et doivent être évités 11. Les entraînements aquatiques doivent toujours avoir un sauveteur attentif et, si nécessaire, un plongeur de sécurité 12. Les jours de repos sont bons 13. Des machines d'haltérophilie et d'exercice qui isolent le mouvement, altérer les schémas fonctionnels et créer des blessures devraient être évités 14. Respiration sous-marine répétitive
la tenue d'exercices est dangereuse
Références McGill S, Frost D, Lam T, Finlay T, Darby K, Cannon J. La condition physique et la qualité des mouvements peuvent-elles prévenir les blessures au dos chez les policiers du groupe de travail d'élite? Une étude longitudinale de 5 ans. Ergonomie. 8 mai 2015: 1-8. McGill S, Frost D, Andersen J, Crosby I, Gardiner D. Qualité du mouvement et liens avec les mesures de la condition physique des pompiers. Travail. 2013; 45 (3): 357-66.
Chapitre deux: Qui sont ces gars?
Qui sont ces gars?
Élite et guerriers spéciaux Les États-Unis ont les troupes d'opérations spéciales les plus capables et les plus diversifiées au monde. Cela a été possible grâce aux efforts et aux dépenses considérables de l'armée américaine. Dans le monde de l'après-11 septembre, l'armée américaine s'est rendu compte qu'elle ne pouvait pas compter sur la puissance écrasante de ses forces militaires conventionnelles pour remporter de futurs conflits.
Pour cette raison, il a continué à développer un large éventail d'unités opérationnelles d'élite et spéciales qui sont hautement entraînées, bien équipées et spécialisées. Chacune de ces unités est compétente dans des tâches très spécifiques telles que la plongée de combat, la reconnaissance, l'action directe, le sauvetage anti-terroriste / en otage, les opérations de tireurs d'élite, les opérations aéroportées, les raids maritimes, la guerre expéditionnaire, le sauvetage des pilotes, le harcèlement et le sabotage ennemis, l'embarquement des navires, activités anti-pirate et autres spécialités spéciales de guerre. La culture occidentale est obsédée par la mystique des unités militaires secrètes et d'élite. Il semble que le personnage
de pratiquement tous les hommes de premier plan dans le cinéma et la fiction est un opérateur spécial en quelque sorte. Qu'il se bat contre Godzilla, des extraterrestres, des terroristes, un assassin voyou ou des trafiquants d'êtres humains, le principal protagoniste est souvent un ancien opérateur spécial.
Figure 1. Les plongeurs de reconnaissance du Corps des Marines Hollywood aiment donner à ces personnages surhumains
caractéristiques. Ils sont tous experts en arts martiaux, escalade en montagne, adresse au tir et survie en milieu sauvage. Ils parlent couramment plusieurs langues, sont capables de résister à la torture, de conduire des bateaux, de conduire des motos et de nager sous l'eau pendant deux minutes d'un seul souffle. Ces hommes sont durs, intransigeants et intimidants. Élites contre unités de guerre spéciales Toutes les unités d'élite ne sont pas des unités de guerre spéciales, et toutes les unités de guerre spéciales ne sont pas d'élite. Une unité peut être d'élite et ne pas être considérée comme une unité opérationnelle spéciale. Exemples de militaires d'élite qui ne sont pas en opération spéciale
les unités comprennent des plongeurs en haute mer de la Marine, des nageurs de sauvetage, des officiers du Corps des Marines et des sous-mariniers de la Marine. Ces unités ont une formation rigoureuse et hautement sélective, mais n'effectuent pas de missions de guerre spéciales. À l'inverse, certains membres des unités opérationnelles spéciales participent à des opérations spéciales et ne sont pas de l'élite: personnel de guerre psychologique, officiers du renseignement, opérateurs de bateaux et unités de soutien médical. Le Marine Corps a couvert ses paris concernant la guerre spéciale. Il a créé le Commandement des opérations spéciales marines (MARSOC) pour travailler sous le Commandement des opérations spéciales
(SOCOM) tout en gardant le contrôle de ses autres unités d'élite telles que Marine Recon. Les sociétés Marine Recon sont des unités hybrides qui ont des missions opérationnelles conventionnelles et spéciales. Les unités de reconnaissance maritime relèvent soit d'un commandant de force (reconnaissance de force), soit d'un commandant de division (reconnaissance de bataillon). Ces unités de reconnaissance ne font pas partie de la SOCOM, mais sont considérées comme «capables d'opérations spéciales».
Le Principe DIT Dans l'athlétisme et la culture de l'entraînement physique, il existe un principe appelé
le principe SAID. SAID signifie Adaptation Spécifique aux Demandes Imposées. Essentiellement, ce principe stipule que vous vous améliorez dans ce que vous pratiquez souvent. Si vous courez sur de longues distances, vous devenez meilleur pour courir sur de longues distances. Si vous soulevez des poids lourds, vous devenez meilleur pour soulever des poids lourds. Il peut y avoir une petite quantité d'avantages croisés d'une forme de formation à une autre, mais pour la plupart, vous devez faire ce que vous voulez devenir bon à faire. Si vous courez sur de longues distances, cela ne signifie pas que vous deviendrez meilleur pour courir des sprints ou nager de longues distances ou faire du vélo. Certainement
il peut y avoir un effet cardiovasculaire général entre la natation, la course à pied et le vélo, mais il est limité. Vous pouvez avoir une endurance ou une force incroyable, mais pas les deux. Une combinaison de force et d'endurance modérées est ce qui est nécessaire dans la plupart des unités de guerre spéciales. Une formation spéciale à la guerre élimine généralement les candidats sous-conditionnés ainsi que ceux qui ont été trop entraînés dans un aspect de la condition physique. Les candidats qui se préparaient à la sélection dans le cadre d'un programme de conditionnement physique basé principalement sur la levée de poids lourds avec l'intention d'ajouter du volume musculaire étaient généralement éliminés avec le maigre
les athlètes d'endurance qui n'avaient pas suffisamment de force dans le haut du corps. Ce qui reste généralement est un groupe d'athlètes bien équilibrés qui ont une force et une endurance élargies. Cela laisse des opérateurs polyvalents qui sont très adaptables aux divers besoins qui leur seront imposés sur le terrain. Les unités spéciales deviennent bonnes dans leur pratique. Les Rangers de l'Armée et les unités de reconnaissance marine effectuent beaucoup de patrouilles clandestines dans le désert, allant des jours avec peu de nourriture, d'eau ou de sommeil. Ils deviennent très bons dans cette mission. Les unités des forces spéciales de l’armée maîtrisent
enseigner et coordonner les troupes alliées dans une guerre spéciale, en utilisant des compétences linguistiques très développées pour communiquer dans les langues maternelles des alliés. Les Navy SEAL sont extrêmement compétents pour nager sous la boussole sous-marine sur de longues distances; ils sont les meilleurs de l'entreprise dans cette tâche. Des hommes-corps spéciaux de reconnaissance amphibie (SARC) sont formés pour apporter des soins avancés en traumatologie partout où une unité d'opérations spéciales peut se rendre, que ce soit par l'insertion de sous-marins, le parachutisme, le ski, les petits bateaux ou les patrouilles à pied. Les tireurs d'élite qui tirent tout le temps deviennent de meilleurs tireurs d'élite. Les unités spécifiques sont exceptionnelles par leur
mission spécifique. Si une unité essayait d'être bonne en tout, elle ne s'appellerait pas des forces spéciales, mais plutôt des «forces générales». Une unité ne peut pas exceller dans tout; il doit se spécialiser.
Forces conventionnelles et forces opérationnelles spéciales L'établissement militaire sait qu'il est nécessaire de maintenir des troupes de haute qualité dans des unités conventionnelles. Si toutes les troupes supérieures étaient placées dans des unités spéciales, il y aurait un système de castes au sein de l'armée. Cela classerait les troupes conventionnelles en soldats de seconde classe. Ce n'est pas bénéfique pour
moral ou efficacité au combat. Les troupes conventionnelles sont des experts dans la conduite de la guerre conventionnelle; les troupes opérationnelles spéciales sont des experts dans la conduite de guerres spéciales. Une équipe SEAL ne pouvait pas remplacer une compagnie de fusiliers d'infanterie dans une base de tir déployée vers l'avant, pas plus qu'une compagnie de fusiliers marins ne pouvait insérer dans un rivage hostile à l'aide de respirateurs et de minisubs. En outre, je doute qu'un fantassin conventionnel endurci au combat se considère comme moins capable qu'un Navy SEAL ou un béret vert dans un échange de tirs ou un combat de poing d'ailleurs. Les commandants d'unité conventionnels
n'aiment pas voir leurs meilleures troupes demander un transfert à un commandement d'entraînement opérationnel spécial, et ils essaient généralement de conserver ces troupes aussi longtemps que possible. Les commandants d'unité négocieront avec ces troupes, leur fournissant des postes de commandement, des promotions et d'autres incitations pour les convaincre de rester au sein de l'unité conventionnelle. Parfois, ces commandants saboteront même les efforts de remarquables troupes conventionnelles qui ont l'intention de partir pour une unité spéciale. Certaines troupes conventionnelles sont uniques dans leur capacité à motiver et à inspirer les autres membres de leur unité, et les forces conventionnelles sont
affaibli lorsque ces troupes partent pour les pâturages plus verts des opérations spéciales. Veuillez ne pas confondre les forces conventionnelles avec la faiblesse. Les forces conventionnelles de notre pays font la plupart des combats et des mourants, ainsi que la plupart des médailles de bravoure. La principale différence entre un soldat des opérations spéciales et un grognement d'infanterie pourrait être que le grognement manquait de vision des couleurs, avait une mauvaise vue, ne pouvait pas passer certains tests d'aptitude ou ne pouvait pas se vider les oreilles pendant la formation en plongée. Il y a plusieurs obstacles à devenir un opérateur spécial qui n'a rien à voir avec la ténacité.
En fait, certains des hommes les plus coriaces que j'ai jamais rencontrés étaient des fantassins. Il est certain que tous les récipiendaires de la médaille d'honneur que j'ai rencontrés appartenaient aux forces conventionnelles.
Quand Elite est-il trop Elite? Il y a des moments où le processus de sélection et de sélection des unités d'élite est trop sélectif. Les processus de criblage agressifs peuvent éliminer ceux qui pourraient être bien adaptés à des opérations spéciales. Le soldat le plus décoré de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Audie Murphy, a été rejeté par le Marine Corps pour être trop maigre.
Plus tard, il a été accepté par l'armée et a fini par devenir un tigre absolu au combat. Pendant l'accumulation de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, les Japonais ont créé un processus de sélection pour leurs pilotes, en particulier leurs pilotes de la Marine, qui était si sélectif et si difficile que très peu d'hommes pouvaient passer les normes extrêmement élevées. Des critères de sélection tels que pouvoir retenir son souffle sous l'eau pendant une minute et demie ou avoir la force de préhension pour s'accrocher à une barre de traction d'une seule main pendant dix minutes peuvent sembler très impressionnants, mais ces forces n'ont pas grand-chose à voir avec le vol d'un avion . Les Japonais avaient également besoin
vaste expérience de vol avant d'être jugé opérationnel. Le résultat a été un petit nombre de pilotes de chasse de haut niveau qui, une fois partis, ne pouvaient pas être remplacés. Leurs normes étaient trop élevées et leur programme de formation de deux ans ne pouvait pas résister au taux d'attrition élevé d'une guerre prolongée. Les Japonais ont également perdu leurs meilleurs pilotes en les gardant déployés en avant au combat plutôt qu'en les faisant revenir dans des postes d'enseignement. Dans leur tentative de maintenir un niveau de sélection extrêmement élevé, les Japonais se sont assurés qu'ils ne pouvaient pas former avec succès le nombre de pilotes dont ils auraient besoin pour gagner un
guerre d'usure prolongée. Il y a une qualité à la quantité. Chaque unité d'élite possède ses propres «protecteurs de badges» auto-désignés. Les protecteurs de badges sont des membres du cadre de sélection ou de formation qui se sont chargés d'éliminer tous ceux qui ne sont pas dignes d'être un opérateur spécial (insérer l'unité ici) en fonction de leurs propres critères personnels. Ils rendent la sélection plus difficile que prévu. Dans les jours précédant un processus de sélection normalisé pour la reconnaissance marine, chaque unité avait son propre processus de sélection pour entrer dans la reconnaissance
pipeline de formation. Certaines unités de reconnaissance avaient des critères de sélection extrêmement rigoureux, peut-être rigoureusement rigoureux, et d'autres non. When the Marine Corps standardized the process, it lowered the standards of the more select units to level the playing field of the selection process. As the special warfare community has matured, it has realized that its job is to attract, train, and retain qualified operators, not to punish and wash out the weak.
Bordering on Punishment Four decades ago there was less control and uniformity on the use of
physical training in military units. In the case of Marine Reconnaissance units, each unit could create their own screening and training program. Some units had sensible training and others bordered on being punitive. After one intense day of pool work I remember our “mask appreciation run.” This mask appreciation run was a run in which every one of the trainees filled their dive mask with water and ran five miles. I thought the mask run was bad enough. Trying to see through the blurry haze of the water, while avoiding inhaling water up my nose was difficult. But when the runner in front of me ran into a
fire hydrant with his genitals and then had to keep running or be dropped from Recon, I knew this was no joke. Another time during dive training a prospective Recon Marine passed out in the pool and stopped breathing. The instructors dove in, pulled him out and gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until he started breathing on his own. When he recovered consciousness, they had him sit on the side of the pool for a few minutes, then they put him back into the pool and continued with the training evolution. Being hardcore is one thing, but reviving trainees from the dead and putting them back at it,
is over the top. Being able to select the men with whom you would go to war can bring out a creative brutality in men. Our unit would literally put dozens of Marines through the six hours selection process known as “the test” to get one selectee who would then be eligible to attend training. Over months we would acquire enough men to then put through a hellish Amphibious Reconnaissance Class followed by the appropriately named RIP (Recon Indoctrination Program), jump school, dive school, Recondo School and for many Sniper School, Army Ranger School, FBI Anti-Terrorist
training, Pathfinder School, HALO, combat swimmer school, and other more secretive schools. The development of a standardized selection process was beneficial overall . While it lowered the standards for some units, it raised the standards for others.
Designing Hard Workouts is Easy Nothing is easier than designing a hard workout. Add more repetitions, add more weight, or perform the workout for time; wear a gas mask, put on body armor, run in boots,
increase the time and distance of underwater breath-holding…it takes little talent to make a butt-kicking workout. What is hard to create is a workout that is challenging, safe, and provides a positive training effect. Fortunately, today’s military employs a team of healthcare and fitness experts who design and implement safe, progressive fitness routines which provide training benefits to our elite and special operation forces.
Figure 2. Navy SEALs submerge in an Arctic river as part of their training. This is performed without protective
Figure 3. After being in near
freezing water for five minutes, Navy SEALs then must put together a warming shelter and begin rewarming before they succumb to hypothermia. Photo by Erika Manzano.
Figure 4. A Recon Marine dives down 15 feet while holding his breath to disassemble and reassemble a machine gun before swimming to the surface with it.
Figure 5. Verifying that the machine gun was put together properly after a breath-hold dissemble-reassemble drill. Marine Recon.
Figure 6. Special operational
forces undergo survival training and escape and evasion training. They are also taught how to survive interrogation and torture in simulated prisoner of war training. Photo by Alexandra Boutte.
Figure 7. Long range ocean swimming with weapons and rucksacks are part of Marine Recon training.
Figure 8. High-Altitude LowOpening parachute insertions are part of SOF training. Photo by Stephanie Richards.
Figure 9. Naval Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen (SARC) practice medical procedures on each other as part of their training. This Recon corpsman is starting an IV into the jugular vein of his fellow corpsman.
Figure 10. Army Ranger
training uses many techniques to develop physical courage, leadership, and tenacity in its students. Photo by Jim Downen.
Figure 11. Navy SEALS arrive en masse.
Figure 12. Marines and Navy Corpsmen of Marine Recon swim for long periods with their hands and feet bound.
Chapter Three: Special Operational Units
Special Operational Units Navy Recon Corpsmen (Special Amphibious Recon
Overview Navy Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen are US Navy Hospital Corpsmen that provide SOCOM units with trauma management relating to diving and parachute missions. Also known as Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen, or SARCs, they usually work directly with Marine
Corps Reconnaissance companies. SARCs provide medical treatment during special reconnaissance missions, and they are also used to augment medical assets throughout the different SOCOM organizations. They have been imbedded within SEAL teams, EOD units, and MARSOC units. Background All SARCs have specialized training in the field. Not only are they trained in advanced treatment of trauma, but they are also trained for amphibious entry, deep reconnaissance, and direct action. Usually Marine recon
platoons will use one amphibious recon corpsman per team with SARCs acting in different roles in the platoon. These roles may include shooter, radio operations, point man, or team leader. With a high demand for medical treatment and trauma care, SARCs are being deployed at a higher rate within the various special warfare units. Not only do SARCs complete an exhaustive pipeline of Navy and Marine Corps training, they also complete the entire Army Special Forces Medic course, making the SARC training pipeline possibly the longest in special operations. Mission
Traditionally SARCs work in hazardous environments along with other military personnel. The duty of any SARC is to perform diagnostic patient care including, but not limited to, anesthesia, clinical labs, radiology, and minor surgeries. These duties are often completed in hostile territory or even difficult environments such as the sky or sea. SARCs must be able to quickly recognize and treat illnesses such as decompression sickness associated with diving. Selection Process Hospital Corpsmen between the pay grades of E-1 and E-6 are eligible to
apply to become a SARC. Applicants must be male. Sailors training at the Hospital Corps School are also eligible to apply. The Special Operations Corpsman Program, or SOCP, is designed to prep SARC candidates for their jobs in the field. Candidates must have passed their prior three physical fitness tests and must have had an ASVAB general technical score of at least 100. Organizational Structure SARCs typically serve with one of the Marine Corps reconnaissance companies made up of Marine divisions and expeditionary forces.
They also may be imbedded within MARSOC units, Navy SEAL platoons, or other SOF units. History The history of the Recon Marines and the SARCs that work with them, dates back to World War II. In 1942 the Raider Battalion was established. In 1943, the unit was expanded and renamed the Amphibious Recon Company. The Recon Company was again used in the Korean War. Currently, force reconnaissance is carried out by the 1st and 2nd Reconnaissance Battalions. SARCs work with these teams to provide
medical assistance during missions when it is necessary. Fitness Needs Recon Corpsmen need to match the fitness needs of Marine Recon, MARSOC, and Navy SEAL units since these are the type of units to which they may be attached. Upper body strength is required for climbing out of the water with heavy gear on. Endurance is also required to complete long distance ruck marching, long distance running, and six miles swimming with battle regalia using fins. These corpsmen are also required to carry the additional
weight of their medical kits including IV bags. They should also be capable of carrying wounded comrades long distances over rugged terrain.
MARSOC (Marine Special Operations Command) is a subsection of the United States Special Operations Command. It has a number of different capabilities including special recon, foreign internal defense, counter-terrorism, information operations, and direct action. MARSOC trains marines in order to help them gain valuable skills for special operations. These Marines are then deployed around the world to support operations critical to United States policy. Background Unlike most Marine-based
organizations which are rooted in World War II, MARSOC was developed in 2005. The new organization was founded by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, USSOCOM commander General Bryan D. Brown, and Marine Corps Commandant General Michael Hagee. It became active in February of 2006. The organization represented the first time that Marine special operations units became detached from the MAGTF Marine Corps command structure and worked directly under the United States Special Operations Command or USSOCOM. Mission
MARSOC’s missions have been multifold since its creation. It participates in the training of new special operations Marines as well as completing direct action, special recon, and counter-terrorism tasks. MARSOC consists of a Marine Special Operations Regiment, a Marine Special Operations Support Group, a Marine Special Operations Intelligence Battalion, and a Marine Special Operations School. Selection Process In addition to traditional Marine Corps training, MARSOC runs its own individual school that trainees must
Achevée. The school, Marine Special Operations School, where Marines learn to become a special operator, teaches skills such as direct action, special recon, fire support, foreign internal defense, survival evasion, infantry weapons and tactics, and tactical casualty care. The school typically trains potential MARSOC operators for about 30 weeks before they are ready to begin work for the organization. Organizational Structure MARSOC is based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and consists of a Marine Special Operations
Regiment, a Marine Special Operations Support Group, a Marine Special Operations Intelligence Battalion, and a Marine Special Operations School. There are a total of 2,500 Marines and sailors under the command of MARSOC. History The Marine Special Operations Company was deployed to fight terrorism in December of 2013. The Company worked in conjunction with the Marine Expeditionary Unit to complete missions such as reconnaissance, direct action, and other special missions. MARSOC is one
of the newer Marine based organizations, officially established in 2005 and put into operation in 2006. Fitness Needs Like all Marine Units, MARSOC units do plenty of long distance running and pull-ups. They are also adept at long distance ruck marching and land navigation. Upper body strength training is also very important to MARSOC units with functional strength training being part of their routine fitness programs. The direct action component of MARSOC’s mission requires sprinting, movement and fire, breaching,
climbing, hand-to-hand combat, and lifting. MARSOC embraces the concept of cross-fitness.
Marine Reconnaissance (Recon)
Overview There are over 2,000 Recon Marines, and that number has increased along with the need for specially trained Marines ready to fight in the current tempo of special operations. Marine
Recon works under the Marine AirGround Task Force commander, providing essential intelligence to the organization. Marine Reconnaissance units primarily focus on operating behind enemy lines, gaining access to key information. Aircraft, submarines, and other water-based vessels are used in order to complete missions. Background Marine Recon’s primary mission is to collect sensitive information that can impact strategy during wartime. Tasks completed by Recon Marines include amphibious reconnaissance, surveillance, deep ground
reconnaissance, battle space shaping, and limited scale raids in support of other Marine forces. Recon Marines often work in conjunction with other Marine forces including the Marine Expeditionary Force. Recon Marines usually do their jobs so well that other Marine forces can quickly and easily complete their own missions with limited resistance. Mission Marine Reconnaissance units have the mission to provide the relevant command posts with sensitive information collected in the field. This often takes the form of amphibious
reconnaissance, deep ground reconnaissance, surveillance, battle space shaping, and limited scale raids. Oftentimes Recon Marines are tasked with finding specific information. They are known for their independence and reliability, working quickly to provide commanders with accurate information.
Selection Process Marines and Navy Corpsmen are evaluated as potential recon candidates early on, with a screening board determining whether a candidate is qualified. The screening
process involves a 48 hour test of physical endurance and swimming skills and takes place at either the MCB Camp Pendleton or MCB Camp Lejeune. The candidates must complete tasks such as rifle retrieval during swimming and combat water “aerobics.” Keep in mind that these men have already completed either Marine Corps basic training and infantry school or a three month special operations corpsmen preparatory school and a six week field medical service school for corpsmen. Organizational Structure
The Marine Recon’s organizational structure has purposely been confusing and secretive in the past, with companies reporting to different commands and changes made regularly to command structures. At times the Marine Reconnaissance structure has been one that is detached—with various commanders reporting to multiple commanders in Marine divisions, Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Command Elements, and the Marine Expeditionary Force. Currently there are three different Marine Recon units that are active. Additionally, two units are part of the active reserve portion of the Fleet
Marine Force. Author’s Note: The ever-changing organizational structure of Marine Recon from Force Recon, to Battalion Recon and to Regimental Recon is confusing, even to those who have worked in Marine Recon. This has been cited as an attempt to confuse the enemy, but in reality it confuses even those who have vested their lives to working within the recon community. The Marine Corps has trouble deciding what it wants from Recon and other special operational forces. Force Recon Companies do not exist
in the Marine Corps at the time of this writing. Force Recon Companies are units which report to Force Marine Corps commanders, are special operations capable, and are both parachute and dive qualified. There are currently “Force Recon Platoons” which are tested with deep recon patrols. All of their platoon members are parachute qualified. Their name, Force Recon Platoon, is a misnomer since it is not a Marine force asset. Battalion Recon units report to division or regimental commanders and often work more as conventional reconnaissance units. These units have combinations of dive and
parachute trained Marines, and are also special operations capable. History Marine Recon’s history has roots in World War II, as do many Marinebased organizations. Recon Marines officially began their mission in 1942, and their manpower was expanded to nearly 100 by 1943. The Amphibious Recon Company, as it was then called, was enlisted to work in the Pacific, participating in landings in places such as Tinian Island, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. The Recon team was again called upon in the Korean War and is currently being used around the world
in different military-based settings. Fitness Needs The Marine Corps is a running tribe, even more so in elite units. All Recon Marines should be very good runners. The Marine Corps is really big on pullups. Most Recon Marines are able to perform 20 or more pull-ups. Reconnaissance missions require long distance foot patrolling with heavy ruck sacks, long distance swimming for beach reconnaissance, ocean parachute operations, or insertion via submarine. Upper body strength is also required for mountaineering and hand-to-hand combat.
It should be noted that while upper body strength is required, Recon Marines are endurance athletes, not power lifters.
Army Special Forces
Overview The US Army Special Forces, better known as the Green Berets, is an elite
force that participates in a number of special operations missions. The central mission to the Green Berets include unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, direct action, foreign internal defense, and counterterrorism. The Green Berets also perform a multitude of other tasks such as search and rescue and counter-narcotics operations. Because the Green Berets regularly work with allied foreign troops, having foreign language and cultural skills is often necessary. Background The Green Berets often report to
USSOCOM or other geographic combat command posts when on the ground in a foreign country. Green Berets often perform secret missions, sometimes in conjunction with the CIA. The CIA’s Special Activities Division and its Special Operations Group often recruit new members from the Green Berets. Mission The mission of the Green Berets is to operate as a guerrilla force in a nation currently being occupied. Because of this, members need to be trained in unconventional warfare tactics. The Green Berets often train insurgency
forces in other nations. Due to the Green Berets’ work with foreign military forces, most learn a foreign language and cultural skills. Other missions carried out by Green Berets include counter narcotics and special reconnaissance. Selection Process Army Special Forces has the longest selection process of any of the special operational forces. Just to be allowed to enter Special Forces training, there is a highly competitive screening process. After completing Advanced Individualized Training and US Airborne School, soldiers become
eligible for Special Forces training. Special Forces Assessment and Selection process and Qualification Course lasts three hellish weeks. The few who pass selection must go through specialized training. After passing selection the soldier goes through years of rigorous training. Altogether, the process can last up to 2 1/2 years. Organizational Structure The Army Special Forces Command in Fort Bragg heads all Special Forces. The 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 19th, and 20th Special Forces Groups are under Fort Bragg command. Each group has
3-4 battalions, along with a group support battalion and a chemical recon detachment. History The US Special Forces have their origins in World War II. Special Forces have been used in special missions in foreign countries such as the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Colombia, Panama, and Afghanistan. The US Special Forces were officially formed in 1952 under the US Army Psychological Warfare Division. New recruits were then trained at the Psychological Warfare School, which is now known as the John F. Kennedy
Special Warfare Center and School. Fitness Needs U.S. Army Special Forces have a diverse mission. They have different teams which perform direct actions. A Special Forces dive team will need to have upper body strength for climbing onto ships, oil derricks, piers, and other structures while wearing heavy dive gear. They also need to be able to swim three miles to a target and three miles back while wearing fins. All Special Forces operators must be able to travel long distances on foot while carrying heavy rucksacks. Since they are often training foreign
indigenous allies in guerrilla warfare, Green Berets need to possess inspirational levels of fitness and strength. Special Forces troops need upper body strength for hand-to-hand combat training and combat. There is a mysterious group in the Special Forces community that falls outside of the official command structure. I will simply call them the goon squad. I don’t know exactly what they do, but they are extraordinarily big, muscular, strong, and mean looking. Their workouts are probably geared more toward power than endurance.
Overview The US Army Rangers work in small
groups carrying out special operations for the US Army. US Army Rangers operate in a number of different roles, including air assaults, direct action, raids, airfield seizure, recovery of equipment and personnel, and the support of general purpose forces. US Army Rangers are well known for providing support to other military forces during missions. This role as a backup force is something that the US Army Rangers have done throughout their history, dating back as far as the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Background
Today’s US Army Rangers consist of the 75th Ranger Regiment which is a light infantry combat formation under the command of the USASOC. There are currently six battalions of Rangers, and they have served in modern wars such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Korea. Mission Army Rangers’ mission is to engage in direct action and close combat with the enemy. Close combat missions are often quite hazardous, with Rangers completing direct fire battles, raids, the recovery of special equipment and personnel, and more. The motto of
the Army Rangers is “Rangers Lead the Way,” and Rangers often deploy to their destination with only 18 hours’ notice. Today’s Army Rangers conduct special operations and missions in support of other US military arms. Selection Process After a solider has completed Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training, and Airborne School, he may choose to start the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP). Since 2010, RASP has been the selection and training process for new Army Ranger candidates. Training in RASP is extremely difficult and
designed to test individuals both mentally and physically. The program is eight weeks long, with the first half of training seeing almost one-third of candidates drop out. Organizational Structure The US Army Rangers consist of the 1st Ranger Battalion, 2nd Ranger Battalion, 3rd Ranger Battalion, and the Regimental Special Troops Battalion. The first three battalions have about 600 men each and operate out of a battalion headquarters with a fire support team, medical team, communications team, reconnaissance platoon, and
ranger rifle companies. History The history of the US Army Rangers stretches back to the Revolutionary War when Major Roberts Rogers developed the group to focus on stealth and orderliness. Rogers created 28 “Rules of Ranging” of which 19 are still currently used by the US Army Rangers. The US Army Rangers also participated in battles with the British during the War of 1812. More modern US Army Ranger Battalions began fighting during World War II and have fought in most major American military conflicts since.
Fitness Needs Army Rangers are known for enduring hardships in the field. This includes fast tempo long foot patrols carrying heavy rucksacks with little or no food and limited water. Rangers need to have endurance in ruck marching and running, and for those in a dive team, swimming.
Army Delta Force Overview The Army Delta Force is officially known as the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta. The organization has gone through several name changes in its existence. It operates under Joint Special Operations Command of the US Army, although it receives administrative support from the Army Special Operations Command. The Delta Force is the US military’s primary
counter-terrorism force, along with the Navy’s Naval Special Warfare Development Group. The Delta Force works with the CIA on a regular basis to complete dangerous anti-terror missions. The CIA also recruits new members from the Delta Force. Background The Delta Force is extremely flexible and can engage in a number of different tactical missions such as hostage rescues and direct action. However, the primary objective of most Delta Force missions is to stop terrorist activity and damage terrorist groups around the world. The Delta
Force is known for working in dangerous countries and in hazardous conditions. Mission The mission of the Delta Force is to work at the behest of US policy and interests around the world in order to stop terrorist activity. Delta Force missions have taken soldiers to places such as the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. Often the group works on secret missions that are highly important to national security. Selection Process The Army Delta Force traditionally
recruits members from different organizations within the Army, such as the Army Rangers and various Special Forces Groups. In order to be considered for the Army Delta Force, a candidate must be male, in the Army, have at least 2.5 years of service left, and be within the E4-E8 rank. Candidates must go through an Operator Training Course which is six months long. Candidates will learn skills such as marksmanship, demolitions, and executive protection. Organizational Structure Most of the information about the
Delta Force’s organization is secret and highly protected. The Delta Force is comprised of three squadrons, the A, B, and C Squadron. Each has between 75 and 85 operators. These are broken into small groups of 3 troops, 1 sniper/recon troop and two direct action troops. Delta Force operates under the Joint Special Operations Command.
History The Delta Force was established after terrorism entered the US public consciousness with a number of attacks in the 1970s. The goal was to
create a military unit that focused fulltime on anti-terrorism. Delta Force was first thrust into action with Operation Eagle Claw—the mission to reclaim American hostages during the Iran hostage crisis. After the hostage crisis ended unresolved, the US military decided to add more counterterrorism organizations for further support. This led to the creation of SEAL Team Six and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Fitness Needs Ironically, to enter Delta Force requires a selection process that is incongruent with its primary mission.
Along with many other screening processes, candidates for Delta Force must undergo a several day selection process known as “the Long Walk,” in the SOF community. The Long Walk consists of progressively longer ruck marches carrying heavy loads. So the world’s most elite direct action unit uses a screening process based on an extreme test of endurance through long relatively slow marches. Their direct action mission does not require extreme endurance, but rather quick explosive actions on the objective such as jumping from a helicopter, breaching walls and doors, climbing, sprinting into action,
shooting, and hand-to-hand fighting. To get into Delta Force requires extreme mental toughness and lower body endurance.
Air Force Pararescue
Overview The members of the United States Air
Force Pararescue are specialists with a number of different nicknames. These Pararescuemen are sometimes called Pararescue Jumpers or PJs for short. PJs operate under the United States Air Force Special Operations Command as well as Air Combat Command. These operatives work to recover personnel and provide medical treatment both in combat and humanitarian missions. PJs are extremely versatile and have been used in a number of different environments, including water while rescuing NASA’s astronauts after a water landing. Contexte
PJs are trained by the US Air Force and primarily work under the Air Force umbrella. However, PJ teams can be deployed with other branches of the military in order to complete missions as necessary. Although the perception is that most PJs work on land and air, Pararescuemen are also trained to scuba dive, rock climb, and transverse snowy landscapes. PJs are specially trained to deal with a number of different hostile environments and in a variety of disciplines, including health, intelligence, special operations, and emergency response. Mission
The mission of the US Air Force Pararescue is to provide emergency response, recovery, intelligence, and medical treatment to special operations on an as-needed basis. They are primarily used in a combat search-and-rescue roles. Selection Process US Air Force Pararescuemen must pass stringent requirements. All members are male and must meet high physical standards on a variety of tests. After acceptance into the PJ Candidate Course, a candidate must finish a difficult training regiment, beginning with an eight week Team Training
Phase. Then a 22 week phase follows in the Special Operations Combat Medic Course, and finally, a 20 week phase in the Pararescue Recovery Specialist Course is completed before beginning work as a Pararescueman. Organizational Structure Pararescuemen operate out of Air Combat Command Units. Each unit is comprised of a Wing which is based out of a particular geographic area. The 18th Wing is based out of the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The 106th Rescue Wing is based out of the Francis S. Gabreski Airport in New York. Each Wing has a
subordinate Rescue Group with further subordinate Rescue Squadrons. History As with many other military organizations, US Air Force Pararescuemen have roots in World War II. The military determined there was a specific need for a highly trained rescue force. Since then, rescue teams have been used in almost every subsequent US military conflict such as Vietnam, Korea, and the Gulf War. Fitness Needs
Pararesuemen need to be able carry heavy rucksacks for long periods, be excellent swimmers, and have upper body strength sufficient for carrying wounded troops for long distances.
Air Force Special Operations Command Combat Controllers
Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) Combat Controllers are trained for two functions: to operate on a special operational basis and as certified FAA air traffic controllers. AFSOC Combat Controllers have the difficult mission of establishing air safety protocols in a military environment. They must deploy into hazardous environments and then
establish assault zones for US troops, along with providing the kind of air support services needed for aircraft in the field. These services include traffic control, fire support, special recon, and humanitarian assistance. Contexte
AFSOC Combat Controllers are trained in a number of different tactics and operational skills. They must
remain qualified in the latest developments in air traffic control. Coordinating attacks in hostile environments is no easy task, and it often requires skills associated with other military organizations. Combat Controllers must be skilled at gathering and working with intelligence about enemy positions and tendencies while conducting operations for the Air Force.
AFSOC Combat Controllers are primarily coordinators. Their mission is to coordinate aerial based operations in order to make them safer for US troops. Coordination operations can take on many forms and might manifest as conducting air traffic control, fire support, counterterrorism, foreign internal defense, special recon,
humanitarian assistance, command and control, and even direct action. Selection Process
In order to become a member of the AFSOC Combat Controllers, a trainee must complete a 35 week program. The training consists of a Combat Control Orientation Course, a Combat Control Operator Course, training days at the US Army Airborne
School, US Air Force Basic Survival School, and the Combat Control School. Advanced training on tactics is taught at the Special Tactics Advanced Skills Training program in Florida, with additional advanced training taught at the US Army Military Freefall Parachutist School and at the US Air Force Combat Divers School. Organizational Structure
After completion of AFSOC Training, graduates are assigned to a Special Tactics Squadron under the command of the Air Force Special Operations Command. Active Duty units include the 24th Special Operations Wing which houses four Special Tactics Groups. Each of these groups has at least one Special Tactics Squadron under its
Combat Controllers’ history began in World War II when the US military determined there was a need for a specialized team who could organize airborne operations to make them safer, faster, and more efficient. At the time they were called “Pathfinders” and worked as advance teams, placing
beacons and other equipment to help US planes find their way in hazardous environments. In the Korean War, these teams became modernized, using more electronic equipment and moving to full placement under the Air Force umbrella. Combat Controllers have had a presence in current conflicts such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. Navy SEALs
Overview SEAL stands for Sea, Air, Land Teams. Navy SEALs are specially trained to be able to operate in a variety of
different environments, including the maritime environments for which the Navy is known. The Navy SEALs form half of the Naval Special Warfare community, while the Naval Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman form the other half. Both groups are headed by the Naval Special Warfare Command. The Naval Special Warfare Command operates as the naval portion of the US Special Operations Command. Background SEALs are known to complete difficult tactical missions protecting US interests around the globe. Navy
SEALs work with other Department of Defense assets, foreign military and civilians, and the CIA. Navy SEALs are also known to assist allied special forces in missions, working with groups such as the British Special Air Service. Mission Navy SEALs are highly trained for a variety of different areas of combat. Navy SEAL missions include antiterrorism operations, direct action, unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, information warfare, counter-drug operations, personnel recovery, and other tactical missions.
What separates Navy SEALs from other military forces is that in most situations the SEALs attack from the sea and then return to the sea. SEAL teams usually operate in secret, using small forces that are difficult to detect. Selection Process Each potential Navy SEAL goes through a rigorous training process. This process usually takes about a year, culminating in the trainee being awarded Special Warfare Operator Naval Rating, Navy Enlisted Classification, or the designation of Naval Special Warfare Officer. le
training is composed of a multitude of different courses including Basic Underwater Demolition school, a SEAL Qualification Training program, and a course in parachuting. After completing the SEAL Qualification Training, new SEALs undergo an additional 18 month period of specialized training before their first six month deployment. Organizational Structure Navy SEALs comprise only a small percentage of all Navy personnel. Half of Navy SEAL personnel are based out of Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California, while the other half is
based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) heads the Navy SEALs, SWCC, and SDV personnel. Its subordinate commands are NSW Groups 1-4, with eight Navy SEAL teams. Each SEAL team is assigned a different geographic responsibility. History The inception of the NAVY SEALs began in World War II with the transformation of Naval Combat Demolition Units into Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT). The responsibilities of UDTs expanded during the Korean War. After the Bay
of Pigs incident, President Kennedy recognized the need for fast-acting special operational forces ready to work under conditions of unconventional warfare. Subsequently, he authorized National Security Action Memorandum 57 which led to each branch of the military creating a counter-insurgency force, with Navy UDT personnel creating the first Sea-Air-Land or SEAL teams. In January of 1962, the first SEAL teams were commissioned. Fitness Needs Navy SEALs are first and foremost frogmen. They need to be able to
swim long distances and then climb out of the water onto ships, oil rigs, or piers wearing heavy dive gear, carrying weapons and demolitions and be able to fight. After that, they must be able to swim back. Every SEAL operator is tested periodically on the ability to perform a swimmer attack against a ship carrying magnetic mines. Each is expected to swim six miles while under full load. Although SEALs are renowned for their ability to compass swim underwater for hours, they also need upper body strength for climbing and hand-to-hand combat.
References This chapter was composed of excerpts from the companion book Elite Units of the U.S. Military: A photographic primer to special warfare and elite units of the U.S. military.
To purchase this or any of our other books got to our book store at
Chapter Four: The Dangers of Extreme Exertion
The Dangers of Extreme Exertion Rhabdomyolysis Extreme physical exertion can result in severe illness, permanent impairment, organ failure, and death. Exceptional metabolic injuries can occur in the young and old, as well as in very fit individuals. While there are many potential causes of exertional injury (heart failure, stress fractures, heat stroke, acute dehydration,
kidney failure, compartment syndrome, and stroke), this chapter will focus on a condition known as rhabdomyolysis or ”rhabdo” as it is often referred to for short. Rhabdomyolysis is a condition characterized by muscle breakdown which releases the intercellular components of muscle cells into the blood stream (where they do not belong). One of those components, myoglobin, is particularly damaging to the kidneys and will result in dark urine. The kidneys are designed to filter small substances from the blood stream. However, the contents of these damaged muscle cells are
relatively large and will clog the kidneys which can result in devastating illness and death. Liver damage has also been cited as a result of overexertion. Sudden increases in physical exercise can result in the muscle breakdown that causes rhabdomyolysis. While swimming, running, calisthenics, football, soccer, and virtually any kind of fitness endeavor can cause rhabdomyolysis, high intensity workouts that combine weights, gymnastics, running, and calisthenics in timed events are particularly risky. Athletes who may be fit and high
performers in conventional fitness programs might find that their particular type of fitness does not translate to the type of fitness that is found in special operational workouts or in cross-fitness centers. Being a good swimmer, runner, and weightlifter can give athletes a false sense of security and tempt them to jump into an exercise program for which they are not prepared. No one, no matter how fit they believe themselves to be, should radically change their workout program. Gradual changes over time will allow the body to adapt to new stresses. Maintaining adequate hydration and
resting sufficiently between workouts are also protective measures that will help prevent rhabdomyolysis. Being fit has its own risk factors. Someone who is competitive and fit may be inclined to jump into a new workout program with vigor. To adapt to the demands of a new program or training methodology (like performing workouts for time or as many repetitions as possible) may take several weeks or months depending on your level of fitness. The danger with those who are fit, proud, and competitive is that they will ignore warnings and over-train. Additionally, those who have a history
of high levels of fitness, but have let their fitness wane, may attempt to jump back into a fitness program at the same level of exertion as they had once attained.
The Signs and Symptoms of Rhabdomyolysis 1.
Muscle pain (which may be severe)
2. Dark urine 3.
10. Weakness 11. Loss of consciousness 12. Kidney failure and the inability to urinate
Steps to Prevent Rhabdomyolysis 1.
Get medical approval before beginning any exercise program. Be honest with your physician when explaining the type of program you intend to pursue.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
Gradually add high intensity
components to your workouts over weeks and months. 4.
Rest between high intensity workouts. Mingle light workouts and days of total rest between days with rigorous workouts.
Do not perform high intensity workouts if you are taking statins, antipsychotics, or other drugs that have been linked to causing rhabdomyolysis.
Receive professional coaching from a certified health and fitness expert.
Take Action if Someone has Signs of Rhabdomyolysis Anyone showing signs of rhabdomyolysis needs to hydrate and get to an emergency room as soon as possible.
Other Causes of Rhabdomyolysis 1. 2. 3. 4.
The use and abuse of drugs and alcohol Crush injuries to muscles Excessive or prolonged muscle compression Seizures
Infections (both viral and bacterial)
Hyperthermia (high body temperature)
Exertion injuries are real and dangerous. Sensible and gradual introduction of progressively higher levels of fitness are protective, but there are some people who should never perform high intensity exercise. Obtaining a physical examination and medical approval from a physician is mandatory before beginning any
exercise program or substantially changing your exercise program.
Figure 1. This image depicts the color of urine. Every
athlete should be educated on observing the color of their own urine and be able to detect dehydration and a possible medical emergency. Note: Those taking statin drugs (medications intended to control high levels of cholesterol in the blood) are at a much higher risk for developing rhabdomyolysis.
Stress Fractures Bones become stronger when loads
are placed upon them, but the increase in load must be gradual and implemented over time. A sudden increase in load, be it from increased running, marching, loading by compressive weight, or other physical stresses can lead to stress fractures and bony edema (swelling and inflammation) within the marrow of the bone. To reach elite levels of fitness is a process that is years in the making. Training (running and marching) mileage should be increased gradually over months and years. Cardiovascular fitness, exertional stamina, and muscular strength can
increase relatively quickly while bone, joints, tendons, and ligaments are slower to strengthen and adapt to an increase in training loads.
Tendonitis Tendons, like bones, respond best to a gradual increase in training load. Sudden increases in workload can cause inflammation and pain in the tendons.
Vertebral Endplate Fractures The bones of your spine are susceptible to injury much like stress fractures. The endplates of the vertebra may develop microfractures
and result in bony edema within the vertebra. These end plate fractures may not be visible on X-rays.
Figure 2. Microfractures of the vertebral endplates can occur as a consequence of a
sudden increase in repetitive compressive forces upon the spine, a fall, or a sudden or excessive loading of the spine with weights.
Figure 3. Endplate fractures and the resulting bony edema can lead to a deep bony ache which may persist for months
after an injury.
Figure 4. Excessive sudden
loads on the spine, like an inappropriately executed box squat, can cause an overt injury to the vertebral endplate which can be painful and undetected on X-ray. Dehydration Dehydration occurs when the body lacks sufficient fluid to complete normal physiologic functions. Dehydration results from consuming insufficient water to replace the fluids excreted. Dehydration can occur with
extreme or prolonged exertion especially when performed in a warm environment. Athletes should drink plenty of water, particularly when exercising in hot weather.
Heat Stroke Heat stroke is an extreme heat injury which can lead to brain injury and death. It occurs when the body’s core temperature is elevated. A clinical diagnosis of heat stroke is made when the core temperature (rectal thermometer) measures at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat stroke occurs when exercising in hot weather. One of the warning signs of
heat stroke is the lack of sweating. The likelihood of having heat stroke is elevated in persons who are dehydrated. The symptoms of heat stroke include: 1.
Hot, dry, red skin
Nausea and vomiting
Rapid shallow breathing
Heat stroke is a medical emergency which requires medical treatment and cooling of the core temperature.
Conclusion While moderate exercise has been shown to have significant health benefits, extreme exercise has the potential to cause bodily harm. Athletes should gradually advance the tempo, duration, and intensity of exercise as they advance toward their performance goals. Overexertion injuries are real, and every athlete should be mindful of potential harm.
Chapter Five: Limitations of Matter
Limitations of Matter One of the problems I have with group cross-fitness classes is the onesize-fits-all mentality which permeates many of these franchised cross-fitness gyms. Not everyone can perform a deep squat or an Olympic snatch. In elite military units those who are prone to injury are weeded out. By the time a candidate completes the selection process and training to be a Green Beret, SEAL, Ranger, Recon Marine, SARC (Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman), Pararescue airman, Marine Raider, or
other elite unit, they have been vetted. They are not fragile. However, once trained and vetted, we do not want to risk injuring these valuable assets. The time to make SOF troops is before you need them. In World War II the United States went to war, trained a military, and built the most massive Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force the world had ever seen. This all took place in a four year period. This was quite an amazing accomplishment from our greatest generation. Could we accomplish that feat at this point in time? Probablement pas.
Today the high tech ships, submarines, and aircraft take years to build. Likewise, SOF troops take years to train and even longer to mature into seasoned and capable operators. Since we go to war with the military we currently have, and cannot readily replace what we have, in regard to SOF troops, it is important that we do not injure these troops with fitness or training routines.
Olympic Lifting Successful Olympic weight lifters have unique body types. Not everyone has the genetics to be a successful and
safe Olympic weight lifter. The combination of hip joint, thoracic spine, foot/ankle, and shoulder mobility must be coupled with shoulder stability and power. Those with shallower hip sockets will have a greater range of hip motion and are genetically better suited for performing Olympic lifts and squatting motions. Those with deep, more stable hip joints are no less capable athletes, but they probably won’t be great Olympic lifters or proficient at performing deep squats. Proper technique is imperative while performing these lifts, and proper
technique requires coaching. While not everyone has the genetics to perform the clean and jerk to high levels of performance, most SOF athletes should be able to perform this exercise even if they must modify their technique.
Figure 1. Olympic weight lifting has great value in enhancing athleticism, but not everyone can safely perform
Olympic lifts. Squatting Squatting motions are a key component of most of the workouts in this book, but not everyone can or should perform deep squats. Limited range of motion of the hips, knees, and ankles will adversely affect the ability to squat. Some lost motion can be restored through stretching, chiropractic, and physical therapy. However, some restrictions of joint motion are anatomical (versus functional) and cannot be improved.
Deep hip sockets, old hip, knee, or ankle injuries, or surgeries can impede joint motion. In regard to ankle motion, I have found that troops who wear stiff boots for most of their day tend to have a functional loss of dorsiflexion (flexion of the foot upward). This can be treated through stretching and chiropractic manipulation of the foot. Those who are unable to squat deeply without their lower back curling into a flexed position may have limited hip motion. Some people are not able to squat down so their thighs are parallel with the ground. In effect, attempting to go into a deep squat
would place them at greater risk for injury.
Figure 2. Squatting motions are fundamental to most functional fitness programs.
Figure 3. Properly executed weighted squats add a
valuable component to most strength programs.
Figure 4. A properly executed
squat should include (1) an arch in the lower back, (2) head up, and (3) heels on the ground and the shins near to perpendicular to the ground. Thoracic Spine Motion Thoracic spine (the portion of the spine with ribs attached to it) motion is required for all end range shoulder motions. End range shoulder motions include overhead pressing, clean and jerk, pull-ups, hand stands, and other overhead lifts. If the thoracic spine
lacks significant motion, there is a much greater likelihood of having shoulder impairment. Shoulder injuries are particularly prevalent when performing exercises like kipping pull-ups and the overhead snatch. Loss of thoracic motion or a hunched upper back (increased kyphosis) can be treated through manipulation or in some cases by rolling the thoracic spine over a foam roller or gymball.
Thoracic Joint Manipulation Thoracic joint manipulation might be the simplest answer to reducing pain
in an impinged shoulder. In a 2009 study by Strunce and colleagues, a thoracic spinal manipulative thrust was performed on a sample of 56 individuals with symptomatic shoulders from impingement. After two days, there was a significant decrease in pain levels in over 50 percent of individuals. The cross-fitness emphasis on pull-ups and overhead lifting may produce a glut of shoulder injuries from otherwise dormant thoracic and shoulder impairments. By recognizing the functional relationship between the thoracic spine and the shoulder joints, we can help athletes remain
active and pain-free as they engage in their preferred activities.
Figure 5. A normal flexible spine will allow normal shoulder motion during overhead activities (left). Reduced spinal motion will impede normal shoulder motion (center). Forcing the shoulder overhead, even though impeded by increased kyphosis (hunched upper back) or loss of spinal motion, will result in shoulder
Figure 6. Those lacking sufficient thoracic spine motion will have impeded shoulder function. In addition to chiropractic manipulations to the thoracic spine, the use of a foam roller can enhance thoracic spine mobility which in turn will improve shoulder motion and function. This schematic shows the effect of a foam roller in mobilizing the thoracic spine and opening the
chest wall. Adapt Exercises to Overcome Impairment While permanently impairing deep hip flexion, anatomical variants such as deep hip sockets may actually be beneficial to protecting the hip from injury. In any case, exercises should be adapted to individuals. If someone has an anatomical barrier to performing a deep squat, then a shallow squat is preferred. If an athlete is unable to perform an exercise without pain, that exercise
should not be implemented. There is no one-size-fits-all exercise program. Specific adaptations should be made for specific individuals.
Exercises That are Difficult to Perform Safely
Figure 6. The tire flip is an exercise that virtually no one can perform safely. To get down low enough to get your
hands under the tire, most athletes flex their lower back into a dangerous posture. By repeating this deep flexion under load, there is an increased likelihood of lower back disc injury. While some people cannot perform certain exercises correctly, there are other exercises that virtually no one can do properly. The tire flip is one of those exercises. To get down low enough to lift the tire, most athletes
need to flex their lower back into the deleterious position of spinal flexion. Repeated flexion under load is a major cause of lumbar (lower back) disc injuries. To add insult to injury, this exercise is usually performed as a timed event with the participant racing to complete the task quickly. In searching the internet for images of tire flipping, I could not find one photo of a properly performed lift of this exercise.
Figure 7. To perform the tire flip safely would require the athlete to maintain an arch in the lower back while bending deeply with the hips. This type of proper lifting requires conscious discipline and
concentration throughout the exercise. Unfortunately when racing or performing this exercise for time, proper technique almost always suffers. I have excluded tire flips, Olympic snatches, and kipping pull-ups from the routines in this book. I have also excluded timed strength events. I know of one very fit disciplined Special Forces NCO who permanently injured his back performing heavy
deadlifts as part of a timed event. Power and strength need to be judiciously coupled into cardiovascular programs of fitness. If you need additional convincing of the dangers of ill contrived exercise programs, I invite you to search YouTube for these terms: “Snatch fails,” “So you want to try crossfit?” or “Crossfit fails.” The next few images reveal the need for upper body strength to pull armed men with heavy gear from the water onto ships (possibly while moving at speed) or into helicopters. The strength gained by performing
controlled pull-ups is much more transferable to the real world than kipping pull-ups.
Figure 8. Climbing a rope ladder from the ocean after an operation.
Figure 9. Ship boarding.
Figure 10. Ship boarding from a high speed assault craft.
Squat Assessment References Myer, Gregory D., Kushner, Adam M., Brent, Jensen L., Schoenfeld, Brad J.,et al. The back squat: a proposed assessment of functional deficits and technical factors that limit performance. Strength & Conditioning Journal. December 2014 – Volume 36 Issue 6 – p 4–27 Thoracic-Shoulder References Borstad JD, Ludewig PM. The effect of long versus short pectoralis minor resting length on scapular kinematics in healthy individuals. Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy,
2005;4:227-238. Codman EA. The Shoulder; Rupture of the Supraspinatus Tendon and Other Lesions in or About the Subacromial Bursa. Thomas Todd, Boston, 1934. Crawford HJ, Jull GA. The influence of thoracic posture and movement on range of arm elevation. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 1993;9:143-148. Crosbie J, Kilbreath SL, Hollmann L, York S. Scapulohumeral rhythm and associated spinal motion. Clinical Biomechanics, 2008;23:184-192. DeFranca GG, Levine LJ. The T4 syndrome. Journal of Manipulative
and Physiological Therapeutics, 1995;1:34-37. Greenfield B, et al. Posture in patients with shoulder overuse injuries and healthy individuals. Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy, 1995;5:287-295. Kibler BW. The role of the scapula in athletic shoulder function. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 1998;26:325-337. McClure PW, Michener LA, Sennett BJ, Karduna AR. Direct 3-dimensional measurement of scapular kinematics during dynamic movements in vivo. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow
Surgery, 2001;10:269-277. Stewart S, Jull GA, Ng, JKF, Willems JM. An initial analysis of thoracic spine movement during unilateral arm elevation. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 1995;3:15-20. Strunce J, et al. The immediate effects of thoracic spine and rib manipulation on subjects with primary complaints of shoulder pain. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 2009;17:230236. Theodoridis D, Ruston S. The effect of shoulder movements on thoracic spine 3D motion. Clinical Biomechanics, 2002;17:418-421.
Chapter Six: Abdominal Bracing
Abdominal Bracing In an attempt to maximize the impact of spinal stabilization exercises, researchers have been studying various core activation strategies. Research has lit upon one particular mechanism for activating the core muscles with the effects of protecting the spine from injury and enhancing athletic performance. This mechanism is called bracing. Bracing of the core involves an isometric stiffening of the abdominal core muscles.
Figure 1. Bracing of the core involves an isometric stiffening of all the muscles of the core.
Figure 2. Bracing does not isolate muscles of the core, but rather engages all of the
muscles in a global stiffening and bracing of the abdominal muscles.
Figure 3. To replicate the bracing concept, stiffen your abdominal muscles as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Bracing in anticipation of receiving a punch is equivalent to bracing or stiffening. What is Abdominal Bracing? Abdominal bracing is tensing of all the abdominal musculature: all the layers of the abdominal muscles are tensed
as if preparing to be punched in the abdomen. This creates a crisscrossing mesh of stabilizing vectors steadying the spine in all directions. This is what spinal researcher, Dr. Stuart McGill, refers to as superstiffness. Abdominal stiffness allows us to transfer power, inhibit excessive spinal motion, and protect the spine from injury. It also has the added stabilizing effect of increasing the intra-abdominal pressure which in turn further enhances the stability of the spine.
Figure 4. During extreme exertion such as heavy lifting or pushing, we instinctively
stiffen the core in preparation for the exertion. It is Intuitive When you prepare for a heavy lift or to push a vehicle, what do you instinctively do in preparation for the effort? You instinctively brace your abdominal muscles.
Figure 5. When performing complex athletic movement patterns such as the clean and jerk, there is a concert of
muscle activation, muscle inhibition, and spinal stiffening which must occur in a coordinated sequence. Practicing these types of motion patterns should reinforce reflexive stiffening and core bracing without conscious thought. Athletic Performance Training When performing an athletic lift like the deadlift, the Olympic clean and
jerk, or the squat, there is an instantaneous stiffening and bracing at precisely the right time during the lift which occurs without conscious thought. Coaches and trainers should encourage athletes to use proper form and engage in abdominal bracing. In athletics the timing of abdominal bracing is important. An athlete should be trained to maximize the natural, momentary reflexive stiffening of the core during an athletic motion. If an athlete tried to constantly stiffen and brace the core, it would impede athletic performance. Imagine the functional
impairment of a golfer trying to swing a golf club while maintaining a constant stiffening of the core. It would impair the resulting swing. The golfer should have a relaxed core until momentary reflexive stiffening maximizes power and protection. When training pain-free athletes, the goal is to enhance performance and prevent injury. We want to enhance the reflexive stiffness of their core. This can be accomplished through several functional exercises and by having athletes practice their form during actual athletic activity. Functional athletic weight lifting
exercises such as the clean and jerk, kettlebell swings, medicine ball throwing and catching, battle ropes, sled pulling and pushing, and some pulley exercises can have a training effect which enhances athleticism and injury protection. These exercises are described in chapter eleven: The Exercises.
Conclusion Abdominal or core bracing increases spinal stiffness and activates the protective muscles of the core. When training to enhance athletic performance, utilize a program which
equips the athlete to subconsciously react to perturbation and power projection with momentary core muscular stiffening and bracing followed by immediate slackening and relaxation.
References 1. Hodges PW, Richardson CA. Inefficient muscular stabilization of the lumbar spine associated with low back pain: a motor control evaluation of transverse abdominis. Spine 21(1996): 2640-2650. 2. Hodges PW, Richardson CA. Altered trunk muscle recruitment in people with low back pain with upper limb movement at different speeds. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 80(1999): 1005-1012. 3. Vera-Garcia J, Elvira J, Brown S, McGill S. Effects of abdominal
stabilization maneuvers on the control of spine motion and stability against sudden trunk perturbations. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 17(2007): 556-567. 4. Cholewicki J, Juluru K, McGill, S.M. Intra-abdominal pressure mechanism for stabilizing the lumbar spine. J Biomech 32(1999): 13-17. 5. Cholewicki J, Juluru K, Radebold A, Panjabi MM, McGill S.M. Lumbar spine stability can be augmented with an abdominal and/or increased intraabdominal pressure. Eur Spine J 8(1999): 388-395. 6. Cresswell, AG, Thorstensson A.
Changes in intra-abdominal pressure, trunk muscle activation, and force during isokinetic lifting and lowering. Eur J Appl Physiol 68(1994): 315-321. 7. Grenier SG, McGill SM. Quantification of lumbar stability by using two different abdominal activation strategies. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 88(2007): 54-62.
Chapter Seven: The Problem with Situps
The Problem with Sit-ups (and other exercises) Most of what we have believed about how to train the abdominal muscles is wrong. We used to believe that abdominal muscles were designed to flex the trunk and that sit-ups
prevented lower back pain. While the rectus abdominis muscles (the muscles which comprise the six pack appearance of defined abdominal muscles) can flex the spine slightly, the network of abdominal muscles is better equipped to resist excessive spinal motion and to transfer power.
Figure 1. The network of abdominal and core muscles provide a wide variety of vectors which allow for stabilization of the spine and transfer of power from the lower extremities through the torso to the upper extremities.
The spine is not a hinge joint like the knee or elbow. It is a flexible column. Yet for at least the past century, mainstream physical culture has targeted the muscles which stabilize the spine with exercises that flex and extend it as if the spine was a hinge joint. Excessive flexion and extension
of the spine, especially when under load, can cause disc damage resulting in herniation, bulging, and/or degenerative changes.
The muscles which support the spine are best trained using exercises that develop reactionary functional spinal stiffness. They are not designed for great changes in length like the biceps or triceps muscles. Instead, they are more like springs which provide a marginally flexible absorption of external forces and allow for transfer of power from the hips to the upper extremities. Can you think of anytime
in athletics, work, or normal activities in which you would need to replicate the motion or function that is trained while performing a crunch or sit-up? Probablement pas.
Figure 2. In natural movement patterns the abdominal muscles do not repeatedly flex. They stiffen to provide a fixed platform for transferring power from the legs through the torso to the arms. This is the function of the abdominal core. These muscles should be trained to maximize that function. Between each of the vertebrae (spinal
bones) is a cartilaginous disc. The disc has a gel center which remains in the center of the disc while in the neutral position with a mild lordosis (arch). Excessive or repeated spinal flexion, as occurs when performing sit-ups, causes a disruption within the disc. Over time this disruption progressively worsens. Eventually the disc migrates back and a disc bulge, herniation, or other derangement occurs. Also, since repeated flexion of the torso does not replicate or translate benefit to normal patterns of functional movement, it may be enforcing dysfunction. Sit-ups and crunches should never be
used to treat lower back pain. They actually re-create the mechanism of injury for most back pain sufferers through repeated and prolonged flexion.
Figure 3. Between the vertebrae are cartilaginous discs. The disc has a gel center which remains in the center of the disc while in the neutral position with a mild lordosis (arch). Excessive or repeated spinal flexion, as occurs when performing sit-ups, causes a disruption within the disc. In time, this can lead to a disc bulge, herniation, or other
Figure 4. Sit-ups and crunches repeatedly flex the spine and have a high potential for
lumbar disc injury.
Figure 5. Incorporating a
twist into a sit-up or crunch combines two deleterious motions with minimal if any training benefit.
Figure 6. In the early stages of training, simple stiffening exercises are preferred. These are superior to exercises that produce excessive spinal flexion, extension, or twisting. See chapter six for additional information on preferred exercises for strengthening the core.
Figure 7. Curling the spine forward to stretch the hamstrings can overstretch the spinal ligaments and facilitate or create disc injuries. This common exercise is injurious and should be avoided.
Chapter Eight: Rest and Recovery
Rest, Recovery, and Life Balance Lack of physical training is not the limiting factor in enhancing athletic performance. Recovery is the limiting factor. It does not matter how hard you train if you do not maximize your physical recovery through intelligent optimization of rest periods. More is not always better. Sometimes more is just more. Lack of adequate recovery leads to injury, dysfunction, and illness. As you look over the workouts found
in this book, you will note that some workouts are more rigorous than others, and some are not very hard at all. This is intentional; you should not perform to maximal exhaustion every day. There should be hard days, easy days, and rest days. Additionally, certain body parts are prone to injury when exercises are paired incorrectly. For example you would not want to mix overhead presses, pull-ups, and swimming freestyle and butterfly sprints in one workout or even on consecutive days. This combination would increase the likelihood of shoulder injury.
Ideally there should be one rest day for every three days of working out. The rest day could be a day with some diaphragmatic breathing exercises and biofeedback training (using an automated vital signs machine to learn to maximize oxygen uptake, slow pulse and respiration rates, and lower your blood pressure). Biofeedback and diaphragmatic breathing will help in athletics, diving, and shooting.
Figure 1. Sample chart depicting workout days and
rest days. Example 4 shows the workout schedule on a five day work week. Sleep Anyone who has ever been in an SOF unit has learned to function without sleep. Most operators believe they can function at top form with less sleep than the general population and that they do not need more than four or five hours of sleep per night. This is not true. Regardless of training, everyone performs better with eight or more hours of sleep per night.
There is no task that is not hindered by lack of sleep or improved by getting more sleep. Do not believe the lie that some people need only four to five hours of sleep per night. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can reduce cognitive function as much as drunkenness. Cortisol and Leptin Cortisol is a stress hormone which is released when we have too little sleep, too much stress, or too much exertion. In fact the body begins to produce cortisol after 40 minutes of continual exercise. Excessive cortisol production is responsible for the
wasting of muscles and the distribution of fat in the belly. Leptin is the substance which signals satiety (tells us when we are full). Leptin production is reduced when you lack adequate (seven or more hours) sleep. There are several high quality studies which have linked obesity to lack of sleep. Life Balance Recovery is more than sleep or rest between sets or events, or even days off. Recovery involves the restoration which takes place when there is absolute balance in your life, when you have true respite as well as
spiritual and mental rest. We need days off and sometimes weeks off. We need time to rekindle relationships and family ties. There needs to be balance and purpose in a warrior’s lifestyle. Love, friendship, and fellowship are part of the recovery process from training and operations.
Figure 2. Continually adjust your workouts, rest, and priorities in the pursuit of the elusive concept of optimal performance.
Chapter Nine: Shallow Water Blackout and Drowning
Shallow Water Blackout and Drowning Drowning from shallow water blackout occurs with little warning, even in trained breath-hold divers. Every year divers from around the world die in breath-holding accidents. Shallow water blackout is caused by a lack of oxygen during a breath-hold dive, usually occurring in less than three meters of water. The diver may
pass out unexpectedly and drown if not immediately rescued. Shallow water blackout and drowning can happen to anyone regardless of fitness level and diving experience. It can and has happened to Navy divers, Marine Recon divers, competitive swimmers, champion spear fishermen, and essentially anyone who free dives. Breath-hold diving is dangerous. Whenever anyone trains for breathhold diving, there should be a designated safety diver and a vigilant observer who are not performing breath-holding. Repeated breath-
holding without allowing for full recovery between breath-holds creates an accumulating and increasing oxygen deficit and an excess of carbon dioxide (CO2). This dangerous combination accounts for the greater mortality rate in breathhold divers. In most drowning cases the victim can survive 6-8 minutes without oxygen, but if someone has already depleted their oxygen reserve through repeated breath-hold dives, brain damage will occur much sooner. Brain damage and death can occur in 2½ minutes. Mechanism of Drowning
Hyperventilation prior to diving artificially lowers the level of CO2 in the lungs and blood. Normally an increase in C02 compels us to breathe. Hyperventilation dampens the natural urge to breath.
As a dive progresses, oxygen is depleted. If the diver does not surface to breathe in time, he will lose consciousness.
Drowning occurs when the unconscious diver attempts to inhale and aspirates water. Without immediate rescue, the diver will die.
Safety Tips for Breath-Holding 1.
Never swim alone. Have a designated observer watch breathholding. Do not rely on a lifeguard.
The designated observer should not participate in breath-holding, should have a phone, and be trained in CPR.
Do not play breath-holding games.
Allow for complete recovery between breath-holds.
Figure 1. Navy frogmen
operating a mini-submarine.
Figure 2. Here I am on the deck of a submerged submarine, USS Barbel (SS580), during a submarine insertion. This photo was taken moments before I had a near fatal diving accident. This near-drowning event left me without air for several minutes while tangled on a moving submarine. Conclusion
Military combat swimmers are fit and trained, but in every breath-hold training evolution they are supported by medical personnel, safety swimmers or divers, and lifeguards. The underwater breath-hold workouts in this book are intended to be used only by military divers with appropriate support. For all others, this is intended to be used for entertainment purposes only.
Chapter Ten: Staying Fit While on Deployment
Staying Fit While on Deployment One of the quandaries found in the military is the problem of staying fit while deployed. For the naval forces this may be while transporting on a ship or submarine for protracted periods of time. For all services, being forward deployed can limit a unit’s ability to stay fit. This is especially true for conventional forces or special operational forces deployed to a fire base down range.
Figure 1. The author’s Marine Recon team in the well deck of a ship preparing for a physical training session while transiting from the Philippines to Korea, (circa 1970s).
Figure 2. Pull-up and bar dip workout after a day of shooting at Naval Special Warfare training facility in Niland, California. In this photo are two Recon Corpsman (left) who were embedded in a SEAL platoon, a Navy SEAL, and an Army Ranger Jump Master (circa 1980s).
Figure 3. A Marine Corps combat swimmer entering the escape trunk of a submarine after transporting to a target. Space on submarines is limited, and SOF units transporting on them need to be innovative in developing programs of exercise. In this case we transported as cargo on this submarine, sleeping on kapoks (life vests) on top of torpedoes in a very crowded
Figure 4. When operating “down range,” the mission at hand is more important than workouts. However, the principle of Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (the SAID principle) will ensure that the physical needs of the mission are sustained. Nothing prepares you for long patrols in the jungle more than actually performing long patrols in the
jungle. Shipboard Fitness Most ships have weight rooms, treadmills, and some space to exercise. While area on a ship is limited, with a little imagination it is quite possible to stay fit while at sea. Even though there is weight equipment on a ship, the exercise facilities are overcrowded. It is helpful and advantageous for units to bring some of their own equipment to enhance their workouts. On larger ships, such as carriers or
troop transports, you can expect to have enough deck space to run. It may take thirty or forty laps to get a workout, but at least you can stretch your legs. The most common way to stay in shape while shipboard is to utilize bodyweight exercises.
Submarines The limiting factors on submarines are space and sound. You will not be performing unit physical training sessions on a submarine. The submarine service is called the “Silent Service” for a reason. Submarines need to be quiet to avoid detection
by enemy sonar. The submarine’s skipper does not want weights clanging around on his boat even if you had room for weights. If you are being deployed on a submarine and intend to bring exercise equipment, you should clear it with the ship’s company. If you are bringing kettlebells or other iron-based equipment make sure you also bring a rubberized matt (wet suits also work as a rubberized mat). Having a suspension exercise system like the TRX is beneficial for any dive team being transported for any length of time on a submarine.
Figure 5. Bodyweight exercises will comprise most of the physical training program on a submarine.
Figure 6. There is no shortage of pipes and rails on ships; so bar dips, climbing, and pull-ups
can be a mainstay for upper body strength.
Figure 7. Exercises like man makers can work virtually the entire body, including the
cardiovascular system, using minimum equipment and space. Team Houses Team houses are relatively safe berthing sites where operational teams live between operations. These are usually in a secure compound, but close to operational areas. Team houses allow a place for SOF units to rest and prepare for future operations. It is not uncommon for a team house to be fully equipped with functional weightlifting equipment.
Virtually every workout in this book, aside from swimming workouts, can be performed in a well-equipped team house. Regardless of the circumstances of deployment, a motivated and innovative SOF unit should be able to pursue optimal operational fitness.
Chapter Eleven: The Exercises
The Exercises While many of the exercises in this book are self-evident and do not need explanation, there are some that for clarity’s sake will be described here. We all know what a push-up is, but not everyone will know the term “man maker.” The next few pages will discuss key points in lifting techniques and injury prevention. Following that are the descriptions of the various exercises found in the workouts in section two of this book.
Hip Hinge For years coaches and back pain specialists have told people to lift with their knees, not their back. We now know that the hip, not the knees, should be the main joint emphasized when bending or lifting. The hip hinge is the most important motion pattern for any weight lifting athlete to master. Applying the hip hinge to all aspects of your life and exercise will prevent injury and will enhance athletic performance. The hip hinge is essentially a motion pattern which occurs at the hip while the spine remains in a relative static
position (no flexion or extension occurs in the spine). All squatting motions and deadlifts should be variations of the hip hinge. In a hip hinge motion, the spine remains in a neutrally aligned posture with a natural lordosis (arch) in the lower back and neck. The hips travel backward as the body descends. The shins should remain somewhat upright throughout the motions. Practice and training will produce “grooves” of motion which will enforce proper lifting and motion patterns in athletic movements and activities of daily living. One way to
practice proper hip hinging is to place a dowel or PVC pipe along the spine. This pole should touch the head, the upper back, and sacrum (the base of your spine/pelvis). Additionally, it should not touch the lower back or neck which will have recessed arches. From a standing position, bend at the hips as the hips and pelvis descend and move backwards. The pole should not change in relative position to the spine. If the lower back touches the pole at any time, you have a faulty motion pattern, and you are flexing the spine. All lifters should master the hip hinge before progressing to the squat, deadlift,
kettlebell swings, or the clean and jerk.
The hip hinge can be learned and perfected with the use of a rod of PVC piping or a wooden dowel. The rod will ensure, through proprioceptive feedback, that the spine does not move into potentially deleterious flexion (right). During the hip hinge, the hips should move backward while the shins remain vertical. At the same time the spine will
remain in a neutral position.
Another effective biofeedback tool for enforcing the hip hinge is elastic therapeutic tape. Apply the tape while the lumbar spine (lower back) is in lordosis (arched). If the spine flexes, it will feel a gentle tug as a reminder to maintain neutral lordosis.
The Importance of the Arched back
The importance of proper body mechanics in lifts like the clean and jerk and the deadlift cannot be
overstated. Most back injuries occur when the spine is flexed (left). A flexed spine, like the image on the left, allows the material inside the intervertebral disc to migrate back toward the spinal nerves. The arched spine is somewhat protective from injury. The image on the right shows that the lumbar arch is maintained and the squatting motion is taking place through the hinging motion of the hips. This is the preferred way to bend and lift.
Stiffening the Core
To protect the spine from injury during exercises like the vehicle push, sled push, bear crawl, and many other exercises, it is important to learn to stiffen or brace the abdominal core in anticipation for exertion (Chapter Six). This can be accomplished through an isometric tensing of the abdominal muscles. Bracing in anticipation to a punch in the gut is very similar to what we are trying to accomplish with the abdominal core stiffening maneuver. The stiffening should not be at 100% contraction. In most exercises you should be able to gain the protective benefits of stiffening with 10-15% of
maximum contraction. This would be true for exercises like box jumps, kettlebell swings, push-ups, pull-ups, and bends and thrusts. For more challenging exertions, such as a heavy deadlift, the clean and jerk, sled push, or vehicle push, you will need to stiffen the core more. While contracting the abdominal core, try to continue diaphragmatic breathing (see the section on the diaphragm later in this chapter). This may take conscious thought initially, but will become automatic in time.
The Air Squat
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. Squat down with your butt traveling backwards. Try to keep your shins perpendicular to the ground. You may use your arms as cantilevers to help balance. Go down as low as you can comfortably descend without flexing your spine or having your heels come off of the ground. Key points to Effective Squatting: 1.
With the toes pointing slightly outward, “grip” the ground with your feet, and corkscrew them in external rotation (outward). Non
movement of the foot will occur, just tension into external rotation. This ensures gluteal activation. 2.
Try to keep the shins perpendicular to the ground when squatting.
Squat with your hips, not your back.
Your heels and toes should maintain continual contact with the ground.
Lay a barbell across the upper back. Stand your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. Squat down with your buttocks traveling backwards as though you were sitting. Try to keep your shins perpendicular to the ground. Go down as low as you can comfortably descend without losing the arch in your lower back or having your heels come off of the ground.
The goblet squat is so named because
the participant holds the weight, a kettlebell or dumbbell, as if it were a goblet. Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. Squat down with your buttocks traveling backwards. Try to keep your shins perpendicular to the ground. Go down as low as you can comfortably descend without flexing your lower back or having your heels come off of the ground. Key points to Effective Squatting: 1.
With the toes pointing slightly outward “grip” the ground with your feet, and corkscrew them in
external rotation (outward). No movement of the foot will occur, just tension into external rotation. This ensures gluteal activation. 2.
Try to keep the shins perpendicular to the ground when squatting.
Squat with your hips, not your back.
Your heels and toes should maintain continual contact with the ground.
Kettlebell swings are a great athletic lift which helps to develop explosive power and cardiovascular fitness. This exercise combines an explosive popping of the hips from a quarter squat position with the forward projection of the kettlebell. Onehanded kettlebell swings is an alternate way to perform this exercise. Get it Right 1.
Begin with the knees flexed, but not in a deep squat. The feet are a little wider than shoulder width apart with the toes pointed slightly outward.
While maintaining a healthy arch in your lower back, pop your hips upward and forward while squeezing your gluteal muscles. This will initiate the kettlebell into a swing. This is not a shoulder raising exercise. The momentum of the hip pop should project the kettlebell forward and upward to shoulder level. You should not feel your shoulder muscles working.
Allow the weight of the kettlebell to swing back between your legs. It may tap you lightly on the buttocks.
This exercise is performed with continuous motion. Keep the kettlebell swinging throughout the exercise.
The Farmer’s Walk
The farmer’s walk (sometimes called the briefcase walk when done one
handed) is a simple exercise. Essentially just grab a weight and walk. The weight can be a kettlebell, dumbbell, rucksack, sandbag, ammo can, SCUBA bottle or other weighted object. This is a good exercise for strengthening the muscles needed for carrying rubber boats, ammo cans, water, machine guns, sea bags and many other items. It is a full body exercise which engages muscles in a functional pattern of motion. It trains the trapezius muscles, the core, the gluteal muscles, the back, and the forearms. One key point is to keep your pelvis level while performing this exercise.
The farmer’s walk can be done onehanded or two-handed.
The one-legged deadlift is a valuable exercise that will engage a broad range of muscles while especially working the gluteus maximus and core. Grab a dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell, ammo can, or other weighted device while balancing on one leg that is slightly bent. Stiffen your abdominal core and lock in a nice arch in your lower back. Pivot through the hip to perform a raising and lowering movement. Travel all the way to the ground and then rise back to upright. Perform sets with each hand while balancing on one leg and then the other. Try to keep the pelvis level and
straight during the entire exercise. Do not twist or hike up your pelvis. Variations of this exercise include performing it with a weight in each hand or gripping the weight with both hands.
Kettlebell Clean and Jerk
The kettlebell clean and jerk is a full body exercise which builds athleticism and power. Get it Right: 1.
Keep your lower back arched throughout the entire motion. Straddle a kettlebell with your feet shoulder width apart.
Using your lower extremities to drive this exercise, pull the weight from the ground quickly. As the weight travels up, drop down, and allow the weight to swing onto your forearm.
Squat down a little. Then using
the force of your entire body (not just your shoulders and arms), in a jumping motion thrust the weight overhead. 4.
Finally, lower the weight to the ground as you squat down.
The Kettlebell Snatch
The kettlebell snatch is a similar compound exercise in which the kettlebell is pulled overhead in one quick athletic motion. To perform the kettlebell snatch, pull the kettlebell from the ground with a fast, athletic, almost jumping motion. As the kettlebell travels up to chest level flip the kettlebell over your forearm and punch it into the air. Lower it the ground.
Keeping a natural arch in your lower back, lift a weighted medicine or sand ball overhead, and forcibly slam the ball to the ground. Squat down and lift the ball back up and repeat. Avoid flexing or twisting the spine during this exercise.
The push-up is a cornerstone of upper body strength training. While it may seem simple, most people have a difficult time performing this exercise correctly. When done properly, the
push-up engages the core, the gluteal muscles, the chest, shoulders, and arms. Get it Right: 1.
Position your hands under your chest with the hands turned slightly out. Once weight bearing maintain an external (outward from center) corkscrewing tension on the hands.
Stiffen and brace your core and gluteal muscles throughout the exercise. Do not allow your pelvis to sag.
Keep your head and neck in alignment with the rest of your body.
Descend with your elbows close to your torso and with your forearms remaining perpendicular, or close to perpendicular, to the ground.
Common Mistakes with the Push-up: 1.
The elbows are too far away from the body.
The elbows travel back and the forearms are not perpendicular with the ground.
A lack of core stiffness results
in sagging of the belly or pelvis. 4.
A lack of outward hand tension is maintained with the ground.
While maintaining a stiff abdominal core get into the bear crawl position with the buttocks elevated. Use a cross-crawl motion (left arm and right leg move unison, right arm and left leg move in unison) to crawl forward. Other variations of this exercise include crawling backwards and forwards and crawling sideways.
Starting in the lean-and-rest (pushup position), bring one foot off the floor and raise that knee to your chest with the foot touching the ground. Alternate from leg to leg in a rhythmic bouncing fashion.
Bends and Thrusts (Burpees) Bends and thrusts (burpee)
Bends and thrusts are a mainstay in the military. The basic bends and thrust exercise begins in the standing position. From the standing position, squat down and place your hands on the ground, thrust your legs straight back so that you are now in the pushup position. Then, with a bouncing motion, pull your knees up to your chest so that you are again in a squatting position with your hands on the ground. Now jump up putting your hands overhead. There are several variations to this exercise, including the one illustrated here, which includes a push-up in the middle and a jump with the arms up
in the air at the conclusion. Still another variation includes two pushups in the middle, and no jumping. It is called the Eight-Count Body Builder.
Bends and thrusts with one or two push-ups in the middle.
Man makers are a variation of the bends and thrust theme. This exercise begins in the standing position with a dumbbell in each hand hanging by your waist.
Hexagonal dumbbells work best for this exercise. Descend to a squatting position with the dumbbells on the ground, then thrust your legs back so that you are holding the dumbbells while in the lean and rest (pushup position). Perform a pushup while grasping the dumbbells. While stiffening your core, perform a onearmed row with each hand. Then return to the squat position and perform a clean and jerk with the dumbbells. That concludes one repetition of this exercise. This is a difficult exercise to master. Using a lighter weight while learning this exercise will help to ensure that
your technique does not suffer. Master the technique before adding additional weight.
I have included tire flipping in this section, not because I endorse it, but so that anyone attempting this exercise knows the proper technique. This is a very difficult exercise to do
properly due to the extremely low squat that must take place. To correctly perform this exercise you will need to hip hinge (keep your lower back arched and pivot from your hips) low enough to grab the lip of the tire, and then stand up, stride forward, flip the tire over, and repeat. Warning: This exercise becomes more difficult to do correctly the faster you attempt to perform it.
Most people flex their spines into a deleterious posture when performing tire flips.
Deadlifts Deadlifts can be performed several different ways, but my favorite method involves using a shrug bar (pictured). Deadlifts can also be performed with barbells, kettlebells, and dumbbells.
To perform a deadlift, stand inside the shrug bar with your legs a little wider than shoulder width apart, and squat down as if you were going to sit down and grasp the bar. Try to keep your shins perpendicular to the ground throughout the lift. Stand up while pulling the bar up and maintaining an arch in the lower back. The gluteal muscles provide the main power in this lift, but you will certainly engage your back muscles as well. If you are unable to perform this lift comfortably, or if your lower back bends forward when you squat down
deeply, then you may want to put blocks under the weights (on both sides) to eliminate the need to descend as low.
The Barbell Clean and Jerk
The clean and jerk is a technical lift which is best performed with one or
two repetitions at a time. Since this lift requires speed, timing, and power, it should not be done with high repetitions or when fatigued. Below is a brief description about how to perform this exercise, but I recommend that you pursue live coaching on the details of this lift. Get it Right: 1.
Stand over the barbell with your feet under the bar. Grasp the bar, palms down. Maintain a head up posture with your lower back arched throughout the lift.
Pull the bar up using the power of hip extension. When the bar
reaches your knees, raise your shoulders up to continue the pull. As the bar reaches mid-thigh, jump up while straightening your body. 3.
Continue to pull the bar up, then quickly lower your body to get under the bar, catching it. You have now completed the clean.
Dip down slightly, then with a quick and explosive motion, propel the barbell up.
Drop your body down into a split stance and catch the bar.
Stand up with the bar overhead.
Lower the bar to the ground, or
use a controlled drop.
The bar dip is performed on a set of parallel bars. Begin by mounting the parallel bars and extending your arms until they are straight, but not locked. Descend in a controlled manner until your shoulder is below the elbow. Ascend to the starting point, and repeat. Try to keep your forearms perpendicular to the bars throughout the entire exercise.
Pull-ups are performed with the palms of the hands facing away from the participant, while chin-ups have the palms facing the participant. Get it Right: 1.
Start by grabbing the bar with your palms facing away from you. Grip the bar just a bit beyond shoulder width. The exact grip width should be determined by maximal comfort. Pick the most comfortable position. Begin in the dead hang position with both arms fully extended.
Begin the pull-up by bracing your core and retracting (pulling down
and back) your shoulders. 3.
Continue the pull-up by pulling your elbow down, this particularly engages the latissimus dorsi.
Continue pulling up until the chin fully clears the bar. Aim to pull the chest to the bar, not just clear the bar with your chin. Pause at the top.
Lower to the dead hang position in a controlled manner.
Chin-ups are differentiated from pullups by the position of the hands. Chin-ups are performed with the palms of the hands facing the participant, while pull-ups have the palms of the hands facing away. Get it Right: 1.
Start by grabbing the bar with your arms relatively close to the body (in comparison to pull-ups) with your palms facing you. The exact grip width should be determined by maximum comfort. Pick the most comfortable position for you. Begin in the dead hang position with both arms fully
Start the chin-up by bracing your core and retracting (pulling down and back) your shoulders.
Continue the chin-up by pulling up with your latissimus dorsi (muscles of your upper back) and arm muscles.
Continue pulling up until the chin fully clears the bar. Aim to pull the chest to the bar, not to just clear the bar with your chin. Pause at the top.
Lower to the dead hang position in a controlled manner. Repeat.
Rope climbing is a very transferable skill, especially for the seaborne services. Marines, SEALs, and SOF dive teams need upper body strength to climb up and down ships, boats, piers, and oil platforms. There are several ways to climb ropes, however, the most effective way is to use both your hands and your legs to climb. Technique: Grab the rope with both hands and pull yourself up. Pull your legs up, and have your dominant leg (usually the right leg for right-handed people) wrap around the rope so that the rope wraps around the calf and over the dominant foot. The nondominant foot steps on the rope to
anchor the rope. Then straighten your legs. Reach high overhead on the rope with your hands (always keeping at least one hand on the rope). Then grab the rope and pull your legs up. Repeat. Essentially use your legs to drive you up the rope. An alternative method to using your arms and legs to climb is hands-only climbing. Hands-only climbing is a good way to isolate and train the upper body. Note: Wearing trousers will protect you from rope burns.
When Rope Climbing is Not Available: Rope Pull-ups
When you do not have access to rope climbing facilities, you can get a similar training effect by placing a rope over a pull-up bar or other strong, fixed anchor. Grasp the rope and perform pull-ups with it.
When Rope Climbing is Not Available: Towel Pull-Ups
Another training alternative when there is no rope climbing facility is the use of “towel pull-ups.” Place two towels over the bar and grasp them as illustrated. Performing pull-ups in this manner is more difficult than performing traditional pull-ups.
Using wide diameter ropes or old fire hoses for this maneuver can provide a
very rigorous workout. The rope should be anchored to a fixed point prior to starting this exercise. Beginning by sinking down into a partial squat, stiffening your abdominal core, and grasping the ends of the rope. Then alternate your arms in a whipping motion to create the appearance of a wave in the rope. Try to use your entire body to make the waves. Another way to create waves which uses even more of the body is to make coordinated waves. This is done by keeping the hands together, raising and lowering the arms simultaneously.
Box jumps target fast-twitch muscles and are great for building speed and power. Get it Right: 1.
Launch from about two feet from the box.
Start in a crouched position with your arms back.
When you jump, thrust your arms forward and up.
Land softly on the box. Jump off or step off of the box, trying to land just as softly as when
you jumped up. 6.
Only do box jumps when you are fresh .
Sled Pushes and Pulls
Sled pushes and sled rope pulls are two of my favorite exercises. They are absolute butt-kickers. I really believe that these exercises use just about every muscle in your body, but they are really good for your core, as well as cardiovascular fitness. Sled pushes are performed with the lumbar spine arched and the abdominal core contracted and stiffened. The major drivers are the gluteal muscles while the shoulder and abdominal muscles are locked into a stiffened column. Tie a 75 foot fitness rope to the sled, and load it
with weight. Using proper form, push the sled until the rope is totally straightened out. Then run to the end of the rope to begin the sled rope pull. Sled rope pulls are also performed with the back in a protective arched position while stiffening the abdominal core. Pull the sled back to the starting point using a hand-overhand method.
Vehicle pushing requires one person
to be in the vehicle to steer and use the brakes when needed. The person pushing needs to avoid flexing the spine. To push, stay low, stiffen the abdominal core, and push with the muscles of your legs, mainly the gluteal muscles. Most vehicles will require at least two people to push it. As with all these exercises, do not perform them unless you have a clearance from your physician.
Underwater Kettlebell Run
All breath-holding drills should only
be performed by active duty military diving personnel. There should always be a lifeguard, Corpsman, and safety diver present whenever there are underwater breath-holding drills taking place. To perform the underwater kettlebell run, select a heavy kettlebell. Heavier weights actually make this exercise easier. Fifty to eighty pounds should work well. You may use a kettlebell, a diver’s weight belt, an ammo can filled with brass, or anything of sufficient weight to hold a person on the bottom. Place the weighted object gently on
the bottom of a deep pool or training tank. Dropping weights into a pool may crack the plaster. The “runner” swims down to the weight, lifts it up, and then begins to run or walk across the pool to the other side. Set it down gently when finished. Note: Water shoes or dive booties are good idea to prevent chafing of the feet.
Lunges Lunges are a foundational exercise that can be done anywhere. To perform a basic lunge, begin in an upright standing position with your hips and shoulders level and aligned. Slightly stiffen your core. Lunge (step) forward with one leg and descend until both knees are bent to 90 degrees. Ensure that your front knee does not travel forward and that your front shin is perpendicular to the ground. The rear knee should not touch the ground. Rise up to the standing position and repeat with the
Single Arm Lunge Walk
Overhead lunge walks are performed by jerking a weight overhead, then lunge walking with the weight. Having a long bar (barbell) particularly engages the muscles of the core and shoulders. This exercise may be performed with sandbags, ammo cans, dumbbells, or kettlebells. In a pinch you can also use a rucksack.
Sandbag Lunge Walk
Sandbag lunge walks can be performed with a sandbag or sea bag on one shoulder, across both shoulders, or held overhead with both hands. Step forward into a deep lunge position, then rise up and step forward into another deep lunge with the rear leg. Try to keep your shoulders and hips level throughout the exercise.
Curl Ups Curl ups work the abdominal muscles while protecting the lumbar discs. The key to this exercise is the isolation of the abdominal muscles while avoiding spinal flexion. Lie on your back with your arm or a folded towel under your lower back. Bend one knee, while keeping the other straight. Begin by stiffening the core and then curl the upper back off the floor a few inches while maintaining the neutral spinal curve of the lower back. Avoid jutting the neck or head
forward while performing this exercise. Hold contractions for up to 8 seconds. Build muscular endurance by gradually increasing the number of repetitions. Alternate which leg is bent at the midpoint of repetitions.
To perform a plank, begin by supporting yourself on the balls of
your feet and your elbows. Concentrate on stiffening the back and abdominal muscles while maintaining a rigid posture. Strive to keep your body in alignment. Do not allow your midsection or head to sag or rise.
To form a side bridge with your body, use your elbow to support your upper body and your feet to support your lower body. Stiffen your stomach and back muscles, and strive to keep your spine straight. Build muscular endurance by gradually increasing the number of repetitions. This exercise should be performed on both sides.
Combining Core Stabilizers
Combining side bridges and planking can add intensity to your core stabilization program. Start in a side bridge, and hold for eight seconds. Then transition to a plank for eight seconds. End with a side bridge on the opposite side for eight seconds. Repeat. Stiffen your core so that your ribs, pelvis, and trunk move as one unit. Do not allow your torso to sag, twist, or bend.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Step forward into a lunge, and then spring up quickly, jumping into
the air. While in the air, quickly shift the legs so the front leg shifts to the back and the back leg shifts to the front. Immediately descend into a lunge, and then repeat this sequence. Key points to split jumping: 7.
Keep your pelvis level to the ground and avoid twisting the pelvis in the frontal plain.
Try to keep the front shin perpendicular as you descend into the lunge.
Your front heel and toes should maintain continual contact with the ground during the lunge.
Cross your left leg behind your right leg as you descend into the “speed skater” stance. Then spring to the left while shifting legs and land on your left leg descending into the “speed skater” stance on the left leg. Continue to bound back and forth in this manner for the specified number of repetitions. Key points to skater jumping: 1.
This exercise can be done in place, or it can be used to bound obliquely and forward.
For an added challenge, wear a weight vest.
Stand on one leg, stiffen your abdominal muscles, and then descend backward and down. You may use your arms as counter balancing cantilevers. Descend to a point where the back leg almost touches the ground. Key points for performing the singleleg squat: 1.
Keep your lower back arched, and move through the hip joint.
For an added challenge, wear a weight vest or hold some light dumbbells.
Keep your pelvis square (aligned)
with your shoulders.
Side Jump Squat
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. Squat down with your buttocks traveling backwards. Try to keep your shins perpendicular to the ground. You may use your arms as cantilevers to help balance. Go down as low as you can comfortably descend without flexing your spine or having your heels come off of the ground. From the deep squat position, jump up and to the left, landing in a deep squat. From the deep squat, jump up and to the right. Repeat this exercise for the designated number of reps or time. Key points for performing the side
jump squat: 1.
Keep your lower back arched, and move through the hip joint during the squat.
For an added challenge, wear a weight vest or hold some light dumbbells.
Keep your pelvis square (aligned) with your shoulders
Start in the push-up position and stiffen your core muscles. Then with a bouncing movement, pull your knees toward your chest, and kick up into the air. Reverse the process as you descend, and try to land softly on the balls of your feet. That is one repetition. Key points for performing the donkey kick: 1.
Use muscle control, not jerky movements, to avoid injury.
For an additional challenge, perform bends and thrusts (burpees) with a donkey kick.
Start by lying on your back with your abdominal muscles stiffened and your arms and legs elevated. Stiffen your entire body in muscular contraction; then rotate to one side, never letting your arms or legs touch the ground. Next roll onto your back, and then roll to the other side. Pause briefly for two seconds in each posture before proceeding to the next posture.
Rock Star combines the upper body strengthening push-up with planking and side bridging. Start in the leanand-rest position, (push-up beginning posture) then descend into a push up, rise up into a right-hand-supported
right side bridge with your right foot forward. Pause for a moment, then return to the lean-and-rest position before descending into a push-up. When rising from the push-up, raise up onto the left hand with your right arm extended and your left foot forward. Pause for a moment, then return to the push-up. This completes one repetition.
Start in the sprinter "start stance" with your right leg forward and flexed
and the left hand forward and touching the ground. Bring the left leg forward as you hop into the air with a powerful motion. Return to the start position. This concludes one repetition on one side. Key points for performing the sprinter step: 1.
Use muscle control, not jerky movements, to avoid injury.
For an additional challenge, this exercise can be performed with a weighted vest.
Even though you are not really running forward with this exercise,
you should use explosive power when coming up from the start position to jump into the air. 4.
Perform an equal number of sprinter steps on each side for balance.
Diaphragmatic breathing is not an
exercise according to the strict definition of exercise, but it is an important component to athletic activities and performance. It is especially important to learn for breath-hold diving and to ensure maximum expulsion of carbon dioxide while diving. Diaphragmatic breathing is also known as belly breathing. The diaphragm is a large muscle under the lungs which when contracted, totally expands the pleural cavity and the abdomen, and fully inflates the lungs. By learning to consciously diaphragmatic breathe, you will be able to expel more of the residual
carbon dioxide from your lungs, bronchioles, and trachea and as a result, more completely saturate your blood with oxygen. Chest breathing is the antithesis of diaphragmatic breathing. Chest breathing, small shallow breaths due to the raising and lowering of the chest, is a component of the fight or flight reflex. To practice diaphragmatic breathing, lie on your back with your knees bent. Place the fingertips of both hands on your abdomen, one hand on each side. Breathe in through your nose deeply and slowly. Concentrer
on having your abdomen expand and rise as you inhale. Pause at maximal inhalation, then exhale fully through pursed lips. Practice this for 10 breaths, 3-4 times per day. As you master diaphragmatic breathing, attempt it during activities of normal living as well as during exercise.
Section II: Hero Workouts
Warning: The exercises and workouts in this book are intended to be used by trained and conditioned special operations units. For all others, these workouts are intended to provide
entertainment. This section of Hero Workouts provides specific workouts which have been named and dedicated to Special Operations Medal of Honor recipients. After each workout, read the official Medal of Honor citation for each hero. This book is written to honor our heroes and to remember their sacrifice as you train. On the following page is the list of the Medal of Honor recipients from the various Special Operational Forces of the United States of America.
Special Operational Forces Medal of Honor Recipients Korea Army Master Sgt. Ola L. Mize Vietnam Army Capt. Humbert Roque Versace Army Capt. Roger H. C. Donlon Army 1st Lt. Charles Q. Williams Marine Corps 1st Lt. Frank S. Reasoner Air Force Maj. Bernard F. Fisher Army Capt. Ronald E. Ray Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jimmie E. Howard Navy Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class James E. Williams Army 1st Lt. George K. Sisler
Navy Seaman David G. Ouellet Army Master Sgt. Charles E. Hosking, Jr. Army Sgt. Gordon D. Yntema Army Staff Sgt. Drew D. Dix Army Sgt. 1st Class Eugene Ashley, Jr. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Terrence C. Graves Army Sgt. 1st Class Fred W. Zabitosky Marine Corps PFC Ralph H. Johnson Army Master Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez Air Force Lt. Col. Joe M. Jackson Army Specialist 5th Class John J. Kedenburg Air Force Col. William A. Jones III Army Staff Sgt. Laszlo Rabel Air Force Capt. James P. Fleming Army Staff Sgt. Robert L. Howard Army Specialist 4th Class Robert D. Law Air Force Airman 1st Class John L. Levitow Marine Corps LCPL Robert H. Jenkins, Jr. Navy Lt. j.g. (SEAL) Joseph R. Kerrey Army Sgt. 1st Class William M. Bryant Marine Corps LCPL Richard A. Anderson Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Pruden Army Staff Sgt. Franklin D. Miller
Army Sgt. Gary B. Beikirch Army Sgt. 1st Class Gary L. Littrell Army Sgt. Brian L. Buker Army Staff Sgt. John R. Cavaiani Army 1st Lt. Loren D. Hagen Navy Lt. (SEAL) Thomas R. Norris Navy Engineman 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael E. Thornton Somalia Army Master Sgt. Gary I. Gordon Army Sgt. 1st Class Randall D. Shughart Iraq – Afghanistan Navy Lt. (Seal) Michael P. Murphy Navy Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry Army Capt. William D. Swenson
Heroism “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus True acts of bravery are really acts of sacrificial love. Consider the acts of Army Captain William Swenson who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his acts of bravery in Afghanistan on September 8, 2009. While in the
midst of a raging battle, Captain Swenson carried a wounded comrade to a medevac helicopter while under fire, and just before he returned to the battle to save others, he took a moment to bend down and kiss his wounded comrade on the forehead. His acts of bravery were really acts of sacrificial love for his brethren. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends; a truer statement has never been said. Sacrificial valor is the most esteemed characteristic in the warrior class, even more so in special warfare and elite units. le
men honored in this book were not only willing to lay down their lives for their country and countrymen, but also had dedicated years of their lives to train their bodies and minds to become the elite warriors that set them apart from others in virtually every way. Dedication to duty and valor come alive in Into the Fire as the reader is introduced to the official Medal of Honor citations of America’s chosen soldiers and elite troops. The Congressional Medal of Honor is an unrivaled honor. This exceptional honor is reserved to acknowledge exemplary acts of
valor, almost unfathomable acts of bravery, in America’s heroes. Those who receive this award are set apart from all others. They are considered both national heroes and national treasures. The Medal of Honor is the highest honor which can be bestowed for heroism by a grateful nation. It is reserved for those Americans whose acts of valor exceed all expectations of duty. Throughout this book you will continually read the phrases “conspicuous gallantry,” “at the risk of his own life,” and “above and beyond the call of duty.” These terms are a feeble attempt to put
into words the acts these men performed in the face of unspeakable horror and against insurmountable odds. The Medal of Honor is only awarded to American servicemen who are the bravest of the brave. The men honored in this book come from a variety of backgrounds. They have varied social-economic backgrounds, ethnicity, and represent both officer and enlisted personnel. These men volunteered to become special operations troops and went through the most strenuous of selection screening and the most intense military training
imaginable. They are the men of Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, Navy SEALS, Marine Reconnaissance, and Air Force special operational units. They are not only the best of the best, but also the bravest of the brave. If a nation is defined by its heroes, then the United States of America can revel in its definition. As you read these official government citations, try to visualize the scene of action: the cold of night, the steamy darkness of a jungle night, the raging ocean, the swarming masses of an unstoppable enemy force, the heat of battle against unbeatable odds.
Honor the sacrifices made by those who have given their last full measure on your behalf.
______________________________ John 15:13, American Standard Bible
Ola Lee Mize 1. 2.
Jump rope 5 minutes Weighted squats: 4 sets of 7 repetitions 3. Single leg dead lifts: 3 sets of 15 repetitions 4. 30 Pull-ups
Side bridge/plank/side bridge: Hold each transition for 8 seconds; 4 minutes total 6. 60 Kettlebell swings 7. Jump rope: 75 repetitions 8. 60 Kettlebell swings 9. 30 Curl ups: 8 seconds of contraction, 4 seconds rest 10. 30 Pull-ups 11. Kettlebell snatch: 15 repetitions on each side
Meet the Hero Ola Lee Mize Born: Aug. 28, 1931
Branch: U.S. Army Place / Date of Action: Near Surang-ni, Korea, June 10 to 11, 1953
Citation M/Sgt. Mize, a member of Company K, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Company K was committed to the defense of “Outpost Harry,” a strategically valuable position, when the enemy launched a heavy attack. Learning
that a comrade on a friendly listening post had been wounded he moved through the intense barrage, accompanied by a medical aid man, and rescued the wounded soldier. On returning to the main position he established an effective defense system and inflicted heavy casualties against attacks from determined enemy assault forces which had penetrated into trenches within the outpost area. During his fearless actions he was blown down by artillery and grenade blasts 3 times but each time he dauntlessly returned to his position, tenaciously fighting and successfully repelling
hostile attacks. When enemy onslaughts ceased he took his few men and moved from bunker to bunker, firing through apertures and throwing grenades at the foe, neutralizing their positions. When an enemy soldier stepped out behind a comrade, prepared to fire, M/Sgt. Mize killed him, saving the life of his fellow soldier. After rejoining the platoon, moving from man to man, distributing ammunition, and shouting words of encouragement he observed a friendly machine gun position overrun. He immediately fought his way to the position, killing 10 of the enemy and dispersing the
remainder. Fighting back to the command post, and finding several friendly wounded there, he took a position to protect them. Later, securing a radio, he directed friendly artillery fire upon the attacking enemy’s routes of approach. At dawn he helped regroup for a counterattack which successfully drove the enemy from the outpost. M/Sgt. Mize’s valorous conduct and unflinching courage reflect lasting glory upon himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.
Herbert R. Versace Warm up with a 1 mile run and a set of 50 pushups. Then the unit forms a line at the pull-up bar with not
more than 10 in each line. 1. Pull-up ladder: 1 set of 1 pull ups, followed by a set of 2 pullups, followed by a set of 3 pullups, then 4, then 5, working up to 10. 2. Run 5 miles.
Meet the Hero Humbert R. Versace July 2, 1937–Sept. 26, 1965 Branch: U.S. Army Place / Date of Action: An Xuyen Province, Republic of Vietnam, Oct. 29, 1963 to Sept. 26, 1965
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above
and beyond the call of duty while a prisoner of war during the period of October 29, 1963 to September 26, 1965 in the Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Republic of Vietnam on October 29, 1963, Captain Versace and the CIDG assault force were caught in an ambush from intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a reinforced enemy Main Force battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace fought valiantly and
encouraged his CIDG patrol to return fire against overwhelming enemy forces. He provided covering fire from an exposed position to enable friendly forces to withdraw from the killing zone when it was apparent that their position would be overrun, and was severely wounded in the knee and back from automatic weapons fire and shrapnel. He stubbornly resisted capture with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he demonstrated exceptional leadership and resolute adherence to the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered
into a prisoner of war status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American prisoners, and despite being kept locked in irons in an isolation box, raised their morale by singing messages to popular songs of the day, and leaving inspiring messages at the latrine. Within three weeks of captivity, and despite the severity of his untreated wounds, he attempted the first of four escape attempts by dragging himself on his hands and knees out of the camp through dense swamp and forbidding vegetation to freedom. Crawling at a very slow pace due to his weakened condition,
the guards quickly discovered him outside the camp and recaptured him. Captain Versace scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and inspired his fellow prisoners to resist to the best of their ability. When he used his Vietnamese language skills to protest improper treatment of the American prisoners by the guards, he was put into leg irons and gagged to keep his protestations out of earshot of the other American prisoners in the camp. The last time that any of his fellow prisoners heard from him, Captain Versace was singing God Bless America at the
top of his voice from his isolation box. Unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America and his fellow prisoners, Captain Versace was executed by the Viet Cong on September 26, 1965. Captain Versaces extraordinary heroism, self-sacrifice, and personal bravery involving conspicuous risk of life above and beyond the call of duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army, and reflect great credit to himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.
Roger Hugh C. Donlon 1. Warm up with a 1 mile run. 2. 25 Man makers: use two 25 pound dumbbells
3. Run 3 miles.
Meet the Hero Roger Hugh C. Donlon Born: Jan. 30, 1934 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Near Nam Dong, Republic of Vietnam, July 6, 1964
Citation (Synopsis) Capt. Donlon was serving as the commanding officer of the U.S. Army
Special Forces Detachment A-726 at Camp Nam Dong when a reinforced Viet Cong battalion suddenly launched a full-scale, predawn attack on the camp. During the violent battle that ensued, lasting 5 hours and resulting in heavy casualties on both sides, Capt. Donlon directed the defense operations in the midst of an enemy barrage of mortar shells, falling grenades, and extremely heavy gunfire. Upon the initial onslaught, he swiftly marshaled his forces and ordered the removal of the needed ammunition from a blazing building. He then dashed through a hail of
small arms and exploding hand grenades to abort a breach of the main gate. En route to this position he detected an enemy demolition team of 3 in the proximity of the main gate and quickly annihilated them. Although exposed to the intense grenade attack, he then succeeded in reaching a 60mm mortar position despite sustaining a severe stomach wound as he was within 5 yards of the gun pit. When he discovered that most of the men in this gunpit were also wounded, he completely disregarded his own injury, directed their withdrawal to a location 30 meters away, and again
risked his life by remaining behind and covering the movement with the utmost effectiveness. Noticing that his team sergeant was unable to evacuate the gun pit he crawled toward him and, while dragging the fallen soldier out of the gunpit, an enemy mortar exploded and inflicted a wound in Capt. Donlon's left shoulder. Although suffering from multiple wounds, he carried the abandoned 60mm mortar weapon to a new location 30 meters away where he found 3 wounded defenders. After administering first aid and encouragement to these men, he left the weapon with them,
headed toward another position, and retrieved a 57mm recoilless rifle. Then with great courage and coolness under fire, he returned to the abandoned gun pit, evacuated ammunition for the 2 weapons, and while crawling and dragging the urgently needed ammunition, received a third wound on his leg by an enemy hand grenade. Without hesitation, he left this sheltered position, and moved from position to position around the beleaguered perimeter while hurling hand grenades at the enemy and inspiring his men to superhuman effort. As he bravely continued to move around
the perimeter, a mortar shell exploded, wounding him in the face and body. As the long awaited daylight brought defeat to the enemy forces and their retreat back to the jungle leaving behind 54 of their dead, many weapons, and grenades, Capt. Donlon immediately reorganized his defenses and administered first aid to the wounded. His dynamic leadership, fortitude, and valiant efforts inspired not only the American personnel but the friendly Vietnamese defenders as well and resulted in the successful defense of the camp.
Charles Williams 1. 100 Mountain climbers 2. 100 Jumping bends and thrusts (burpees) 3. 30 Ball slams with 30 pound
ball 4. 30 Curl ups: hold each for 8 seconds 5. One-legged deadlifts: 3 sets of 15 repetitions 6. Farmer's walk: 100 meters with 60 pounds; 1 set with each hand 7. 50 Goblet squats with 30 pound dumbbell or kettlebell 8. 100 Kettlebell swings 9. 50 Bar dips 10. Side bridge/plank/side bridge: Hold each transition 8 seconds for a total of 4 minutes
Meet the Hero Charles Quincy Williams Sept. 17, 1933 – Oct. 15, 1982 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam, June 9 to 10, 1965
Citation (Synopsis) 1st Lt. Williams was serving as executive officer of a Special Forces
Detachment when an estimated Vietcong reinforced regiment struck the camp and threatened to overrun it and the adjacent district headquarters. He awoke personnel, organized them, determined the source of the insurgents’ main effort and led the troops to their defensive positions on the south and west walls. As the insurgents attempted to scale the walls and as some of the Vietnamese defenders began to retreat, he dashed through a barrage of gunfire, succeeded in rallying these defenders, and led them back to their positions. Although wounded in the thigh and
left leg during this gallant action, he returned to his position and, upon being told that communications were reestablished and that his commanding officer was seriously wounded, 1st Lt. Williams took charge of actions in both compounds. Then, in an attempt to reach the communications bunker, he sustained wounds in the stomach and right arm from grenade fragments. As the defensive positions on the walls had been held for hours and casualties were mounting, he ordered the consolidation of the American personnel from both compounds to
establish a defense in the district building. By his courage, he inspired his team to hold out against the insurgent force that was closing in on them and throwing grenades into the windows of the building. As daylight arrived and the Vietcong continued to besiege the stronghold, firing a machine gun directly south of the district building, he was determined to eliminate this menace that threatened the lives of his men. Taking a 3.5 rocket launcher and a volunteer to load it, he worked his way across open terrain, reached the berm south of the district headquarters, and took aim at the
Vietcong machine gun 150 meters away. Although the sight was faulty, he succeeded in hitting the machine gun. While he and the loader were trying to return to the district headquarters, they were both wounded. With a fourth wound, this time in the right arm and leg, and realizing he was unable to carry his wounded comrade back to the district building, 1st Lt. Williams pulled him to a covered position and then made his way back to the district building where he sought the help of others who went out and evacuated the injured soldier. Although seriously wounded and
tired, he continued to direct the air strikes closer to the defensive position. As morning turned to afternoon and the Vietcong pressed their effort with direct recoilless rifle fire into the building, he ordered the evacuation of the seriously wounded to the safety of the communications bunker. When informed that helicopters would attempt to land as the hostile gunfire had abated, he led his team from the building to the artillery position, making certain of the timely evacuation of the wounded from the communications area, and then on to the pickup point. Despite resurgent Vietcong
gunfire, he directed the rapid evacuation of all personnel.
Frank Reasoner 1. 40 meter Bear crawl 2. 100 Kettlebell swings with a
50 pound kettlebell 3. 50 Pull ups 4. 50 Ball slams with a 20 pound ball 5. 100 Kettlebell swings 6. 50 Goblet squats with a 50 pound kettlebell or dumbbell 7. 25 Curl ups 8. 100 Kettlebell swings with a 50 pound kettlebell 9. 50 bar dips 10. Side bridge/plank/side bridge: hold each transition for 8 seconds for a total of 4 minutes 11. 40 meter Bear crawl
Meet the Hero Frank S. Reasoner Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Recon Place / Date of Action: Near Danang, Republic of Vietnam, July 12, 1965 Died: July 12, 1965
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Commanding Officer, Company A, 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division in action against hostile Viet Cong forces near Danang, Vietnam on 12 July 1965. The reconnaissance patrol led by First Lieutenant Reasoner had deeply penetrated heavily controlled enemy territory when it came under extremely heavy fire from an estimated 50 to 100 Viet Cong insurgents. Accompanying the advance party and the point that consisted of five men, he immediately deployed his men for an
assault after the Viet Cong had opened fire from numerous concealed positions. Boldly shouting encouragement, and virtually isolated from the main body, he organized a base of fire for an assault on the enemy positions. The slashing fury of the Viet Cong machine gun and automatic weapons fire made it impossible for the main body to move forward. Repeatedly exposing himself to the devastating attack he skillfully provided covering fire, killing at least two Viet Cong and effectively silencing an automatic weapons position in a valiant attempt to effect evacuation
of a wounded man. As casualties began to mount his radio operator was wounded and First Lieutenant Reasoner immediately moved to his side and tended his wounds. When the radio operator was hit a second time while attempting to reach a covered position, First Lieutenant Reasoner courageously running to his aid through the grazing machine gun fire fell mortally wounded. His indomitable fighting spirit, valiant leadership and unflinching devotion to duty provided the inspiration that was to enable the patrol to complete its mission without further casualties. In the face of almost certain death,
he gallantly gave his life in the service of his country. His actions upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Bernard Francis Fisher 1. Mountain climbers: 100 repetitions 2. Air squats: 50 repetitions 3. Push-ups: 60 repetitions 4. Chin-ups: 20 repetitions
5. One-legged dead lifts: 3 sets of 15 repetitions 6. Push-ups: 50 repetitions 7. Curl ups: 25 repetitions 8. Push-ups: 50 repetitions 9. Side bridge/plank/side bridge: Hold each transition 8 seconds for a total of 4 minutes 10. Pull-ups: 15 repetitions 11. Run 4 miles
Meet the Hero Bernard Francis Fisher Born: Jan. 11, 1927 Branch: U.S. Air Force Place / Date of Action: Bien Hoa and Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam, March 10, 1966
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above
and beyond the call of duty. On that date, the special forces camp at A Shau was under attack by 2,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars. Hostile troops had positioned themselves between the airstrip and the camp. Other hostile troops had surrounded the camp and were continuously raking it with automatic weapons fire from the surrounding hills. The tops of the 1,500-foot hills were obscured by an 800 foot ceiling, limiting aircraft maneuverability and forcing pilots to operate within range of hostile gun positions, which often were able to fire down on the attacking aircraft.
During the battle, Maj. Fisher observed a fellow airman crash land on the battle-torn airstrip. In the belief that the downed pilot was seriously injured and in imminent danger of capture, Maj. Fisher announced his intention to land on the airstrip to effect a rescue. Although aware of the extreme danger and likely failure of such an attempt, he elected to continue. Directing his own air cover, he landed his aircraft and taxied almost the full length of the runway, which was littered with battle debris and parts of an exploded aircraft. While effecting a successful rescue of the
downed pilot, heavy ground fire was observed, with 19 bullets striking his aircraft. In the face of the withering ground fire, he applied power and gained enough speed to lift-off at the overrun of the airstrip. Maj. Fisher's profound concern for his fellow airman, and at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
Ronald Eric Ray 1. Ruck march with a 60 pound rucksack and rifle: 8 miles within 2 hours
Meet the Hero Ronald Eric Ray Born: Dec. 7, 1941 Branch: U.S. Army Place / Date of Action: la Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam, June 19, 1966
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Ray distinguished himself
while serving as a platoon leader with Company A. When one of his ambush patrols was attacked by an estimated reinforced Viet Cong company, Capt. Ray organized a reaction force and quickly moved through 2 kilometers of mountainous jungle terrain to the contact area. After breaking through the hostile lines to reach the beleaguered patrol, Capt. Ray began directing the reinforcement of the site. When an enemy position pinned down 3 of his men with a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire, he silenced the emplacement with a grenade and killed 4 Viet Cong with his rifle
fire. As medics were moving a casualty toward a sheltered position, they began receiving intense hostile fire. While directing suppressive fire on the enemy position, Capt. Ray moved close enough to silence the enemy with a grenade. A few moments later Capt. Ray saw an enemy grenade land, unnoticed, near 2 of his men. Without hesitation or regard for his safety he dove between the grenade and the men, thus shielding them from the explosion while receiving wounds in his exposed feet and legs. He immediately sustained additional wounds in his legs from an enemy
machine gun, but nevertheless he silenced the emplacement with another grenade. Although suffering great pain from his wounds, Capt. Ray continued to direct his men, providing the outstanding courage and leadership they vitally needed, and prevented their annihilation by successfully leading them from their surrounded position. Only after assuring that his platoon was no longer in immediate danger did he allow himself to be evacuated for medical treatment. By his gallantry at the risk of his life in the highest traditions of the military service, Capt. Ray has reflected great credit
on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Jimmie E. Howard Pool workout requiring a corpsman, lifeguard, and safety diver. 1. Warm up with a 500 meter swim
of any stroke. 2. Form up two teams. Place two 70 lb kettlebells (do not drop weights into pool) or weight belts on the bottom of the deep end of a training tank or Olympic pool. Have a supervised relay race between two teams. The starters for each team will jump into the water and pick up the kettlebell or weight belt and run on the bottom of the pool for 25 yards or meters to hand the weight to the waiting relay member (who will be on the bottom). If a relay member must surface they must set the weight down on the bottom of the pool
while they catch their breath before resuming the race. 3. The losing team will perform 50 push ups. 4. Everyone swims 1300 meters of any stroke.
Meet the Hero Jimmie E. Howard 1929 – 1993 Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Recon Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, July 13-15, 1966
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty. G/Sgt. Howard and his 18-man platoon were occupying an observation post deep within enemycontrolled territory. Shortly after midnight a Viet Cong force of estimated battalion size approached the Marines' position and launched a vicious attack with small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire. Reacting swiftly and fearlessly in the face of the overwhelming odds, G/Sgt. Howard skillfully organized his small but determined force into a tight perimeter defense and calmly moved from position to position to
direct his men's fire. Throughout the night, during assault after assault, his courageous example and firm leadership inspired and motivated his men to withstand the unrelenting fury of the hostile fire in the seemingly hopeless situation. He constantly shouted encouragement to his men and exhibited imagination and resourcefulness in directing their return fire. When fragments of an exploding enemy grenade wounded him severely and prevented him from moving his legs, he distributed his ammunition to the remaining members of his platoon and proceeded to maintain radio
communications and direct air strikes on the enemy with uncanny accuracy. At dawn, despite the fact that 5 men were killed and all but 1 wounded, his beleaguered platoon was still in command of its position. When evacuation helicopters approached his position, G/Sgt. Howard warned them away and called for additional air strikes and directed devastating small-arms fire and air strikes against enemy automatic weapons positions in order to make the landing zone as secure as possible. Through his extraordinary courage and resolute fighting spirit, G/Sgt. Howard was
largely responsible for preventing the loss of his entire platoon. His valiant leadership and courageous fighting spirit served to inspire the men of his platoon to heroic endeavor in the face of overwhelming odds, and reflect the highest credit upon G/Sgt. Howard, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service.
Jimmie E. Howard (in dive gear) inserting from the diesel boat the USS Perch. Pre-MOH days in recon.
James Elliot Williams Open water swim requiring support boats, corpsman, and safety swimmers.
1. Open water fin swim for 2.5 kilometers.
Meet the Hero James Elliot Williams Nov. 13, 1930–Oct. 13, 1999 Branch: U.S. Navy Place / Date of Action: Mekong River, Republic of Vietnam, Oct. 31, 1966
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. BM1
Williams was serving as Boat Captain and Patrol Officer aboard River Patrol Boat (PBR) 105 accompanied by another patrol boat when the patrol was suddenly taken under fire by 2 enemy sampans. BM1 Williams immediately ordered the fire returned, killing the crew of 1 enemy boat and causing the other sampan to take refuge in a nearby river inlet. Pursuing the fleeing sampan, the U.S. patrol encountered a heavy volume of small-arms fire from enemy forces, at close range, occupying well-concealed positions along the river bank. Maneuvering through this fire, the patrol
confronted a numerically superior enemy force aboard 2 enemy junks and 8 sampans augmented by heavy automatic weapons fire from ashore. In the savage battle that ensued, BM1 Williams, with utter disregard for his safety exposed himself to the withering hail of enemy fire to direct counter-fire and inspire the actions of his patrol. Recognizing the overwhelming strength of the enemy force, BM1 Williams deployed his patrol to await the arrival of armed helicopters. In the course of his movement he discovered an even larger concentration of enemy boats. Not waiting for the arrival of the
armed helicopters, he displayed great initiative and boldly led the patrol through the intense enemy fire and damaged or destroyed 50 enemy sampans and 7 junks. This phase of the action completed, and with the arrival of the armed helicopters, BM1 Williams directed the attack on the remaining enemy force. Now virtually dark, and although BM1 Williams was aware that his boats would become even better targets, he ordered the patrol boats' search lights turned on to better illuminate the area and moved the patrol perilously close to shore to press the attack. Despite a
waning supply of ammunition the patrol successfully engaged the enemy ashore and completed the rout of the enemy force. Under the leadership of BM1 Williams, who demonstrated unusual professional skill and indomitable courage throughout the 3 hour battle, the patrol accounted for the destruction or loss of 65 enemy boats and inflicted numerous casualties on the enemy personnel. His extraordinary heroism and exemplary fighting spirit in the face of grave risks inspired the efforts of his men to defeat a larger enemy force, and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval
George Sisler Vehicle Push Break into six man teams. One man is behind the wheel of a vehicle to steer, and two others
ride as passengers. Three men at a time push the car for one mile. The teams switch places after the first mile.
Meet the Hero George Kenton Sisler Sept. 19, 1937–Feb. 7, 1967 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, Feb. 7, 1967
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity at the risk of his life and above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Sisler was the platoon leader/adviser to a Special United States/Vietnam exploitation force. While on patrol deep within enemy dominated territory, 1st Lt. Sisler’s platoon was attacked from 3 sides by a company sized enemy force. 1st Lt. Sisler quickly rallied his men, deployed them to a better defensive position, called for air strikes, and moved among his men to encourage and direct their efforts. Learning that 2 men had been wounded and were unable to pull back to the perimeter, 1st Lt. Sisler charged from the
position through intense enemy fire to assist them. He reached the men and began carrying 1 of them back to the perimeter, when he was taken under more intensive weapons fire by the enemy. Laying down his wounded comrade, he killed 3 onrushing enemy soldiers by firing his rifle and silenced the enemy machine gun with a grenade. As he returned the wounded man to the perimeter, the left flank of the position came under extremely heavy attack by the superior enemy force and several additional men of his platoon were quickly wounded. Realizing the need for instant action
to prevent his position from being overrun, 1st Lt. Sisler picked up some grenades and charged singlehandedly into the enemy onslaught, firing his weapon and throwing grenades. This singularly heroic action broke up the vicious assault and forced the enemy to begin withdrawing. Despite the continuing enemy fire, 1st Lt. Sisler was moving about the battlefield directing air strikes when he fell mortally wounded. His extraordinary leadership, infinite courage, and selfless concern for his men saved the lives of a number of his comrades. His actions reflect great
credit upon himself and uphold the highest traditions of the military service.
David Ouellet 1. Warm up with a 1 mile run. 2. Bends and thrusts (burpees): 30 repetitions. 3. Push-ups: 1 set of 50 repetitions. 4. The unit forms a line at the
pull-up bar, not more than ten in each line. Pull-up ladder: 1 set of 1 pull ups, followed by a set of 2 pull-ups, followed by a set of 3 pull-ups, then 4, then 5, working up to 10. 5. Curl ups: 30 repetitions. 6. Side bridge/plank/side bridge: Hold each transition 8 seconds for a total of 4 minutes 7. Run 5 miles.
Meet the Hero David George Ouellet June 13, 1944–March 6, 1967 Branch: U.S. Navy Place / Date of Action: Mekong River, Republic of Vietnam, March 6, 1967
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above
and beyond the call of duty while serving with River Section 532, in combat against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. As the forward machine gunner on River Patrol Boat (PBR) 124, which was on patrol on the Mekong River during the early evening hours of March 6, 1967, Seaman Ouellet observed suspicious activity near the river bank, alerted his Boat Captain, and recommended movement of the boat to the area to investigate. While the PBR was making a high-speed run along the river bank, Seaman Ouellet spotted an incoming enemy grenade falling toward the boat. He immediately left
the protected position of his gun mount and ran aft for the full length of the speeding boat, shouting to his fellow crew members to take cover. Observing the Boat Captain standing unprotected on the boat, Seaman Ouellet bounded onto the engine compartment cover, and pushed the Boat Captain down to safety. In the split second that followed the grenade's landing, and in the face of certain death, Seaman Ouellet fearlessly placed himself between the deadly missile and his shipmates, courageously absorbing most of the blast fragments with his own body in order to protect his
shipmates from injury and death. His extraordinary heroism and his selfless and courageous actions on behalf of his comrades at the expense of his own life were in the finest tradition of the United States Naval Service.
Charles E. Hosking, Jr. 1. Mountain climbers: 1 set of 60 repetitions 2. Box jumps: 4 sets of 10 jumps onto a 24-30 inch
platform 3. Cling and jerk burpee (burpees while holding a weight and incorporating a clean and jerk at the top) Use a 40-50 lb sandbag with handles or two 25 pound hexagonal dumbbells, 25 repetitions 4. Sandbag lunge walk: Place a sandbag on one shoulder and lunge walk 50 meters; switch shoulders and walk an additional 50 meters 5. Farmer's walk with 70 pounds for 100 meters, then switch hands and walk an
additional 100 meters 6. Plank for 3 minutes 7. Curl ups: 20 repetitions of 8 seconds
Meet the Hero Charles Ernest Hosking, Jr. May 12, 1924 – March 21, 1967 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam, March 21, 1967
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Master Sergeant Hosking (then Sergeant First Class), Detachment A-302, Company A, greatly distinguished himself while serving as company advisor in the III Corps Civilian Irregular Defense Group Reaction Battalion during combat operations in Don Luan District. A Viet Cong suspect was apprehended and subsequently identified as a Viet Cong sniper. While MSG Hosking was preparing the enemy for movement back to the base camp, the prisoner suddenly grabbed a hand grenade from MSG Hosking's
belt, armed the grenade, and started running towards the company command group which consisted of 2 Americans and 2 Vietnamese who were standing a few feet away. Instantly realizing that the enemy intended to kill the other men, MSG Hosking immediately leaped upon the Viet Cong’s back. With utter disregard for his personal safety, he grasped the Viet Cong in a “Bear Hug” forcing the grenade against the enemy soldier's chest. He then wrestled the Viet Cong to the ground and covered the enemy's body with his body until the grenade detonated. The blast instantly killed
both MSG Hosking and the Viet Cong. By absorbing the full force of the exploding grenade with his body and that of the enemy, he saved the other members of his command group from death or serious injury. MSG Hosking's risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest tradition of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
Gordon Douglas Yntema 1. Run 1 mile at a warm up pace 2. Rope climb 20 feet 3. Run 1/2 mile 4. Rope climb 20 feet 5. Run 1/2 mile
6. Rope climb 20 feet 7. Run 1/2 mile 8. Rope climb 20 feet 9. Run 1/2 mile 10. Rope climb 20 feet 11. Eight count body builders: 50 repetitions 12. Run 1 mile
Meet the Hero Gordon Douglas Yntema June 26, 1945 – Jan. 18, 1968 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Near Thong Binh, Republic of Vietnam, Jan. 16-18, 1968
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Yntema, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while assigned to Detachment A-431, Company D. As part of a larger force of civilian irregulars from Camp Cai Cai, he accompanied 2 platoons to a blocking position east of the village of Thong Binh, where they became heavily engaged in a small arms fire fight with the Viet Cong. Assuming control of the force when the Vietnamese commander was seriously wounded, he advanced his troops to within 50 meters of the enemy bunkers. After a fierce 30
minute fire fight, the enemy forced Sgt. Yntema to withdraw his men to a trench in order to afford them protection and still perform their assigned blocking mission. Under cover of machine gun fire, approximately 1 company of Viet Cong maneuvered into a position which pinned down the friendly platoons from 3 sides. A dwindling ammunition supply, coupled with a Viet Cong mortar barrage which inflicted heavy losses on the exposed friendly troops, caused many of the irregulars to withdraw. Seriously wounded and ordered to withdraw himself, Sgt. Yntema
refused to leave his fallen comrades. Under withering small arms and machine gun fire, he carried the wounded Vietnamese commander and a mortally wounded American Special Forces advisor to a small gully 50 meters away in order to shield them from the enemy fire. Sgt. Yntema then continued to repulse the attacking Viet Cong attempting to overrun his position until, out of ammunition and surrounded, he was offered the opportunity to surrender. Refusing, Sgt. Yntema stood his ground, using his rifle as a club to fight the approximately 15 Viet Cong
attempting his capture. His resistance was so fierce that the Viet Cong were forced to shoot in order to overcome him. Sgt. Yntema's personal bravery in the face of insurmountable odds and supreme self-sacrifice were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself, the 1st Special Forces, and the U.S. Army.
Drew Dix 1. Bear crawl 100 meters one direction, then run back to the starting point. 2. Lunge walk 100 meters, then run
5. 6. 7. 8.
back to starting point. Side step agility run drill: 25 meters down and back at 50% speed, 5 times Farmer's walk down and back with an ammo can or 30 pound kettlebell in each hand Goblet squats with ammo can or 30 pound weight: 50 repetitions Push-ups: 50 repetitions Mountain climbers: 100 repetitions Overhead press of ammo can or 30 pound weight; perform as many repetitions as possible in 2 minutes Side bridge/plank/side bridge:
Hold each transition 8 seconds for a total of 4 minutes 10. Run 3 miles
Meet the Hero Drew Dennis Dix Born: Dec. 14, 1944 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Chau Doc Province, Republic of Vietnam, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 1968
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Dix distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving as a unit adviser. Two heavily armed Viet Cong battalions attacked the Province capital city of Chau Phu resulting in the complete breakdown and fragmentation of the defenses of the city. S/Sgt. Dix, with a patrol of Vietnamese soldiers, was recalled to assist in the defense of Chau Phu. Learning that a nurse was trapped in a house near the center of the city, S/Sgt. Dix organized a relief force, successfully rescued the nurse, and returned her to the safety of the Tactical Operations Center. Being
informed of other trapped civilians within the city, S/Sgt. Dix voluntarily led another force to rescue 8 civilian employees located in a building which was under heavy mortar and small-arms fire. S/Sgt. Dix then returned to the center of the city. Upon approaching a building, he was subjected to intense automatic rifle and machine gun fire from an unknown number of Viet Cong. He personally assaulted the building, killing 6 Viet Cong, and rescuing 2 Filipinos. The following day S/Sgt. Dix, still on his own volition, assembled a 20- man force and though under intense enemy fire
cleared the Viet Cong out of the hotel, theater, and other adjacent buildings within the city. During this portion of the attack, Army Republic of Vietnam soldiers inspired by the heroism and success of S/Sgt. Dix, rallied and commenced firing upon the Viet Cong. S/Sgt. Dix captured 20 prisoners, including a high ranking Viet Cong official. He then attacked enemy troops who had entered the residence of the Deputy Province Chief and was successful in rescuing the official's wife and children. S/Sgt. Dix's personal heroic actions resulted in 14 confirmed Viet Cong killed in action and possibly 25 more,
the capture of 20 prisoners, 15 weapons, and the rescue of the 14 United States and free world civilians. The heroism of S/Sgt. Dix was in the highest tradition and reflects great credit upon the U.S. Army.
Eugene Ashley, Jr. Three point underwater compass swim for 3 kilometers
Meet the Hero Eugene Ashley, Jr. Oct. 12, 1931 – Feb. 7, 1968 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Near Lang Vei, Republic of Vietnam, Feb. 6 and 7, 1968
Citation Sfc. Ashley, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving with Detachment A-
101, Company C. Sfc. Ashley was the senior special forces advisor of a hastily organized assault force whose mission was to rescue entrapped U.S. special forces advisors at Camp Lang Vei. During the initial attack on the special forces camp by North Vietnamese army forces, Sfc. Ashley supported the camp with high explosive and illumination mortar rounds. When communications were lost with the main camp, he assumed the additional responsibility of directing air strikes and artillery support. Sfc. Ashley organized and equipped a small assault force composed of
local friendly personnel. During the ensuing battle, Sfc. Ashley led a total of 5 vigorous assaults against the enemy, continuously exposing himself to a voluminous hail of enemy grenades, machine gun and automatic weapons fire. Throughout these assaults, he was plagued by numerous booby-trapped satchel charges in all bunkers on his avenue of approach. During his fifth and final assault, he adjusted air strikes nearly on top of his assault element, forcing the enemy to withdraw and resulting in friendly control of the summit of the hill. While exposing himself to intense enemy fire, he
was seriously wounded by machine gun fire but continued his mission without regard for his personal safety. After the fifth assault he lost consciousness and was carried from the summit by his comrades only to suffer a fatal wound when an enemy artillery round landed in the area. Sfc. Ashley displayed extraordinary heroism in risking his life in an attempt to save the lives of his entrapped comrades and commanding officer. His total disregard for his personal safety while exposed to enemy observation and automatic weapons fire was an inspiration to all men committed to
the assault. The resolute valor with which he led 5 gallant charges placed critical diversionary pressure on the attacking enemy and his valiant efforts carved a channel in the overpowering enemy forces and weapons positions through which the survivors of Camp Lang Vei eventually escaped to freedom. Sfc. Ashley's bravery at the cost of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Terrence Graves 1. 2.
Run 800 meters as a warm-up. Alternate one set of 10 pull ups with one set of 25 push ups. Repeat 4 times. 3. Weighted sled drill: Push a weighted sled 25 yards, run back,
and then using the rope attached to the sled, pull the sled back by hand-over-hand. Repeat five times. 4. Lunge walk with a barbell held overhead in one hand for 15 yards, then switch hands. Rest for one minute between sets. Perform 3 sets. 5. Battle ropes: 4 minutes of Tabata (alternating 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest) rope drills. 6. Run 2 miles.
Meet the Hero Terrence C. Graves Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Recon Died: February 17, 1968 Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, February 16-17, 1968
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Platoon Commander with the Third Force Reconnaissance Company, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division, in the Republic of Vietnam on 16 February 1968. While on a large-range reconnaissance mission, Lieutenant Grave's eight-man patrol observed seven enemy soldiers approaching their position. Reacting instantly, he deployed his men and directed their fire on the approaching enemy. After the fire had ceased, he and two patrol members commenced a
search of the area, and suddenly came under a heavy volume of hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior enemy force. When one of his men was hit by enemy fire, Lieutenant Graves moved through the fire-swept area to his radio and, while directing suppressive fire from his men, requested air support and adjusted a heavy volume of artillery and helicopter gunship fire upon the enemy. After attending the wounded, Lieutenant Graves, accompanied by another Marine, moved from his relatively safe position to confirm the results of the earlier engagement.
Observing that several of the enemy were still alive, he launched a determined assault, eliminating the remaining enemy troops. He then began moving the patrol to a landing zone for extraction, when the unit again came under intense fire which wounded two more Marines and Lieutenant Graves. Refusing medical attention, he once more adjusted air strikes and artillery fire upon the enemy while directing the fire of his men. He led his men to a new landing site into which he skillfully guided the in-coming aircraft and boarded his men while remaining exposed to the hostile fire. Realizing
that one of the wounded had not embarked, he directed the aircraft to depart and, along with another Marine, moved to the side of the causality. Confronted with a shortage of ammunition, Lieutenant Graves utilized supporting arms and directed fire until a second helicopter arrived. At this point, the volume of enemy fire intensified, hitting the helicopter and causing it to crash shortly after liftoff. All aboard were killed. Lieutenant Graves' outstanding courage, superb leadership and indomitable fighting spirit throughout the day were in keeping with the highest traditions of
the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Fred Zabitosky 1. Kettlebell swings: 50 repetitions with a 30 pound kettlebell 2. Push-ups: 40 repetitions 3. Kettlebell swings: 50
repetitions with a 50 pound kettlebell Barbell clean and jerk: 30 sets of 1 repetition resting briefly between each one performed to allow enough recovery time to maintain good form. Overhead single arm lunge walk for 25 meters with 45 pounds; switch hands and repeat for another 25 meters. Perform 2 sets per side. Curl ups: 20 repetitions of 8 seconds Side bridge/plank/side
bridge: Hold each transition 8 seconds for a total of 4 minutes 8. Battle ropes: 4 minutes of Tabata rope drills (alternating 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest) 9. Run 1 mile.
Meet the Hero Fred William Zabitosky Oct. 27, 1942 – Jan. 18, 1996 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, Feb. 19, 1968
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sfc. Zabitosky, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant team leader of a 9man Special Forces long-range reconnaissance patrol. Sfc. Zabitosky’s patrol was operating deep within enemy controlled territory when they were attacked by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army unit. Sfc. Zabitosky rallied his team members, deployed them into defensive positions, and, exposing himself to concentrated enemy automatic weapons fire, directed their return
fire. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sfc. Zabitosky ordered his patrol to move to a landing zone for helicopter extraction while he covered their withdrawal with rifle fire and grenades. Rejoining the patrol under increasing enemy pressure, he positioned each man in a tight perimeter defense and continually moved from man to man, encouraging them and controlling their defensive fire. Mainly due to his example, the outnumbered patrol maintained its precarious position until the arrival of tactical air support and a helicopter extraction team. As the rescue helicopters arrived, the
determined North Vietnamese pressed their attack. Sfc. Zabitosky repeatedly exposed himself to their fire to adjust suppressive helicopter gunship fire around the landing zone. After boarding 1 of the rescue helicopters, he positioned himself in the door delivering fire on the enemy as the ship took off. The helicopter was engulfed in a hail of bullets and Sfc. Zabitosky was thrown from the craft as it spun out of control and crashed. Recovering consciousness, he ignored his extremely painful injuries and moved to the flaming wreckage. Heedless of the danger of exploding ordnance and fuel, he
pulled the severely wounded pilot from the searing blaze and made repeated attempts to rescue his patrol members but was driven back by the intense heat. Despite his serious burns and crushed ribs, he carried and dragged the unconscious pilot through a curtain of enemy fire to within 10 feet of a hovering rescue helicopter before collapsing. Sfc. Zabitosky's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Ralph H. Johnson Run 9 miles.
Meet the Hero Ralph H. Johnson Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Recon Died: March 5, 1968 Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, March 5, 1968
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above
and beyond the call of duty while serving as a reconnaissance scout with Company A, First Reconnaissance Battalion, First Marine Division in action against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces in the Republic of Vietnam. In the early morning hours of 5 March 1968, during OPERATION ROCK, First Class Johnson was a member of a fifteenman reconnaissance patrol manning an observation post on Hill 146 overlooking the Quan Duc Duc Valley deep in enemy controlled territory. They were attacked by a platoon-size hostile force employing
automatic weapons, satchel charges and hand grenades. Suddenly a hand grenade landed in the threeman fighting hole occupied by Private First Class Johnson and two fellow Marines. Realizing the inherent danger to his comrades, he shouted a warning and unhesitatingly hurled himself upon the explosive device. When the grenade exploded, Private First Class Johnson absorbed the tremendous impact of the blast and was killed instantly. His prompt and heroic act saved the life of one Marine at the cost of his own and undoubtedly prevented the enemy from penetrating his sector of
the patrol's perimeter. Private First Class Johnson's courage inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Roy Benavidez 1. Warm up with 1 mile run. 2. Air squats: 50 repetitions 3. Kettlebell swings: 50 repetitions with a 50 pound kettlebell 4. Goblet squats: 50
repetitions with a 50 pound kettlebell 5. Kettlebell snatches: 4 sets of 15 repetitions 6. 12 Shrugs with 240-300 pounds followed by 5 deadlifts without setting the bar down. Perform 4 sets. 7. 50 Goblet squats with a 50 pound kettlebell 8. 50 kettlebell swings with a 50 pound kettlebell 9. 50 air squats 10. One set of maximum pullups, then one set of maximum push-ups 11. Curl ups: 20 repetitions
12. Side bridge: Hold 1 minute on each side 13. Run 2 miles
Meet the Hero Roy Perez Benavidez August 5, 1935 – Nov. 29, 1998 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: West of Loc Ninh, Republic of Vietnam, May 2, 1968
Citation (Synopsis) A 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted
by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam. The team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crew members. Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering
helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team’s position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team’s position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the
awaiting aircraft. As the enemy’s fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body, Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered
the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition, Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy’s fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he
was clubbed with additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Benavidez’
gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped, saved the lives of at least eight men.
Joe Jackson Breath-hold drills: Lie down in a darkened room; if possible be hooked up to a vital signs machine (pulse, blood pressure, O2 saturation, and
respiration rate). Using diaphragmatic breathing and purposeful relaxation techniques, try to slow your pulse rate, respiration, and lower your blood pressure while keeping your O2 saturation rate at or near 100%. Perform this exercise for 10 minutes; then perform a relaxed breath-hold attempt for time while striving to remain relaxed and maintain a suppressed heart rate. Repeat for three attempts.
Meet the Hero Joe Madison Jackson Born: March 14, 1923 Branch: U.S. Air Forces Place / Date of Action: Kham Duc, Republic of Vietnam, May 12, 1968
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty. Lt. Col. Jackson distinguished himself as pilot of a C123 aircraft. Lt. Col. Jackson volunteered to attempt the rescue of a 3-man USAF Combat Control Team from the Special Forces camp at Kham Duc. Hostile forces had overrun the forward outpost and established gun positions on the airstrip. They were raking the camp with small arms, mortars, light and heavy automatic weapons, and recoilless rifle fire. The camp was engulfed in flames and ammunition dumps were continuously exploding and littering the runway with debris. En outre,
eight aircraft had been destroyed by the intense enemy fire and one aircraft remained on the runway reducing its usable length to only 2,200 feet. To further complicate the landing, the weather was deteriorating rapidly, thereby permitting only one air strike prior to his landing. Although fully aware of the extreme danger and likely failure of such an attempt. Lt. Col. Jackson elected to land his aircraft and attempt to rescue. Displaying superb airmanship and extraordinary heroism, he landed his aircraft near the point where the combat control team was reported to be hiding.
While on the ground, his aircraft was the target of intense hostile fire. A rocket landed in front of the nose of the aircraft but failed to explode. Once the combat control team was aboard, Lt. Col. Jackson succeeded in getting airborne despite the hostile fire directed across the runway in front of his aircraft. Lt. Col. Jackson's profound concern for his fellow men, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself, and the Armed Forces of his country.
James Kedenburg Pool workouts require lifeguards and medical support. 1. Warm up with a 300 meter swim using underwater recovery strokes.
2. Enter the pool and form squads of 8-12 into a circle and tread water. Take a 2030 pound kettlebell and pass it from person to person while treading water. Continue for 20 minutes. 3. Swim 500 meters of breast stroke or side stroke.
Meet the Hero John James Kedenburg July 31, 1946 – June 14, 1968 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, June 13, 1968
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp5 Kedenburg, U.S. Army, Command and Control Detachment North, Forward Operating Base 2, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), distinguished himself while serving as advisor to a longrange reconnaissance team of South Vietnamese irregular troops. The team’s mission was to conduct counter-guerrilla operations deep within enemy-held territory. Prior to reaching the day’s objective, the team was attacked and encircled by a battalionsize North Vietnamese Army force. Sp5 Kedenburg
assumed immediate command of the team which succeeded, after a fierce fight, in breaking out of the encirclement. As the team moved through thick jungle to a position from which it could be extracted by helicopter, Sp5 Kedenburg conducted a gallant rear guard fight against the pursuing enemy and called for tactical air support and rescue helicopters. His withering fire against the enemy permitted the team to reach a preselected landing zone with the loss of only 1 man, who was unaccounted for. Once in the landing zone, Sp5 Kedenburg deployed the team into a perimeter
defense against the numerically superior enemy force. When tactical air support arrived, he skillfully directed air strikes against the enemy, suppressing their fire so that helicopters could hover over the area and drop slings to be used in the extraction of the team. After half of the team was extracted by helicopter, Sp5 Kedenburg and the remaining 3 members of the team harnessed themselves to the sling on a second hovering helicopter. Just as the helicopter was to lift them out of the area, the South Vietnamese team member who had been unaccounted for after the initial
encounter with the enemy appeared in the landing zone. Sp5 Kedenburg unhesitatingly gave up his place in the sling to the man and directed the helicopter pilot to leave the area. He then continued to engage the enemy who were swarming into the landing zone, killing 6 enemy soldiers before he was overpowered. Sp5 Kedenburg’s inspiring leadership, consummate courage and willing self-sacrifice permitted his small team to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy and escape almost certain annihilation. His actions reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
William Atkinson Jones, III Squats, Push-up, Pull-up Countdown 1. 100 air squats-10 pull-ups 2. 75 air squats-30 push-ups 3. 50 air squats-15 pull-ups 4. 25 air squats-50 push-ups
5. Walk ¼ mile 6. Run 5 miles
Meet the Hero William Atkinson Jones, III May 31, 1922 – Nov. 15, 1969 Branch: U.S. Air Forces Place / Date of Action: Near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam, Sept. 1, 1968
Citation(Synopsis) Col. Jones distinguished himself as the pilot of an A-1H Skyraider
aircraft near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam. On that day, as the onscene commander in the attempted rescue of a downed U.S. pilot, Col. Jones' aircraft was repeatedly hit by heavy and accurate antiaircraft fire. On one of his low passes, Col. Jones felt an explosion beneath his aircraft and his cockpit rapidly filled with smoke. With complete disregard of the possibility that his aircraft might still be burning, he unhesitatingly continued his search for the downed pilot. On this pass, he sighted the survivor and a multiple-barrel gun position firing at him from near the top of a karst
formation. He could not attack the gun position on that pass for fear he would endanger the downed pilot. Leaving himself exposed to the gun position, Col. Jones attacked the position with cannon and rocket fire on 2 successive passes. On his second pass, the aircraft was hit with multiple rounds of automatic weapons fire. One round impacted the Yankee Extraction System rocket mounted directly behind the headrest, igniting the rocket. His aircraft was observed to burst into flames in the center fuselage section, with flames engulfing the cockpit area. He pulled the
extraction handle, jettisoning the canopy. The influx of fresh air made the fire burn with greater intensity for a few moments, but since the rocket motor had already burned, the extraction system did not pull Col. Jones from the aircraft. Despite searing pains from severe burns sustained on his arms, hands, neck, shoulders, and face, Col. Jones pulled his aircraft into a climb and attempted to transmit the location of the downed pilot and the enemy gun position to the other aircraft in the area. His calls were blocked by other aircraft transmissions repeatedly directing him to bail out
and within seconds his transmitters were disabled and he could receive only on 1 channel. Completely disregarding his injuries, he elected to fly his crippled aircraft back to his base and pass on essential information for the rescue rather than bail out. Col. Jones successfully landed his heavily damaged aircraft and passed the information to a debriefing officer while on the operating table. As a result of his heroic actions and complete disregard for his personal safety, the downed pilot was rescued later in the day.
Laszlo Rabel Ten rounds for time (of pushups, pull-ups, and squats) 1. 10 push-ups 2. 5 pull-ups 3. 20 squats
Rest 5 minutes. Run 4 miles.
Meet the Hero Laszlo Rabel Sept. 21, 1937 – Nov. 13, 1968 Branch: U.S. Army Ranger Place / Date of Action: Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, Nov. 13, 1968
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Rabel distinguished
himself while serving as leader of Team Delta, 74th Infantry Detachment. At 1000 hours on this date, Team Delta was in a defensive perimeter conducting reconnaissance of enemy trail networks when a member of the team detected enemy movement to the front. As S/Sgt. Rabel and a comrade prepared to clear the area, he heard an incoming grenade as it landed in the midst of the team's perimeter. With complete disregard for his life, S/Sgt. Rabel threw himself on the grenade and, covering it with his body, received the complete impact of the immediate
explosion. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, S/Sgt. Rabel averted the loss of life and injury to the other members of Team Delta. By his gallantry at the cost of his life in the highest traditions of the military service, S/Sgt. Rabel has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
James Fleming Rucksack Appreciation Workout 1. Load a rucksack with 50 pounds 2. Press or jerk the rucksack overhead with one hand and
lunge walk for 16 steps Switch hands and lunge walk with the other hand for 16 steps Put the rucksack on and bear crawl for 50 meters Stand up and perform 50 squats with the rucksack still on Drop down and perform 50 push-ups March with the rucksack on for 6 miles within 1 ½ hours
Meet the Hero James Phillip Fleming Born: March 12, 1943 Branch: U.S. Air Forcer Place / Date of Action: Near Duc Co, Republic of Vietnam, Nov. 26, 1968
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Fleming (then 1st Lt.) distinguished himself as the Aircraft Commander of a UH-1F transport Helicopter. Capt. Fleming went to the aid of a 6-man special forces long range reconnaissance patrol that was in danger of being overrun by a large, heavily armed hostile force. Despite the knowledge that 1 helicopter had been downed by intense hostile fire, Capt. Fleming descended, and balanced his helicopter on a river bank with the tail boom hanging over open water. The patrol could not penetrate to the landing site and he was forced to
withdraw. Dangerously low on fuel, Capt. Fleming repeated his original landing maneuver. Disregarding his own safety, he remained in this exposed position. Hostile fire crashed through his windscreen as the patrol boarded his helicopter. Capt. Fleming made a successful takeoff through a barrage of hostile fire and recovered safely at a forward base. Capt. Fleming's profound concern for his fellowmen, and at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed
Forces of his country.
Robert Lewis Howard 1. Three sets of 12 one arm deadlifts per arm 2. Alternate planking and side bridges: 30 seconds per plank or bridge for five minutes total
3. Rope climb: 5 sets of climbing a 20 foot rope (if no rope is available substitute 5 sets of 10 towel pull-ups) 4. 50 push-ups 5. Run 3 miles with a goal of running a 6:30 minute/mile pace or faster
Meet the Hero Robert Lewis Howard July 11, 1939 – Dec. 23, 2009 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, Dec. 30, 1968
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Howard (then Sfc.), distinguished himself while serving as platoon sergeant of an AmericanVietnamese platoon which was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled territory in the Republic of Vietnam. The platoon had left its helicopter landing zone and was moving out on its mission when it was attacked by an estimated 2-company force. During the initial engagement, 1st Lt. Howard was wounded and his weapon destroyed by a grenade explosion. 1st Lt. Howard saw his
platoon leader had been wounded seriously and was exposed to fire. Although unable to walk, and weaponless, 1st Lt. Howard unhesitatingly crawled through a hail of fire to retrieve his wounded leader. As 1st Lt. Howard was administering first aid and removing the officer's equipment, an enemy bullet struck 1 of the ammunition pouches on the lieutenant's belt, detonating several magazines of ammunition. 1st Lt. Howard momentarily sought cover and then realizing that he must rejoin the platoon, which had been disorganized by the enemy attack,
he again began dragging the seriously wounded officer toward the platoon area. Through his outstanding example of indomitable courage and bravery, 1st Lt. Howard was able to rally the platoon into an organized defense force. With complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded, giving encouragement to the defenders and directing their fire on the encircling enemy. For 31⁄2 hours 1st Lt. Howard's small force and supporting aircraft successfully repulsed enemy attacks and finally were in sufficient
control to permit the landing of rescue helicopters. 1st Lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bulletswept landing zone until all were aboard safely. 1st Lt. Howard’s gallantry in action, his complete devotion to the welfare of his men at the risk of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Robert L. Law As many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes: 1. Rope climb 20 feet (may substitute 10 rope or towel pull-ups for rope climb) 2. Run 400 meters
3. Push-ups: 30 repetitions
Meet the Hero Robert David Law Sept. 15, 1944 – Feb. 22, 1969 Branch: U.S. Army Ranger Place / Date of Action: Tinh Phuoc Thanh province, Republic of Vietnam, Feb. 22 1969
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4 Law distinguished himself
while serving with Company I. While on a long-range reconnaissance patrol in Tinh Phuoc Thanh province, Sp4 Law and 5 comrades made contact with a small enemy patrol. As the opposing elements exchanged intense fire, he maneuvered to a perilously exposed position flanking his comrades and began placing suppressive fire on the hostile troops. Although his team was hindered by a low supply of ammunition and suffered from an unidentified irritating gas in the air, Sp4 Law's spirited defense and challenging counter assault rallied his fellow soldiers against the well-
equipped hostile troops. When an enemy grenade landed in his team's position, Sp4 Law, instead of diving into the safety of a stream behind him, threw himself on the grenade to save the lives of his comrades. Sp4 Law's extraordinary courage and profound concern for his fellow soldiers were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
John L. Levitow As many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes: 1. Ball slams: 10 repetitions with a 20 pound ball 2. Eight count body builders:
10 repetitions 3. Chin ups: 8 repetitions 4. Run 400 meters
Meet the Hero John L. Levitow Nov. 1, 1945-Nov. 8, 2000 Branch: U.S. Air Force Place / Date of Action: Long Binh, Republic of Vietnam, Feb. 24, 1969
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Levitow (then A1c.), U.S.
Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while assigned as a loadmaster aboard an AC-47 aircraft flying a night mission in support of Long Binh Army post. Sgt. Levitow's aircraft was struck by a hostile mortar round. The resulting explosion ripped a hole 2 feet in diameter through the wing and fragments made over 3,500 holes in the fuselage. All occupants of the cargo compartment were wounded and helplessly slammed against the floor and fuselage. The explosion tore an activated flare from the grasp of a crew member who had been launching flares to provide
illumination for Army ground troops engaged in combat. Sgt. Levitow, though stunned by the concussion of the blast and suffering from over 40 fragment wounds in the back and legs, staggered to his feet and turned to assist the man nearest to him who had been knocked down and was bleeding heavily. As he was moving his wounded comrade forward and away from the opened cargo compartment door, he saw the smoking flare ahead of him in the aisle. Realizing the danger involved and completely disregarding his own wounds, Sgt. Levitow started toward the burning flare. The aircraft was
partially out of control and the flare was rolling wildly from side to side. Sgt. Levitow struggled forward despite the loss of blood from his many wounds and the partial loss of feeling in his right leg. Unable to grasp the rolling flare with his hands, he threw himself bodily upon the burning flare. Hugging the deadly device to his body, he dragged himself back to the rear of the aircraft and hurled the flare through the open cargo door. At that instant the flare separated and ignited in the air, but clear of the aircraft. Sgt. Levitow, by his selfless and heroic actions, saved the aircraft and its
entire crew from certain death and destruction. Sgt. Levitow's gallantry, his profound concern for his fellowmen, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
Robert H. Jenkins, Jr. Pool workouts require lifeguards and medical support.
1. Warm up with a 300 meter swim using underwater recovery strokes 2. At your own pace and under the supervision of a lifeguard, perform a 25 meter breathhold swim. After arriving at the far wall, grip the lip of the pool and remain underwater for a count of ten before surfacing. Recover fully and repeat nine times. 3. Form a circle in the deep end of the pool and tread water. Pass a 20 pound weight from person to person in the pool, keeping the
kettlebell from sinking. Better yet, keep the weight totally out of the water. Keep the drill going for 10 minutes. 4. Swim 1200 meters any stroke
Meet the Hero Robert H. Jenkins, Jr. Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Recon Died: March 5, 1969 Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, March 5, 1969
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Marine Gunner with Company C, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division in connection with operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the morning of 5 March 1969, Private First Class Jenkins' twelve-man reconnaissance team was occupying a defensive position at Fire Support Base Argonne south of the Demilitarized Zone. Suddenly, the Marines were
assaulted by a North Vietnamese Army Platoon employing mortars, automatic weapons and hand grenades. Reacting instantly, Private First Class Jenkins and another Marine quickly moved into a twoman fighting emplacement, and as they boldly delivered accurate machine gun fire against the enemy, a North Vietnamese soldier threw a hand grenade into the friendly emplacement. Fully realizing the inevitable results of his action, Private First Class Jenkins quickly seized his comrade, and pushing the man to the ground, he leaped on top of the Marine to shield him from the
explosion. Private First Class Jenkins was seriously injured and subsequently succumbed to his wounds. His courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty saved a fellow Marine from serious injury or possible death and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Joseph R. Kerry 1. Maximum pull-ups: 1 set 2. Maximum push-ups: 1 set 3. Alternate planking and side bridges: 30 seconds per plank or bridge for 5 minutes total
4. Fin swim in the ocean for 2 kilometers
Meet the Hero Joseph Robert Kerrey Born: Aug. 27, 1943 Branch: U.S. Navy SEAL Place / Date of Action: Near Nha Trang Bay, Republic of Vietnam, March 14, 1969
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above
and beyond the call of duty while serving as a SEAL team leader during action against enemy aggressor (Viet Cong) forces. Acting in response to reliable intelligence, Lt. (j.g.) Kerrey led his SEAL team on a mission to capture important members of the enemy’s area political cadre known to be located on an island in the bay of Nha Trang. In order to surprise the enemy, he and his team scaled a 350-foot sheer cliff to place themselves above the ledge on which the enemy was located. Splitting his team in 2 elements and coordinating both, Lt. (jg.) Kerrey led his men in the
treacherous downward descent to the enemy’s camp. Just as they neared the end of their descent, intense enemy fire was directed at them, and Lt. (jg.) Kerrey received massive injuries from a grenade that exploded at his feet and threw him backward onto the jagged rocks. Although bleeding profusely and suffering great pain, he displayed outstanding courage and presence of mind in immediately directing his element's fire into the heart of the enemy camp. Utilizing his radio, Lt. (jg.) Kerrey called in the second element’s fire support, which caught the confused Viet Cong in a
devastating crossfire. After successfully suppressing the enemy’s fire, and although immobilized by his multiple wounds, he continued to maintain calm, superlative control as he ordered his team to secure and defend an extraction site. Lt. (jg.) Kerrey resolutely directed his men, despite his near unconscious state, until he was eventually evacuated by helicopter. The havoc brought to the enemy by this very successful mission cannot be over-estimated. The enemy soldiers who were captured provided critical intelligence to the allied effort. Lt. (jg.) Kerrey’s
courageous and inspiring leadership, valiant fighting spirit, and tenacious devotion to duty in the face of almost overwhelming opposition sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
William Maud Bryant As many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) in 30 minutes: 1. Pull-ups: 6 repetitions 2. Push-ups: 10 repetitions 3. Air squats: 15 repetitions
4. Run 400 meters
Meet the Hero William Maud Bryant Feb. 16, 1933 – March 24, 1969 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Long Khanh Province, Republic of Vietnam, March 24, 1969
Citation (Synopsis) Sfc. Bryant, assigned to Company
A, distinguished himself while serving as commanding officer of Civilian Irregular Defense Group Company 321, 2d Battalion, 3d Mobile Strike Force Command, during combat operations. The battalion came under heavy fire and became surrounded by the elements of 3 enemy regiments. Sfc. Bryant displayed extraordinary heroism throughout the succeeding 34 hours of incessant attack as he moved throughout the company position heedless of the intense hostile fire while establishing and improving the defensive perimeter, directing fire during critical phases of the battle,
distributing ammunition, assisting the wounded, and providing the leadership and inspirational example of courage to his men. When a helicopter drop of ammunition was made to re-supply the beleaguered force, Sfc. Bryant with complete disregard for his safety ran through the heavy enemy fire to retrieve the scattered ammunition boxes and distributed needed ammunition to his men. During a lull in the intense fighting, Sfc. Bryant led a patrol outside the perimeter to obtain information of the enemy. The patrol came under intense automatic weapons fire and was pinned down.
Sfc. Bryant single-handedly repulsed 1 enemy attack on his small force and by his heroic action inspired his men to fight off other assaults. Seeing a wounded enemy soldier some distance from the patrol location, Sfc. Bryant crawled forward alone under heavy fire to retrieve the soldier for intelligence purposes. Finding that the enemy soldier had expired, Sfc. Bryant crawled back to his patrol and led his men back to the company position where he again took command of the defense. As the siege continued, Sfc. Bryant organized and led a patrol in a
daring attempt to break through the enemy encirclement. The patrol had advanced some 200 meters by heavy fighting when it was pinned down by the intense automatic weapons fire from heavily fortified bunkers and Sfc. Bryant was severely wounded. Despite his wounds he rallied his men, called for helicopter gunship support, and directed heavy suppressive fire upon the enemy positions. Following the last gunship attack, Sfc. Bryant fearlessly charged an enemy automatic weapons position, overrunning it, and single-handedly destroying its 3 defenders. Inspired
by his heroic example, his men renewed their attack on the entrenched enemy. While regrouping his small force for the final assault against the enemy, Sfc. Bryant fell mortally wounded by an enemy rocket.
Richard A. Anderson Run-swim-run: 1. Run 2 miles while carrying swim gear (fins, mask, life vest)
2. Fin swim 3 kilometers 3. Run 2 miles
Meet the Hero Richard A. Anderson Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Recon Died: August 24, 1969 Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, August 24, 1969
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Assistant Fire Team Leader with Company E, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. While conducting a patrol during the early morning hours of 24 August 1969, Lance Corporal Anderson's reconnaissance team came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons and machine-gun fire from a numerically superior and well-
concealed enemy force. Although painfully wounded in both legs and knocked to the ground during the initial moments of the fierce fire fight, Lance Corporal Anderson assumed a prone position and continued to deliver intense suppressive fire in an attempt to repulse the attackers. Moments later he was wounded a second time by an enemy soldier who had approached to within eight feet of the team's position. Undaunted, he continued to pour a relentless stream of fire at the assaulting unit, even while a companion was treating his leg wounds. Observing an enemy
grenade land between himself and the other Marine, Lance Corporal Anderson immediately rolled over and covered the lethal weapon with his body, absorbing the full effects of the detonation. By his indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Anderson was instrumental in saving several Marines from serious injury or possible death. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
Robert J. Pruden 1. Clean and jerks: 15 sets of 2 repetitions 2. Box jumps on a 30 inch box: 4 sets of 10 repetitions 3. One arm deadlifts: 3 sets
of 15 repetitions per arm 4. Sandbag lunge walk with 50 pound sandbags: 40 meters per side; 3 sets 5. Sled pushes and pulls. Load the sled with 300 pounds. Push the sled 25 yards while dragging a 25 yard rope, run back, and pull the sled back hand-overhand. Repeat 5 times.
Meet the Hero Robert Joseph Pruden Sept. 9, 1949 – Nov. 29, 1969 Branch: U.S. Army Ranger Place / Date of Action: Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam, Nov. 29, 1969
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Pruden, Company G, distinguished himself while serving as a reconnaissance team leader during an ambush mission. The 6man team was inserted by helicopter into enemy controlled territory to establish an ambush position and to obtain information concerning enemy movements. As the team moved into the preplanned area, S/Sgt. Pruden deployed his men into 2 groups on the opposite sides of a well used trail. As the groups were establishing their defensive positions, 1 member of the team was trapped in the open by the
heavy fire from an enemy squad. Realizing that the ambush position had been compromised, S/Sgt. Pruden directed his team to open fire on the enemy force. Immediately, the team came under heavy fire from a second enemy element. S/Sgt. Pruden, with full knowledge of the extreme danger involved, left his concealed position and, firing as he ran, advanced toward the enemy to draw the hostile fire. He was seriously wounded twice but continued his attack until he fell for a third time, in front of the enemy positions. S/Sgt. Pruden's actions resulted in several
enemy casualties and withdrawal of the remaining enemy force. Although grievously wounded, he directed his men into defensive positions and called for evacuation helicopters, which safely withdrew the members of the team. S/Sgt. Pruden's outstanding courage, selfless concern for the welfare of his men, and intrepidity in action at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Franklin D. Miller Vehicle push: With a driver in a vehicle, two men push the car for 200 meters, then they are replaced by another two man team. The teams switch places every 200 meters until they have
completed 2600 meters.
Meet the Hero Franklin Douglas Miller Jan. 27, 1945–June 30, 2000 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, Jan. 5, 1970
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Miller, 5th Special Forces Group, distinguished himself while serving as team leader of an American-Vietnamese long-range reconnaissance patrol operating deep within enemy controlled territory. Leaving the helicopter insertion point, the patrol moved forward on its mission. Suddenly, 1 of the team members tripped a hostile booby trap which wounded 4 soldiers. S/Sgt. Miller, knowing that the explosion would alert the enemy, quickly administered first aid to the wounded and directed the team into positions across a small stream bed
at the base of a steep hill. Within a few minutes, S/Sgt. Miller saw the lead element of what he estimated to be a platoon-size enemy force moving toward his location. Concerned for the safety of his men, he directed the small team to move up the hill to a more secure position. He remained alone, separated from the patrol, to meet the attack. S/Sgt. Miller single-handedly repulsed 2 determined attacks by the numerically superior enemy force and caused them to withdraw in disorder. He rejoined his team, established contact with a forward air controller and arranged the
evacuation of his patrol. However, the only suitable extraction location in the heavy jungle was a bomb crater some 150 meters from the team location. S/Sgt. Miller reconnoitered the route to the crater and led his men through the enemy controlled jungle to the extraction site. As the evacuation helicopter hovered over the crater to pick up the patrol, the enemy launched a savage automatic weapon and rocket-propelled grenade attack against the beleaguered team, driving off the rescue helicopter. S/Sgt. Miller led the team in a valiant defense which drove back the
enemy in its attempt to overrun the small patrol. Although seriously wounded and with every man in his patrol a casualty, S/Sgt. Miller moved forward to again singlehandedly meet the hostile attackers. From his forward exposed position, S/Sgt. Miller gallantly repelled 2 attacks by the enemy before a friendly relief force reached the patrol location. S/Sgt. Miller's gallantry, intrepidity in action, and selfless devotion to the welfare of his comrades are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Gary B. Beikich Ruck run. Load a rucksack with 50 pounds and run 6 miles.
Meet the Hero Gary Burnell Beikirch Born: Aug. 29, 1947 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, April 1, 1970
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Beikirch, medical aidman, Detachment B-24, Company B, distinguished himself during the defense of Camp Dak Seang. The allied defenders suffered a number of casualties as a result of an intense, devastating attack launched by the enemy from well-concealed positions surrounding the camp. Sgt. Beikirch, with complete disregard for his personal safety, moved unhesitatingly through the withering enemy fire to his fallen comrades, applied first aid to their wounds and assisted them to the medical aid
station. When informed that a seriously injured American officer was lying in an exposed position, Sgt. Beikirch ran immediately through the hail of fire. Although he was wounded seriously by fragments from an exploding enemy mortar shell, Sgt. Beikirch carried the officer to a medical aid station. Ignoring his own serious injuries, Sgt. Beikirch left the relative safety of the medical bunker to search for and evacuate other men who had been injured. He was again wounded as he dragged a critically injured Vietnamese soldier to the medical bunker while simultaneously applying
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to sustain his life. Sgt. Beikirch again refused treatment and continued his search for other casualties until he collapsed. Only then did he permit himself to be treated. Sgt. Beikirch’s complete devotion to the welfare of his comrades, at the risk of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Gary Lee Littrell As many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) in 30 minutes: 1. Pull-ups: 6 repetitions 2. Bar dips: 10 repetitions 3. Kettlebell swings with 50 pounds: 20 repetitions
4. Run 400 meters
Meet the Hero Gary Lee Littrell Born: Oct. 26, 1944 Branch: U.S. Army Ranger Place / Date of Action: Kontum province, Republic of Vietnam, April 4 to 8, 1970
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sfc. Littrell, U.S. Military
Assistance Command, Vietnam, Advisory Team 21, distinguished himself while serving as a Light Weapons Infantry Advisor with the 23d Battalion, 2nd Ranger Group, Republic of Vietnam Army, near Dak Seang. After establishing a defensive perimeter on a hill on April 4, the battalion was subjected to an intense enemy mortar attack which killed the Vietnamese commander, one adviser, and seriously wounded all the advisors except Sfc. Littrell. During the ensuing 4 days, Sfc. Littrell exhibited near superhuman endurance as he single-handedly bolstered the besieged battalion.
Repeatedly abandoning positions of relative safety, he directed artillery and air support by day and marked the unit's location by night, despite the heavy, concentrated enemy fire. His dauntless will instilled in the men of the 23d Battalion a deep desire to resist. Assault after assault was repulsed as the battalion responded to the extraordinary leadership and personal example exhibited by Sfc. Littrell as he continuously moved to those points most seriously threatened by the enemy, redistributed ammunition, strengthened faltering defenses, cared for the wounded and shouted
encouragement to the Vietnamese in their own language. When the beleaguered battalion was finally ordered to withdraw, numerous ambushes were encountered. Sfc. Littrell repeatedly prevented widespread disorder by directing air strikes to within 50 meters of their position. Through his indomitable courage and complete disregard for his safety, he averted excessive loss of life and injury to the members of the battalion. The sustained extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Sfc. Littrell over an extended period of time were in keeping with the highest
traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him and the U.S. Army.
Brian Leroy Buker Three rounds for time: 1. 50 air squats 2. 20 wall ball throws with 24 pound ball 3. 15 one arm snatches with 30 pound kettlebell or dumbbell
4. 15 one arm snatches with 30 Pound kettlebell or dumbbell with the other hand 5. 50 yard farmer's walk left hand with 80 pound weight 6. 50 yard farmer's walk right hand with 80 pound weight 7. 40 push-ups 8. Bar dips: 10 repetitions 9. Pull-ups: 10 repetitions
Meet the Hero Brian Leroy Buker Nov. 3, 1949 – April 5, 1970 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Chau Doc Province, Republic of Vietnam, April 5, 1970
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.
Sgt. Buker, Detachment B-55, distinguished himself while serving as a platoon adviser of a Vietnamese mobile strike force company during an offensive mission. Sgt. Buker personally led the platoon, cleared a strategically located well-guarded pass, and established the first foothold at the top of what had been an impenetrable mountain fortress. When the platoon came under the intense fire from a determined enemy located in 2 heavily fortified bunkers, and realizing that withdrawal would result in heavy casualties, Sgt. Buker unhesitatingly,
and with complete disregard for his personal safety, charged through the hail of enemy fire and destroyed the first bunker with hand grenades. While reorganizing his men for the attack on the second bunker, Sgt. Buker was seriously wounded. Despite his wounds and the deadly enemy fire, he crawled forward and destroyed the second bunker. Sgt. Buker refused medical attention and was reorganizing his men to continue the attack when he was mortally wounded. As a direct result of his heroic actions, many casualties were averted, and the assault of the enemy position was successful. Sgt.
Buker's extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Jon Robert Cavaiani 1. Deadlifts: 5 sets of 5 repetitions 2. Clean and jerks: 20 sets of 1 repetition per set 3. One arm overhead presses: 6 repetitions per
arm; 4 sets 4. Box jumps: 20 repetitions on a 24 inch box; 4 sets 5. Curl ups: 20 repetitions of 8 seconds each 6. Side bridge/plank/side bridge: Hold each transition 8 seconds for a total of 4 minutes 7. Farmer's walk with 80 pound weight: 100 meters per side; 2 sets
Meet the Hero Jon Robert Cavaiani Born: Aug. 2, 1943 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, June 4 and 5, 1971
Citation (Synopsis) On the morning of 4 June 1971, the entire camp came under an intense
barrage of enemy small arms, automatic weapons, rocketpropelled grenade and mortar fire from a superior size enemy force. S/Sgt. Cavaiani acted with complete disregard for his personal safety as he repeatedly exposed himself to heavy enemy fire in order to move about the camp's perimeter directing the platoon's fire and rallying the platoon in a desperate fight for survival. S/Sgt. Cavaiani also returned heavy suppressive fire upon the assaulting enemy force during this period with a variety of weapons. When the entire platoon was to be evacuated, S/Sgt.
Cavaiani unhesitatingly volunteered to remain on the ground and direct the helicopters into the landing zone. S/Sgt. Cavaiani was able to direct the first 3 helicopters in evacuating a major portion of the platoon. Due to intense increase in enemy fire, S/Sgt. Cavaiani was forced to remain at the camp overnight where he calmly directed the remaining platoon members in strengthening their defenses. On the morning of 5 June, a heavy ground fog restricted visibility. The superior size enemy force launched a major ground attack in an attempt to completely annihilate the remaining small force.
The enemy force advanced in 2 ranks, first firing a heavy volume of small arms automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fire while the second rank continuously threw a steady barrage of hand grenades at the beleaguered force. S/Sgt. Cavaiani returned a heavy barrage of small arms and hand grenade fire on the assaulting enemy force but was unable to slow them down. He ordered the remaining platoon members to attempt to escape while he provided them with cover fire. With 1 last courageous exertion, S/Sgt. Cavaiani recovered a machine gun, stood up, completely
exposing himself to the heavy enemy fire directed at him, and began firing the machine gun in a sweeping motion along the 2 ranks of advancing enemy soldiers. Through S/Sgt. Cavaiani's valiant efforts with complete disregard for his safety, the majority of the remaining platoon members were able to escape. While inflicting severe losses on the advancing enemy force, S/Sgt. Cavaiani was wounded numerous times. S/Sgt. Cavaiani’s conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, were in keeping with the highest
traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
Loren D. Hagen Run 10 miles
Meet the Hero Loren Douglas Hagen Feb. 25, 1946 – Aug. 7, 1971 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, August 7, 1971
Citation 1st Lt. Hagen distinguished himself in
action while serving as the team leader of a small special reconnaissance team operating deep within enemy-held territory. At approximately 0630 hours on the morning of 7 August 1971 the small team came under a fierce assault by a superior-sized enemy force using heavy small arms, automatic weapons, mortar, and rocket fire. 1st Lt. Hagen immediately began returning small-arms fire upon the attackers and successfully led his team in repelling the first enemy onslaught. He then quickly deployed his men into more strategic defense locations before the enemy struck
again in an attempt to overrun and annihilate the beleaguered team's members. 1st Lt. Hagen repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy fire directed at him as he constantly moved about the team's perimeter, directing fire, rallying the members, and resupplying the team with ammunition, while courageously returning small arms and hand grenade fire in a valorous attempt to repel the advancing enemy force. The courageous actions and expert leadership abilities of 1st Lt. Hagen were a great source of inspiration and instilled confidence in the team members. After observing an enemy
rocket make a direct hit on and destroy 1 of the team’s bunkers, 1st Lt. Hagen moved toward the wrecked bunker in search for team members despite the fact that the enemy force now controlled the bunker area. With total disregard for his own personal safety, he crawled through the enemy fire while returning small-arms fire upon the enemy force. Undaunted by the enemy rockets and grenades impacting all around him, 1st Lt. Hagen desperately advanced upon the destroyed bunker until he was fatally wounded by enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire.
With complete disregard for his personal safety, 1st Lt. Hagen’s courageous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon him and the U.S. Army.
Thomas R. Norris Underwater kettlebell relay race. A lifeguard, corpsman, and safety diver are required for this event. Divide a platoon into two or three teams.
Place a 50-80 pound kettlebell, ammo box, or weight belt on the bottom of a training tank’s deep end. At “go” a swimmer from each team will jump into the training tank (pool), lift the kettlebell and then run the 25 meters or yards across the pool. At the other end of the pool, the runner must hand the kettlebell to a teammate who will run back across the pool. The relay will continue until all members of the platoon have completed a 25 meter run across the pool. The losing teams will perform
100 push-ups. Then all platoon members will complete a 500 meter pool swim using the breast stroke or side stroke.
Meet the Hero Thomas Rolland Norris Born: Jan. 14, 1944 Branch: U.S. Navy SEAL Place / Date of Action: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, April 10 to 13, 1972
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a SEAL Advisor with the Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance Team, Headquarters, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. During the period 10 to 13 April 1972, Lieutenant Norris completed an unprecedented ground rescue of two downed pilots deep within heavily controlled enemy territory in Quang Tri Province. Lieutenant Norris, on the night of 10 April, led a five-man patrol through 2,000 meters of heavily controlled enemy territory, located one of the downed pilots at daybreak, and returned to
the Forward Operating Base (FOB). On 11 April, after a devastating mortar and rocket attack on the small FOB, Lieutenant Norris led a three man team on two unsuccessful rescue attempts for the second pilot. On the afternoon of the 12th, a Forward Air Controller located the pilot and notified Lieutenant Norris. Dressed in fishermen disguises and using a sampan, Lieutenant Norris and one Vietnamese traveled throughout that night and found the injured pilot at dawn. Covering the pilot with bamboo and vegetation, they began the return journey, successfully evading a North
Vietnamese patrol. Approaching the FOB, they came under heavy machine gun fire. Lieutenant Norris called in an air strike which provided suppression fire and a smoke screen, allowing the rescue party to reach the FOB. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, undaunted courage, and selfless dedication in the face of extreme danger, Lieutenant Norris enhanced the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Michael Edwin Thorton 1.
Fireman-carry someone of similar size to you for 200 yards; then he carries you 200 yards. 2. Open water fin swim of 4 kilometers.
Meet the Hero Michael Edwin Thornton Born: March 23, 1949 Branch: U.S. Navy SEAL Place / Date of Action: Republic of Vietnam, Oct. 31, 1972
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above
and beyond the call of duty while participating in a daring operation against enemy forces. PO Thornton, as Assistant U.S. Navy Advisor, along with a U.S. Navy lieutenant serving as Senior Advisor, accompanied a 3-man Vietnamese Navy SEAL patrol on an intelligence gathering and prisoner capture operation against an enemy occupied naval river base. Launched from a Vietnamese Navy junk in a rubber boat, the patrol reached land and was continuing on foot toward its objective when it suddenly came under heavy fire from a numerically superior force. The patrol called in
naval gunfire support and then engaged the enemy in a fierce firefight, accounting for many enemy casualties before moving back to the waterline to prevent encirclement. Upon learning that the Senior Advisor had been hit by enemy fire and was believed to be dead, PO Thornton returned through a hail of fire to the lieutenant's last position; quickly disposed of 2 enemy soldiers about to overrun the position, and succeeded in removing the seriously wounded and unconscious Senior Naval Advisor to the water's edge. He then inflated the lieutenant's lifejacket and towed him seaward for
approximately 2 hours until picked up by support craft. By his extraordinary courage and perseverance, PO Thornton was directly responsible for saving the life of his superior officer and enabling the safe extraction of all patrol members, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
Gary I. Gordon 1. Kettlebell swings: 100 repetitions with 50 pounds 2. Push-ups: 50 repetitions 3. Air squats: 100 repetitions 4. 20 foot rope climb 5. Goblet squats with 40
pounds: 50 repetitions 6. 20 foot rope climb 7. Push-ups: 50 repetitions 8. Kettlebell swings: 50 repetitions 9. 20 foot rope climb 10. Kettlebell snatches: 20 repetitions per hand with 30 pound kettlebells 11. 20 foot rope climb 12. Lunge walk with no weight for 20 yards 13. Curl ups: 20 repetitions of 8 second contractions 14. Side bridge/plank/side bridge: hold each transition 8 seconds for a total of 4
minutes 15. 20 foot rope climb
Meet the Hero Gary Ivan Gordon Aug. 30, 1960 – Oct. 3, 1993 Branch: U.S. Army Place / Date of Action: Mogadishu, Somalia, Oct. 3, 1993
Citation Master Sergeant Gordon, United States Army, distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on 3 October 1993, while
serving as Sniper Team Leader, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. Master Sergeant Gordon's sniper team provided precision fires from the lead helicopter during an assault and at two helicopter crash sites, while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. When Master Sergeant Gordon learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the second crash site, he and another sniper unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four
critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After his third request to be inserted, Master Sergeant Gordon received permission to perform his volunteer mission. When debris and enemy ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Master Sergeant Gordon was inserted one hundred meters south of the crash site. Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Master Sergeant Gordon and his fellow sniper, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense
maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Master Sergeant Gordon immediately pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter which placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position. Master Sergeant Gordon used his long range rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of attackers until he depleted his ammunition. Master Sergeant Gordon then went back to the wreckage, recovering some of the crew's weapons and ammunition. Despite the fact that he was critically
low on ammunition, he provided some of it to the dazed pilot and then radioed for help. Master Sergeant Gordon continued to travel the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. After his team member was fatally wounded and his own rifle ammunition exhausted, Master Sergeant Gordon returned to the wreckage, recovering a rifle with the last five rounds of ammunition and gave it to the pilot with the words, "good luck." Then, armed only with his pistol, Master Sergeant Gordon continued to fight until he was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot's life. Master
Sergeant Gordon's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and the United States Army.
Randall D. Shughart Diaphragmatic breathing exercises benefit diving and marksmanship operations. For the best results the use of biofeedback is recommended. Attach a pulse monitor with
preferably an oxygen saturation measuring device and blood pressure cuff. Virtually any vital signs machine will do. To practice diaphragmatic breathing, lie on your back with your knees bent. Place the fingertips of both hands on your abdomen, one hand on each side. Breathe in through your nose deeply and slowly. Concentrate on having your abdomen expand and rise as you inhale. Pause at maximal inhalation, then exhale fully through pursed lips. Practice this type of breathing while
monitoring your vital signs. Use the biofeedback device to help you practice slowing your respiration and heart rates while lowering your blood pressure. As you master diaphragmatic breathing, use it during activities of normal living as well as exercise. This skill is particularly useful in improving precision shooting.
Meet the Hero Randall David Shughart Aug. 13, 1958 – Oct. 3, 1993 Branch: U.S. Army Place / Date of Action: Mogadishu, Somalia, Oct. 3, 1993
Citation Sergeant First Class Shughart, United States Army, distinguished himself by actions above and beyond
the call of duty on 3 October 1993, while serving as a Sniper Team Member, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. Sergeant First Class Shughart provided precision sniper fires from the lead helicopter during an assault on a building and at two helicopter crash sites, while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. While providing critical suppressive fires at the second crash site, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader learned that ground forces were not
immediately available to secure the site. Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After their third request to be inserted, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader received permission to perform this volunteer mission. When debris and enemy ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader were inserted one hundred meters south
of the crash site. Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Sergeant First Class Shughart pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter which placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position. Sergeant First Class Shughart used his long range rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of
attackers while traveling the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. Sergeant First Class Shughart continued his protective fire until he depleted his ammunition and was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot's life. Sergeant First Class Shughart's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and the United States Army.
Michael Patrick Murphy "The Murph" is a workout with a following. It has its own web page and has been performed by millions of CrossfFit® devotees the world over. This workout was one of Michael P.
Murphy's favorite workouts. He called it "Body Armor," but we now know it as the Murph. For time complete this workout: 1. 1 mile run 2. 100 pull-pus 3. 200 push-ups 4. 300 air squats 5. 1 mile run By the way, Michael Murphy did it with 20 pounds of body armor. Use a 20 pound vest or body armor. I recommend breaking the calisthenic portion of the workout into 20 cycles of 5 pullups, followed by 10 push-ups,
followed by 15 air squats. My best time (without the weighted vest) was 39 minutes at age 55.
Meet the Hero Michael Patrick Murphy May 7, 1976 – June 28, 2005 Branch: U.S. Navy SEAL Place / Date of Action: Near Asadabad, Afghanistan, June 28, 2005
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as the
leader of a special reconnaissance element with Naval Special Warfare Task Unit Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2005. While leading a mission to locate a high-level anti-coalition militia leader, Lieutenant Murphy demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. On 28 June 2005, operating in an extremely rugged enemy-controlled area, Lieutenant Murphy’s team was discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers, who revealed their position to Taliban fighters. As a result, between 30 and 40 enemy
fighters besieged his four member team. Demonstrating exceptional resolve, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing fierce firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of the team. Ignoring his own wounds and demonstrating exceptional composure, Lieutenant Murphy continued to lead and encourage his men. When the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, Lieutenant Murphy repeatedly attempted to call for assistance for his beleaguered teammates.
Realizing the impossibility of communicating in the extreme terrain, and in the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. This deliberate, heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire. Finally achieving contact with his Headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy maintained his exposed position while he provided his location and requested immediate support for his team. In his final act of bravery, he continued to engage the enemy until he was mortally wounded, gallantly giving his life for his country and for
the cause of freedom. By his selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty, Lieutenant Murphy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Michael A. Monsoor 1. Curl ups: 20 repetitions of 8 second contractions 2. 50 push-ups 3. Side bridge/plank/side bridge: hold each transition 8 seconds for a total of 5
minutes 4. 50 push-ups 5. Mountain climbers: 100 repetitions 6. 50 push-ups 7. 100 air squats 8. 50 Push-ups 9. 50 bends and thrusts (burpees) 10. 50 push-ups 11. Run 6 miles
Meet the Hero Michael Anthony Monsoor April 5, 1981 – Sept. 29, 2006 Branch: U.S. Navy SEAL Place / Date of Action: Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Sept. 29, 2006
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Automatic Weapons
Gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army sniper overwatch element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent-held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element's position. Element snipers
thwarted the enemy's initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took a position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor’s chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer
Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Robert J. Miller Perform these exercises with rest between sets: 1. Kettlebell one-legged deadlift: 3 sets of 15 repetitions with 20 pounds
2. Box jumps onto a 30 inch box: 4 sets of 10 repetitions 3. Clean and jerk with barbell: 15 sets of 2 repetitions Then perform as many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of these exercises in 30 minutes: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Pull-ups: 6 repetitions Push-ups: 10 repetitions Air squats: 15 repetitions Run 400 meters
Meet the Hero Robert James Miller Oct. 14 1983 –Jan. 25 2008 Branch: U.S. Army Special Forces Place / Date of Action: Konar Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 25 2008
Citation Robert J. Miller distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism
while serving as the Weapons Sergeant in Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, Special Operations Task Force-33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan during combat operations against an armed enemy in Konar Province, Afghanistan on January 25, 2008. While conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol through the Gowardesh Valley, Staff Sergeant Miller and his small element of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers engaged a force of 15 to 20 insurgents occupying prepared fighting positions. Staff Sergeant
Miller initiated the assault by engaging the enemy positions with his vehicle's turret-mounted Mark-19 40 millimeter automatic grenade launcher while simultaneously providing detailed descriptions of the enemy positions to his command, enabling effective, accurate close air support. Following the engagement, Staff Sergeant Miller led a small squad forward to conduct a battle damage assessment. As the group neared the small, steep, narrow valley that the enemy had inhabited, a large, well coordinated insurgent force initiated a near ambush, assaulting from elevated positions
with ample cover. Exposed and with little available cover, the patrol was totally vulnerable to enemy rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapon fire. As point man, Staff Sergeant Miller was at the front of the patrol, cut off from supporting elements, and less than 20 meters from enemy forces. Nonetheless, with total disregard for his own safety, he called for his men to quickly move back to covered positions as he charged the enemy over exposed ground and under overwhelming enemy fire in order to provide protective fire for his team. While maneuvering to engage the
enemy, Staff Sergeant Miller was shot in his upper torso. Ignoring the wound, he continued to push the fight, moving to draw fire from over one hundred enemy fighters upon himself. He then again charged forward through an open area in order to allow his teammates to safely reach cover. After killing at least 10 insurgents, wounding dozens more, and repeatedly exposing himself to withering enemy fire while moving from position to position, Staff Sergeant Miller was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His extraordinary valor ultimately saved the lives of seven members of his
own team and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers. Staff Sergeant Miller's heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, and at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.
Leroy Arthur Petry As many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) in 30 minutes: 1. Bear crawl 50 meters 2. Air squats: 30 repetitions 3. Bar dips: 10 repetitions
4. Pull-ups: 10 repetitions 5. Run 400 meters
Meet the Hero Leroy Arthur Petry Born: July 29, 1979 Branch: U.S. Army Ranger Place / Date of Action: Paktya Province, Afghanistan, May 26, 2008
Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry
distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktya Province, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008. As a Weapons Squad Leader with D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Staff Sergeant Petry moved to clear the courtyard of a house that potentially contained high-value combatants. While crossing the courtyard, Staff Sergeant Petry and another Ranger were engaged and wounded by automatic weapons fire from enemy fighters. Still under enemy fire, and
wounded in both legs, Staff Sergeant Petry led the other Ranger to cover. He then reported the situation and engaged the enemy with a hand grenade, providing suppression as another Ranger moved to his position. The enemy quickly responded by maneuvering closer and throwing grenades. The first grenade explosion knocked his two fellow Rangers to the ground and wounded both with shrapnel. A second grenade then landed only a few feet away from them. Instantly realizing the danger, Staff Sergeant Petry, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety,
deliberately and selflessly moved forward, picked up the grenade, and in an effort to clear the immediate threat, threw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers. As he was releasing the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist and further injuring him with multiple shrapnel wounds. Although picking up and throwing the live grenade grievously wounded Staff Sergeant Petry, his gallant act undeniably saved his fellow Rangers from being severely wounded or killed. Despite the severity of his wounds, Staff Sergeant Petry continued to maintain the presence of mind to place a
tourniquet on his right wrist before communicating the situation by radio in order to coordinate support for himself and his fellow wounded Rangers. Staff Sergeant Petry’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, 75th Ranger Regiment, and the United States Army.
William D. Swenson As many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) in 12 minutes: 1. Bends and thrusts (burpees): 10 repetitions 2. Air squats: 10 repetitions 3. Push-ups: 10 repetitions
Meet the Hero William D. Swenson Branch: U.S. Army Ranger Place / Date of Action: Kunar Province, Afghanistan, September 8, 2009.
Citation Captain William D. Swenson distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as embedded
advisor to the Afghan National Border Police, Task Force Phoenix, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in support of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on September 8, 2009. On that morning, more than 60 wellarmed, well-positioned enemy fighters ambushed Captain Swenson's combat team as it moved on foot into the village of Ganjgal for a meeting with village elders. As the enemy unleashed a barrage of
rocket-propelled grenade, mortar and machine gun fire, Captain Swenson immediately returned fire and coordinated and directed the response of his Afghan Border Police, while simultaneously calling in suppressive artillery fire and aviation support. After the enemy effectively flanked Coalition Forces, Captain Swenson repeatedly called for smoke to cover the withdrawal of the forward elements. Surrounded on three sides by enemy forces inflicting effective and accurate fire, Captain Swenson coordinated air assets, indirect fire support and medical evacuation helicopter
support to allow for the evacuation of the wounded. Captain Swenson ignored enemy radio transmissions demanding surrender and maneuvered uncovered to render medical aid to a wounded fellow soldier. Captain Swenson stopped administering aid long enough to throw a grenade at approaching enemy forces, before assisting with moving the soldier for air evacuation. With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Swenson unhesitatingly led a team in an unarmored vehicle into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on at least two occasions, to recover the
wounded and search for four missing comrades. After using aviation support to mark locations of fallen and wounded comrades, it became clear that ground recovery of the fallen was required due to heavy enemy fire on helicopter landing zones. Captain Swenson’s team returned to the kill zone another time in a Humvee. Captain Swenson voluntarily exited the vehicle, exposing himself to enemy fire, to locate and recover three fallen Marines and one fallen Navy corpsman. His exceptional leadership and stout resistance against the enemy during six hours
of continuous fighting rallied his teammates and effectively disrupted the enemy's assault. Captain William D. Swenson's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Task Force Phoenix, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division and the United States Army.
Operations Forces Distinguished Service, Navy, and Air Force Cross Recipients
Forces Distinguished Service, Navy, & Air Force Cross Recipients The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration that can be awarded by the United States Government. The second highest award(s) for valor and heroism are the service crosses that
are given out by each of the services. The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded by the Army, the Navy Cross is Awarded by the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (when working under the authority of the Navy), and the Air Force Cross is awarded by the Air Force. These awards are equivalent to each other. These medals are awarded for extraordinary heroism while also meeting these criteria: 1. While engaged in action against an enemy of the United States 2. While engaged in military operations involving conflict with
an opposing foreign force; or 3. While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The next few pages will highlight a few of the many service cross recipients.
David F. Cooper As many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes:
1. Pull-ups: 5 repetitions 2. Push-ups: 10 repetitions 3. Air Squats: 15 repetitions
Meet the Hero David F. Cooper Citation The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Distinguished Service Cross To David F. Cooper Chief Warrant Officer 5, U.S. Army For Services as Set Forth in the Following
For extraordinary heroism in action on 27 November 2006, while serving with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), during combat operations against an armed enemy during aerial flight as an AH-6 Flight Lead Pilot for the Joint Task Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Without regard for his personal safety, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Cooper continued to provide effective fires for the Joint Task Force ground forces despite the presence of effective enemy fire. His actions destroyed several enemy positions, which prevented the ground forces from sustaining heavy
casualties and allowed them to hold their position. His superb actions in flight, especially at one point as the lone air support aircraft under terrific enemy fire, contributed greatly to the mission success. Chief Warrant Officer 5 Cooper’s distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Joint Task Force and the United States Army.
Jarion Halbisengibbs Sprints Run 100 meters every minute on the
minute for 15 minutes. Gradually accelerate to maximum speed by 40 meters, and maintain maximum speed from 40-100 meters.
Meet the Hero Jarion Halbisengibbs Citation The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Distinguished Service Cross To Jarion Halbisengibbs Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army For Services as Set Forth in the Following
For exceptional gallantry under intense enemy fire as the Detachment Weapons Sergeant of Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alpha 083, Advanced Operating Base 080, on 10 September 2007. SSG Halbisengibbs, while combat advising a combined assault element of Iraqi National Police during Operation CHROMIUM, an intelligence driven raid to capture a High Value Islamic State of Iraq terrorist in the Samarra area, acted with the utmost bravery and valor through exemplary violence of action
to eliminate a heavily armed and entrenched enemy stronghold. Upon air infiltration into an unplanned landing zone, SSG Halbisengibbs immediately redirected the disoriented Iraqi assault force towards the objective in total brownout conditions. His quick thinking and ability to refocus the confused assault element ensured that the enemy could not effectively reposition itself and engage the support element maneuvering to his flank. Upon clearing the first structure, the assault element immediately came under enemy machine gun fire causing a
dangerous pause in the momentum of the Iraqi National Police. SSG Halbisengibbs instantly identified the immediate threat and killed an enemy defending from inside the doorway of the targeted building. He then proceeded to regain the momentum by personally leading the assault force into the targeted building while under constant enemy gunfire. Initiating the assault with a single fragmentary grenade, instantly killing an additional three terrorists entrenched inside the building, he instinctively cleared the entryway, entered the building and engaged and instantly killed an enemy firing at
the assault element from inside the building at close range. SSG Halbisengibbs continued to clear the structure in complete darkness as his night vision goggles and personal radio were all destroyed by enemy gunfire at point blank range. Stumbling over a dead enemy, he was shot in the thumb and propelled to the ground by the blast of an enemy grenade which propelled two other Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) assaulters out of the building. Alone, he relentlessly continued to engage the concealed enemy and in a moment of intense close quarters battle killed one
additional terrorist inside the now chaotic structure. Once the targeted building was cleared, SSG Halbisengibbs exited the building and immediately passed a verbal status report to his ODA indicating that he was injured but that he was able to continue the fight. He immediately came under automatic weapons fire at close range from a defending enemy position in an adjacent structure not yet cleared by the stalled National Police assault force. As SSG Halbisengibbs reacted to the threat, he was shot in the abdomen, but was still able to kill the enemy as he fell to the ground
seriously wounded. SSG Halbisengibbs’ heroic performance rekindled the fighting spirit in the stalled Iraqi force, who carried on the assault and cleared the remainder of the objective. SSG Halbisengibbs was responsible for single – handedly killing six enemy out of a total of eleven on this objective and eliminating a High Value Terrorist who led operations throughout Salah ad Din Province. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of valorous military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Special Operations Command Central, and the United
Mark E. Mitchell Five rounds for time:
1. Pull-ups: 10 repetitions 2. Eight count body builders: 10 repetitions 3. Bar dips: 10 repetitions 4. Single arm lunge walks with 40 pounds held overhead: 10 steps with each arm Run 4 miles
Meet the Hero Mark E. Mitchell Citation The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Distinguished Service Cross To Mark E. Mitchell Major, U.S. Army For Services as Set Forth in the Following
For extraordinary heroism while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 3d Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during the period of 25 to 28 November 2001, distinguished himself while engaged in combat operations during Operation Enduring Freedom. As the Ground Force Commander of a rescue operation during the Battle of Qala-IJang Fortress, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, Major Mitchell ensured the freedom of one American and the posthumous repatriation of another. His unparalleled courage under fire, decisive leadership and
personal sacrifice were directly responsible for the success of the rescue operation and were further instrumental in ensuring the city of Mazar-e-Sharif did not fall back in the hands of the Taliban. His personal example has added yet another laurel to the proud military history of this Nation and serves as the standard for all others to emulate. Major Mitchell’s gallant deed was truly above and beyond the call of duty and is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), the United States
Army, and the United States of America.
Operation Red Wings Complete for time: 1. Run 1 mile 2. Man makers: 25 repetitions with 25 pound dumbbells
3. Run 1 mile
Meet the Heroes Matthew G. Axelson, Danny P. Dietz, Marcus Luttrell Citation (Synopsis) The President of the United States Takes Pride in Presenting The Navy Cross
To Matthew G. Axelson, Danny P. Dietz, Marcus Luttrell, United States Navy For Services as Set Forth in the Following
For extraordinary heroism in actions against the enemy while serving in a four-man Special Reconnaissance element with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, Naval Special Warfare Task unit, Afghanistan from 27 to 28 June 2005. Axelson, Dietz and Luttrell demonstrated extraordinary
heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. Operating in the middle of an enemy controlled area, in extremely rugged terrain, their Special Reconnaissance element was tasked with locating a high-level Anti-Coalition Militia leader, in support of a follow-on direct action mission to disrupt enemy activity. On 28 June 2005, the element was spotted by AntiCoalition Militia sympathizers, who immediately revealed their position to the militia fighters. As a result, the element directly encountered the enemy. Demonstrating exceptional
resolve and fully understanding the gravity of the situation, their element bravely engaged the militia, who held both a numerical and positional advantage. The ensuing firefight resulted in numerous enemy personnel killed, with several of the Navy members suffering casualties. By their undaunted courage, fortitude under fire, and unwavering dedication to duty, they reflected great credit upon themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Axelson and Dietz gallantly gave their lives for the cause of freedom.
Petty Officer Petty 2nd Class Officer 2nd (SEAL) Class Matthew (SEAL) Axelson Danny Dietz
Brendan O'Connor 1. Sandbag lunge walk with a 50 pound sandbag for 100 meters per side
2. Bear crawl 100 meters 3. Battle ropes using Tabata timing (20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest) for 4 minutes 4. Bends and thrusts (burpees): 30 repetitions 5. Single leg deadlifts: 20 repetitions per side with 20 pound kettlebell 6. Farmer's walk with 80 pound weight for 100 meters: 2 sets per arm Run four miles
Meet the Hero Brendan O'Connor Citation The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Distinguished Service Cross To Brendan O’Connor Master Sergeant, U.S. Army For Services as Set Forth in the Following
For extraordinary heroism in combat as the Senior Medical Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 765 (ODA-765), Company A, 2d Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, in Panjawal District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. On 24 June 2006, during Operation Kaiki, Sergeant O'Connor led a quick-reaction force to reinforce a surrounded patrol and rescue two wounded comrades. He maneuvered his force through Taliban positions and crawled alone and unprotected,
under enemy machine gun fire to reach the wounded soldiers. He provided medical care while exposed to heavy volumes of Taliban fire, then carried one of the wounded 150 meters across open ground to an area of temporary cover. He climbed over a wall three times, in plain view of the enemy, to assist the wounded soldiers in seeking cover while bullets pounded the structure around them. Sergeant O’Connor assumed duties as the detachment operations sergeant and led the consolidation of three friendly elements, each surrounded, isolated, and receiving fire from all directions. His
remarkable actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Special Operations Command Central, the United States Army and the Department of Defense.
Stephen Bass As many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes: 1. Rope climb 20 feet (may substitute 10 rope or towel pull-ups for rope climb)
2. Run 400 meters 3. Push-ups: 30 repetitions 4. Bends and thrusts (burpees) with a donkey kick: 10 repetitions
Meet the Hero Stephen Bass Citation The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Navy Cross To Stephen Bass Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy For Services as Set Forth in the Following
For extraordinary heroism while serving with the British Special Boat Service during combat operations in Northern Afghanistan on 25 and 26 November 2001. Chief Petty Officer Stephen Bass deployed to the area as a member of a Joint American and British Special Forces Rescue Team to locate and recover two missing American citizens, one presumed to be seriously injured or dead, after hard-line Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners at the Quala-IJangi fortress in Mazar-e-Sharif over powered them and gained access to large quantities of arms and
ammunition stored at the fortress. Once inside, Chief Petty Officer Bass was engaged continuously by direct small arms fire, indirect mortar fire and rocket propelled grenade fire. He was forced to walk through an active antipersonnel minefield in order to gain entry to the fortress. After establishing the possible location of both American citizens, under heavy fire and without concern for his own personal safety, he made two attempts to rescue the uninjured citizen by crawling toward the fortress interior to reach him. Forced to withdraw due to large volumes of fire falling on his position,
he was undeterred. After reporting his efforts to the remaining members of the rescue team, they left and attempted to locate the missing citizen on the outside of the fortress. As darkness began to fall, no attempt was going to be made to locate the other injured American citizen. Chief Petty Officer Bass then took matters into his own hands. Without regard for his own personal safety, he moved forward another 300-400 meters into the heart of the fortress by himself under constant enemy fire in an attempt to locate the injured citizen. Running low on ammunition, he utilized weapons
from deceased Afghans to continue his rescue attempt. Upon verifying the condition and location of the American citizen, he withdrew from the fortress. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Chief Petty Officer Bass reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Mark L. Donald 1. Kettlebell swings: 100 repetitions with a 40 pound kettlebell 2. Barbell squats: 5 sets of 10
3. 4. 5. 6.
repetitions Overhead lunge walk with 40 pounds: 20 yards with each hand Goblet squats with 30 pounds: 30 repetitions Rockstar: 30 repetitions Hollow body roll: 30 repetitions to each side
Meet the Hero Mark L. Donald Citation The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Navy Cross To Mark L. Donald Lieutenant, United States Navy For Services as Set Forth in the Following The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to
Lieutenant Mark L. Donald, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism as Medical Officer assigned to a Joint Operational Unit conducting combat operations against Al Qaida and Taliban enemy forces in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, in October 2003. Lieutenant Donald was part of a multivehicle mounted patrol ambushed by extremely heavy fire from rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. When two rocketpropelled grenades exploded immediately in front of his vehicle, Lieutenant Donald exited the vehicle and began returning fire. While under
heavy and continuous machine gun fire he pulled the wounded Afghan commander to relative safety behind the vehicle's engine block. He left his position, completely exposing himself to the small arms fire, and pulled a wounded American trapped behind the steering wheel to cover behind the vehicle. He covered the wounded with his own body while returning fire and providing care. In the process, multiple bullets passed through his clothing and equipment. Identifying wounded Afghan personnel in the two lead vehicles, Lieutenant Donald moved to their aid under heavy fire and began medical treatment. Après
treating the wounded, he took charge of an Afghan squad in disarray, deployed them to break the ambush, and continued to treat numerous critically injured personnel, while arranging for their prompt medical evacuation. That afternoon, while sweeping an area of earlier action, a U.S./Afghan element was ambushed by a platoon-sized enemy force near Lieutenant Donald’s position. Knowing personnel were gravely wounded, Lieutenant Donald without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety ran 200 meters between opposing forces exposing him to withering and
continuous heavy machine gun and small arms fire to render medical treatment to two wounded personnel, one Afghan and one American. He placed himself between the casualties and the extremely heavy enemy fire now directed at him and began emergency medical treatment. Still under intense enemy fire, wounded by shrapnel, and knowingly within dangerously close range of attacking U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter rockets, he organized the surviving Afghan soldiers and led a 200 meter fighting withdrawal to friendly positions. Lieutenant Donald
coordinated the medical evacuation of wounded soldiers and withdrew overland back to base before treating his own wounds. By his heroic display of decisive and tenacious leadership, unyielding courage in the face of constant enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Lieutenant Donald reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Britt Slabinski As Many Rounds as Possible in 30 minutes 1. Split jumps: 30 repetitions 2. Rockstars: 30 repetitions
3. 4. 5. 6.
Skater jumps: 30 repetitions Chin-ups: 10 repetitions Bear crawl 20 yards 400 meter run
Meet the Hero Britt Slabinski Citation (Synopsis) The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Navy Cross To Britt Slabinski Senior Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy For Services as Set Forth in the Following
On the evening of 3 March, 2002, Senior Chief Petty Officer Britt Slabinski led his seven-man reconnaissance team onto the snowcovered, 10,000 foot mountaintop known as Takur Ghar, to establish a combat overwatch position in support of U.S. Army forces advancing against the enemy on the valley floor. As their helicopter hovered over the mountain it was met by unrelenting rocket propelled grenade (RPG) and small arms fire by entrenched enemy forces. As a result of several RPG hits, a member of Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski 's team was
ejected from the helicopter into the midst of the fortified enemy positions. The badly damaged helicopter conducted a controlled crash, at which time Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski immediately took charge and established security on the crash location until the crew and his team were recovered to a support base. At this point, Senior Chief Slabinski fully aware of the overwhelming, fixed, enemy forces over the mountain, but also knowing the desperate situation of his missing teammate, now reportedly fighting for his life, without hesitation made the selfless decision to lead
his team on an immediate, bold rescue mission. He heroically led the remainder of his SEAL element back onto the snow-covered, remote, mountaintop into the midst of the numerically superior enemy forces in a daring and valiant attempt to rescue one of their own. After a treacherous helicopter insertion onto the mountaintop, Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski led his team in a close quarter firefight. He skillfully maneuvered his team and bravely engaged multiple enemy positions, personally clearing one bunker and killing several enemy within. His unit became caught in a withering
crossfire from other bunkers and the closing enemy forces. Despite mounting casualties, Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski maintained his composure and continued to engage the enemy until his position became untenable. Faced with no choice but a tactical withdrawal, he coolly directed fire from airborne assets to cover his team. He then led an arduous movement through the mountainous terrain, constantly under fire, covering over one kilometer in waist-deep snow, while carrying a seriously wounded teammate. Arriving at a defensible position, he organized his team’s
security posture and stabilized his casualties. For over fourteen hours, Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski directed the defense of his position through countless engagements, personally engaging the enemy and directing close air support onto the enemy positions until the enemy was ultimately defeated. During this entire sustained engagement, Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski exhibited classic grace under fire in steadfastly leading the intrepid rescue operation, saving the lives of his wounded men and setting the conditions for the ultimate vanquishing of the enemy and the
seizing of Takur Ghar.
John A. Chapman Motor Control Workout Rest for one minute between sets and exercises. Try to work on control and proper technique for these exercises.
1. Kettlebell swings: 50 repetitions 2. Bear crawl 100 yards 3. Single leg deadlifts with kettlebell: 3 sets of 12 repetitions per leg; right hand for one set, left hand for one set; then both hands grasping the kettlebell 4. Overhead lunge walk 30 yards with each hand 5. Farmer's walk 200 yards with each hand 6. Levitating squats: 10 repetitions per leg 7. Pull-ups: chest to bar, 12 repetitions 8. Sprinter step: 20 repetitions per leg
9. Rockstar: 40 repetitions 10. Hollow body roll: 40 repetitions 11. Goblet squats: 40 repetitions
Meet the Hero John A. Chapman Citation The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Air Force Cross (Posthumously) To John A. Chapman Technical Sergeant, United Sates Air Force For Services as Set
Forth in the Following
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, awards the Air Force Cross to TSgt John Chapman for extraordinary heroism in a military operation against an armed enemy of the United States as a 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Combat Controller in the vicinity of Gardez, in the eastern highlands of Afghanistan, on 4 March 2002. On this date, during his helicopter insertion for a reconnaissance and time sensitive
targeting close air support mission, Sergeant Chapman’s aircraft came under heavy machine gun fire and received a direct hit from a rocket propelled grenade which caused a United States Navy sea-air-land team member to fall from the aircraft. Though heavily damaged, the aircraft egressed the area and made an emergency landing seven kilometers away. Once on the ground Sergeant Chapman established communication with an AC-130 gunship to insure the area was secure while providing close air support coverage for the entire team. He then directed the gunship
to begin the search for the missing team member. He requested, coordinated, and controlled the helicopter that extracted the stranded team and aircrew members. These actions limited the exposure of the aircrew and team to hostile fire. Without regard for his own life, Sergeant Chapman volunteered to rescue his missing team member from an enemy stronghold. Shortly after insertion, the team made contact with the enemy. Sergeant Chapman engaged and killed two enemy personnel. He continued to advance, reaching the enemy position, then engaged a
second enemy position, a dug-in machine gun nest. At this time the rescue team came under effective enemy fire from three directions. From close range he exchanged fire with the enemy from minimum personal cover until he succumbed to multiple wounds. His engagement and destruction of the first enemy position and advancement on the second position enabled his team to move to cover and break enemy contact. In his own words, his Navy sea-air-land team leader credits Sergeant Chapman unequivocally with saving the lives of the entire rescue team. Through his
extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, and the dedication to the service of his country, Sergeant Chapman reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Jason Dean Cunningham No Equipment Workout 1. Mountain climbers: 100 repetitions
2. Bear crawl 100 meters 3. Push-ups: 50 repetitions 4. Lateral jump squats: 50 repetitions 5. Hollow body roll: 30 repetitions per side 6. Skater jump bounding forward for 50 meters 7. Eight count body builders: 40 repetitions 8. Curl ups: 60 repetitions 9. Combining Core stabilizers (side bridge, plank, side bridge): 30 repetitions 10. Sprinter steps: 20 repetitions per side 11. Bends and thrusts: 30 repetitions
12. 13. 14. 15.
Side jump squat: 30 repetitions Push-ups: 50 repetitions Split Jumps: 50 repetitions Rockstars: 30 repetitions
Meet the Hero Jason Dean Cunningham Citation The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Air Force Cross (Posthumously) To Jason Dean Cunningham Senior Airman, U.S. Air Force For Services as Set Forth in the Following The President of the United States
of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, awards the Air Force Cross to Senior Airman Jason D. Cunningham for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as a pararecueman near the village of Marzak in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan on 4 March 2002. On that proud day, Airman Cunningham was the primary Air Force Combat Search and Rescue medic assigned to a Quick Reaction Force tasked to recover two American servicemen evading capture in austere terrain occupied by massed Al Qaida and
Taliban forces. Shortly before landing, his MH-47E helicopter received accurate rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire, severely disabling the aircraft and causing it to crash land. The assault force formed a hasty defense and immediately suffered three fatalities and five critical casualties. Despite effective enemy fire, and at great risk to his own life, Airman Cunningham remained in the burning fuselage of the aircraft in order to treat the wounded. As he moved his patients to a more secure location, mortar rounds began to impact within fifty feet of his position.
Disregarding this extreme danger, he continued the movement and exposed himself to enemy fire on seven separate occasions. When the second casualty collection point was also compromised, in a display of uncommon valor and gallantry, Airman Cunningham braved an intense small arms and rocketpropelled grenade attack while repositioning the critically wounded to a third collection point. Even after he was mortally wounded and quickly deteriorating, he continued to direct patient movement and transferred care to another medic. In the end, his distinct efforts led to the
successful delivery of ten gravely wounded Americans to life-saving medical treatment. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, and in the dedication of his service to his country, Senior Airman Cunningham reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Robert Gutierrez, Jr. Hell's Bells Kettlebell workout 1. Kettlebell swings with 40 pound kettlebell: 100 repetitions
2. Single leg deadlift with two hand grip: 20 repetitions per leg 3. Kettlebell snatch with 40 pound kettlebell: 30 repetitions per side 4. Farmer's walk with 70-80 pound kettlebell: 400 meters per each side 5. Goblet squats with 30-40 pound kettlebell: 25 repetitions 6. Overhead lunge walk with 20-30 pound kettlebell: 40 meters with each hand 7. Kettlebell clean and jerk: 20 repetitions 8. Man makers with 25 pound kettlebells: 25 repetitions 9. Kettlebell swings with 40 pound
kettlebell: 100 repetitions 10. Run 4 miles
Meet the Hero Robert Gutierrez, Jr. Citation The President of the United States Takes Pride in Presenting The Air Force Cross To Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force For Services as Set
Forth in the Following The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Staff Sergeant Robert Gutierrez, Jr., United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States in Heart Province, Afghanistan, on 5 October 2009. On that date, while assigned as a combat controller to an Army Special Forces Detachment, Sergeant Gutierrez and his team conducted a high-risk
nighttime raid to capture the number two Taliban leader in the region. During the initial assault, the team was attacked with a barrage of rifle and heavy machine-gun fire from a numerically superior and determined enemy force. Sergeant Gutierrez was shot in the chest, his team leader was shot in the leg, and the ten-man element was pinned down in a building with no escape route. In great pain and confronting the very real possibility that he would die, Sergeant Gutierrez seized the initiative and refused to relinquish his duties as joint terminal attack controller. Under intense fire, he
engaged Taliban fighters with his M4 rifle and brought airpower to bear, controlling three “danger close” A-10 strafing runs with exceptional precision against enemy forces just 30 feet away. After the first A-10 attack, the team medic performed a needle decompression to re-inflate Sergeant Gutierrez's collapsed lung, allowing him to direct the next two strafe runs which decimated the enemy force and allowed the team to escape the kill zone without additional casualties. Throughout the four-hour battle, Sergeant Gutierrez’s valorous actions, at great risk to his own life, helped save the
lives of his teammates and dealt a crushing blow to the regional Taliban network. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant Gutierrez reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Zachary J. Rhyner 1. Air squats: 50 repetitions 2. Split jump: 50 repetitions 3. Chest to bar pull-ups: 20 repetitions
4. Rockstars: 50 repetitions 5. Body Rolls: 30 repetitions 6. Sprinter steps: 20 repetitions per side 7. Push-ups: 60 repetitions 8. Curl ups: 40 repetitions 9. Side jump squats: 40 repetitions 10. Run 5 miles
Meet the Hero Zachary J. Rhyner Citation The President of the United States Takes Pride in Presenting The Air Force Cross To Zachary J. Rhyner Senior Airman, U.S. Air Force For Services as Set Forth in the Following
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Senior Airman Zachary J. Rhyner, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States while serving with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, at Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on 6 April 2008. On that date, while assigned as Special Tactics Combat Controller, Airman Rhyner executed a day rotary-wing infiltration with his Special Forces
team to capture high-value insurgents in a village on the surrounding mountains. While climbing near vertical terrain to reach their objective, the team was attacked in a well-coordinated and deadly ambush. Devastating sniper, machine gun, and rocket propelled grenade fire poured down on the team from elevated and protected positions on all sides, immediately pinning down the assault force. Without regard for his life, Airman Rhyner placed himself between the most immediate threats and provided suppressive fire with his M4 rifle against enemy fire while fellow
teammates were extracted from the line of fire. Airman Rhyner bravely withstood the hail of enemy fire to control eight United States Air Force fighters and four United States Army attack helicopters. Despite a gunshot wound to the left leg and being trapped on a 60-foot cliff under constant enemy fire, Airman Rhyner controlled more than 50 attack runs and repeatedly repelled the enemy with repeated danger close air strikes, several within 100 meters of his position. Twice, his actions prevented his element from being overrun during the intense 6 and a half hour battle. Through his
extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Airman Rhyner reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Justin Wilson Pool workout requiring a medical corpsman, lifeguard, and safety diver.
Warm up with a 700 meter swim using breaststroke. Place a 70-80 lb kettlebell (or weight belt) on the bottom of the deep end of a training tank (swimming pool). Swim down, lift the kettlebell, and "run" across the pool underwater on a breath-hold. Set the weight down on the bottom, and then with a controlled assent. rise to the surface. Recover for 3 minutes on the side of the tank; then repeat. Complete 7 sets. Recover at the end of the last set for 3 additional minutes. Finish by swimming freestyle for 1000 meters.
Meet the Hero Justin Wilson The President of the United States Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Navy Cross To Justin Wilson, Chief Petty Officer U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Justin A. Wilson, native to Beloit, Kansas, joined that small circle Nov. 25, 2014, receiving
the Navy Cross aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton for the heroic actions he displayed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Sept. 28, 2011. On that day, Wilson, a Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman with 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command (MARSOC), was on a patrol with Marine Special Operations Team (MSOT) 8113. Wilson voluntarily set out with Staff Sgt. Nicholas Sprovtsoff, the MSOT’s explosive ordinance disposal technician, and Staff Sgt.
Christopher Diaz, a Military Workingdog handler attached to MSOT 8113, to clear an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) near an Afghan Local Police checkpoint in Helmand province. Upon approaching the IED for disposal, a sizable explosive detonated. Wilson’s award citation described what happened next, and reads, “despite being disoriented by the dust and overpressure from the blast, and knowing the enemy’s tactic of emplacing multiple IEDs in proximity, Petty Officer Wilson
immediately left the safety of his position and searched the checkpoint until he located the severely wounded EOD Tech.” Upon locating Sprovtsoff, two additional team members ran through the likely bomb ridden area to assist in rendering aid, and removing the EOD Tech from the kill zone. During the attempt to move Sprovtsoff to safety, Wilson’s anticipation of multiple emplaced IEDs was realized and the second explosive detonated. "I knew what lay ahead. I think they
(Diaz and Sprovtsoff) knew what lay ahead and I think everybody knew what was going to happen that day," Wilson said to the audience, after receiving the award. The second blast severely wounded Wilson and mortally wounded his teammate. Wilson, even after sustaining serious injuries, paid no mind to his own welfare, and proceeded to move his teammate to safety, where he coursed through life saving procedures until the Marine succumbed to his wounds. Still not certain of the condition of the other two team members, or if any other IEDs remained, he
immediately returned to the checkpoint in search of his fellow teammates. "This is a man who literally ran through multiple IEDs with complete disregard for his own safety, he didn't hesitate for one second to run to the sound of the guns,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commander of MARSOC. When Wilson reached his fallen comrades, he soon realized there was nothing more he could do to save the lives of his teammates, and only then did he allow for the treatment of his own wounds.
Two of the Marines who died that 28th day of Sept., 2011, Diaz and Sprovtsoff, felled by the explosions of this same IED incident, posthumously received Bronze Star Medals with combat distinguishing devices, received by their families in the same ceremony. Both Diaz and Sprovtsoff received the awards in recognition of their willing and courageous advancement into danger. “(Hero) is a word we tend to use pretty frequently these days, or we have for the last 10 years. There have been a lot of folks who have done heroic things,” he said. “But I
think as you listen to the citations today, these are genuine and true heroes,” concluded Osterman. Wilson is the first sailor assigned to MARSOC to be awarded the Navy Cross, joining his Marine brothers as the seventh service member within MARSOC to receive the medal.
Heidi the Mighty Three sets for time: 1.
10 Box jumps 24 or 30 inches high
15 Jumping bends and thrusts
Jump rope: 50 double-unders or 100 singles
20 Kettlebell swings using 30 or 50 pounds
15 Air squats
10 Ball slams with a 24 or 30 pound ball
Finn McDräger departs from our principles of no isolation exercises. As you can see Finn is into beach muscles, so this workout is his
attempt to build bigger beach muscles. Biceps 1.
One repetition of a close-grip chin-up, completed over the course of 60 seconds: Slowly pull up for 30 seconds to the up position, pause, then slowly lower yourself until your arms are straight. 2. Immediately after completing the one minute chin-up, pick up a barbell and complete 10-15 biceps curls. 3. Immediately after completion of the biceps curls, pick up a dumbbell in each hand and
perform 15-20 hammer curls. Triceps 1.
One repetition of a bar dip completed over the course of 60 seconds: Start in the up position and slowly lower yourself to the down position over 30 seconds, pause, then slowly raise yourself back up until your arms are straight. 2. Immediately after completing the one minute bar dip, pick up a weight and perform 12-15 triceps extensions. 3. Immediately after completing the
triceps extension, perform as many push-ups as possible. This workout will give you a major arm pump and is good for creating large muscular arms.
For special warfare operators being transported to a mission on board a submarine, there are special fitness considerations. Namely space, time
and noise. There is limited space on board submarines and usually only one or two people at a time can use that space; so operators will need to take turns exercising. Additionally, submarines are meant to run quietly, so there cannot be the clanging of weights on a submarine. To that end, be careful to land quietly when performing jumping exercises. 1.
Split jumps: 50 repetitions (land softly)
Towel pull-ups: 12 repetitions
Push-ups: 50 repetitions
Skater jumps: 50 repetitions
Eight count body builders: 40 repetitions
Single leg squats: 25 repetitions on each leg
Body rolls: 50 repetitions
Rock star: 50 repetitions
Sprinter Step: 25 repetitions on each side
10. Towel pull-ups: 12 repetitions 11. Bar dips: 20 repetitions (you can use two chairs for parallel bars) 12. Bends and thrusts: 30 repetitions 13. Curl-ups: 30 repetitions
14. Push-ups: 50 repetitions 15. Side jump squats: 50 repetitions (land softly) 16. Combining Core Stabilizers (side bridge-plank-side bridge): 20 repetitions 17. Side jump squats, 50
Body Rolls: 50 repetitions Goblet squats: 30 repetitions with 30 pounds 3. Split jumps: 100 repetitions 4. Sandbag lunge walk: 30 steps on each side
Curl ups: 30 repetitions Mountain climbers: 40 repetitions 7. Bar dips: 30 repetitions 8. Single leg deadlifts: 15 repetitions on each side 9. Push-ups: 50 repetitions 10. Side jump squat: 30 repetitions 11. Planks and side bridges: Hold for 30 seconds in a plank and 30 seconds in each side bridge
Naval Academy Birthday Party
(1) I learned these birthday party workouts from the Marine Corps military advisers to the Naval Academy football team. Load 300 pounds (or whatever you can push for 25 yards) onto a sled, and push the sled for 25 meters. Then all of the guests (usually 5-8) do the same. Everyone repeats this drill until you have reached the number of years old of the birthday boy or girl. If 35 years, then the sled is pushed 35 times by each person.
Naval Academy Birthday Party (2) Load a squat bar with your body weight and squat it for 30 repetitions.
Shane's Pain (1) A timed 14 mile ruck march/run with 50 pounds in a ruck sack
Shane's Pain (2) Partner with a driver and another person to help push. Perform a mile vehicle push.
Sherlock's Pain Perform 10 sets for time 1.
Pull-ups: 8 repetitions
Push-ups: 16 repetitions
Air squats: 20 repetitions
Run 400 meters
Recon Ruck Ruck march with waterproofed but
positively buoyant 50 pound rucksack (it weighs 50 pounds but does not sink in water). Ruck march 3miles to the beach. Then fin swim 2500 meters in open water, pushing the ruck sack through the water. Then ruck march for 3 miles back.
Team Leader Run 8 miles
Perform 10 sets for time. 1.
Rope climb 20 feet
Run 400 meters
EOD Swim Warm up with a 500 meter freestyle swim. Then perform 10 X 200 meter intervals for time with 40 seconds rest between each 200 meter swim. Finish with a 400 meter breast stroke swim.
Deadlifts with heavy weight (7080% of your one rep maximum): 5 sets of 5 repetitions Shrugs: 3 sets of 12 repetitions with the same weight as the deadlift Single arm lunge walk with 40 pounds: 20 steps forward, switch arms, then walk 20 steps back to the start Farmer's walk with 70 pounds: 60 meters with each hand One leg deadlifts with 15-20
pound kettlebell (work on control): 3 sets of 15 repetitions 6. Curl ups: 30 repetitions 7. Body rolls: 30 repetitions 8. One armed clean and jerks: 30 repetitions per each side with 40 pound kettlebell
Time Cruncher Man makers with 25 pound dumbbells: Perform 25 repetitions for time
Perform as may rounds as possible in 20 minutes. 1. 2. 3.
Pull-ups: 20 repetitions Push-ups: 50 repetitions Air squats: 75 repetitions
FAST Team Perform 10 sets for time. 1.
Box jumps (24 inch box): 10 repetitions 2. Push-ups: 20 repetitions
The Bear Perform 8 rounds for time. 1. 2.
Run 400 meters Bear crawl 50 meters
Doc's Medicine Load 300 pounds (or an amount that you push) onto a sled. Tie a 75 foot fitness rope to the sled. Push the sled until the rope is fully played out. Run back and grab the rope, pulling it back hand-over-hand to the start.
Perform for time. 1. 2.
Sled pushes/pulls: 6 repetitions Farmer's walk with 70 pound dumbbell, kettlebell, or barbell in one hand: Walk for 100 meters per hand, 2 repetitions per hand Kettlebell swings with 50 pounds: 50 repetitions Kettlebell snatches with 40 pound kettlebell: 25 repetitions per each side Sandbag lunge walk with a 40 pound sandbag: 25 meters on one shoulder, then 25 meters on the other shoulder Ball slams with 24 pound ball: 20
repetitions 7. Kettlebell swings with 50 pounds: 50 repetitions 8. Side jump squats: 50 repetitions
Explosiveness 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Barbell clean and jerks: 15 sets of 2 repetitions Box jumps (24 inches): 4 sets of 10 repetitions Split jumps: 50 repetitions Ball slams with 30 pound ball: 20 repetitions 200 Meter sprints: 10 repetitions
Air A lifeguard, corpsman, and safety diver are required for this event. Breath hold drills with fins in a training tank (swimming pool). Perform 10 repetitions of 50 meter breath-hold drill while wearing fins. Totally recover to normal breathing before attempting each breath hold drill. After completing the breath-hold swimming, catch your breath, take off your fins, and complete a 1500 meter
swim using the stroke of your choice.
Ten Minutes Grab a 40-50 pound kettlebell and do not set it down until all of the kettlebell exercises are complete. Do not stop between exercises. Progress from one to another without interruption; there is no rest between sets. 1.
One arm kettlebell swings for 30 seconds left hand 2. One arm kettlebell swings for 30 seconds right hand 3. Kettlebell clean and jerks for 30
seconds left hand 4. Kettlebell clean and jerks for 30 seconds right hand 5. One legged deadlift for 30 seconds left hand 6. One legged deadlift for 30 seconds right hand 7. Kettlebell snatch for 30 seconds left hand 8. Kettlebell snatch for 30 seconds right hand 9. Goblet squats for 60 seconds 10. Overhead lung walk 30 seconds left hand 11. Overhead lung walk 30 seconds right hand 12. Two arm kettlebell swings for 30
seconds Set the kettlebell down 13. Pull-ups: Maximum repetitions in 60 seconds 14. Push-ups: Maximum repetitions in 60 seconds 15. Bear crawl for 90 seconds
Five Minute Battle Ropes With heavy rope or an old fire hose, make alternating "waves" with the
rope. Perform the exercise for 20 seconds on, and 10 seconds of rest for 10 cycles.
My Journey In an attempt to share why I should have a voice on the topic of fitness of elite military forces, I have included this next section my personal journey of learning about exercise, fitness, and conditioning programs. As a child I was scrawny and diminutive. From kindergarten until high school I was the smallest in my class and the one who attracted the most bullying. I hated school and was not interested in sports. However, my family owned horses, so I grew up spending most of my time riding through the Southern
California hills and having adventures at the ranch. The ranch and horses were my escape from being tormented at school. I was so small and was such a good equestrian that I entertained the very real possibility of becoming a jockey when I was older. Although, I was small, in gym class (back when we all went to gym class) I was almost always the best in endurance events, long distance running. I made the cross-country team in junior high and high school and was a middle of the pack runner. Long distance running was a sport in which a small person could do well.
In addition to horses, my awesome parents also indulged my other interest, scuba diving. At age 13, I was certified as a scuba diver, something I have loved my whole life. I became very comfortable in the water and with ocean swimming. I did poorly at school, but became an enthusiastic reader. Westerns were my favorite genre. I read stacks of them. In all the westerns, I remember the blacksmith was always described as being muscular and strong. I longed to be muscular and strong: so with that goal in mind, I enrolled in a local trade school which had summer and evening classes in horse shoeing.
Swinging heavy hammers, lifting anvils, bending hot iron, and pumping the coal burning forge was certainly hard work. I got stronger, but I was still small. It was not until my father was transferred to Northern California when I was 15 that I was exposed to the science of strength training, and my life was transformed. I enrolled in a strength and conditioning class at my new high school, and at the same time my male hormones kicked in. I went from bench pressing 90 pounds to 300 pounds in one year, from doing a couple pull-ups and bar dips to 20 pull-ups and 50 bar dips by age
16. A cross-country runner was stronger than everyone on the football team! During that year I also grew in height and gladly gave up all ambitions of becoming a jockey. I took some judo classes and began boxing at a local Police Athletic League gym. I still was no athlete, but I learned about progressive fitness training and continued to enjoy long distance running. I trained for training’s sake; exercise was somehow cathartic. In high school I worked as an apprentice to a horseshoer (farrier) and at a local feed store bucking bales of hay. These were both very physical jobs. My friend Frank Hayes and I
spent our free time training in preparation to join an elite military unit. He wanted to join the Green Berets while I put my eyes on joining the Marine Corps with the hope of making it into an elite Marine Recon unit. The Marines are the most elite military service, and I, like many, had hopes that even if I did not make it into Recon, I would still be in Marine Corps combat arms. That was my plan until a Navy recruiter told me about Navy Hospital Corpsmen. Navy Corpsmen are the medics for both the Marine Corps and the Navy. I could be stationed with the Marines or become a Navy Diver. So as soon as I
turned 17, with my parents’ permission and early graduation, I joined the U.S. Navy. After boot camp, Hospital Corps School, and Field Medical School I was assigned to the third Marine Division in Kaneohe, Hawaii. I arrived on a balmy Sunday afternoon and reported to base. They put me and all of the other newcomers into a temporary holding barracks. I remember staying in the holding barracks the first night in Kaneohe. I was awakened at 0430 by the sound of men running and singing cadence, “I wanna be a Recon Ranger, I wanna
live a life of danger…” I got out of my bed and looked out the window to see the formation of Recon trainees running down the road below. “ Let me tell you a story that’s never been told, ‘bout a Recon Ranger and his wings of gold….” There in the early morning, long before the sun peaked over the horizon, those men were being forged into tempered steel. Their day began long before mine began and would end long after mine. They were going to be pushed to the limits of their endurance this very day. Some would make it, many would not. My chest ached. I longed to be part of that
tribe. I wanted to be tested and found worthy. I was assigned to a Marine Corps infantry company as a platoon corpsman. My life in the infantry was Spartan. We trained hard and spent much time in the field. In fact soon after I arrived, we spent six long cold weeks in the Alaskan Arctic training and learning cold weather warfare and survival. I remember dragging sleds across the snow for weeks as part of the training. Not only did I train hard with my unit, but I also trained even harder during my free time: running, swimming, calisthenics, obstacle course work and pull-ups. je
wanted to make it into that Recon Company. When the opportunity to try out for Recon arose, I took it. I was accepted into the Recon training pipeline, and the Spartan lifestyle which I had experienced thus far was just a prelude to what Recon had in store for me. My first day in Recon was the start of Amphibious Reconnaissance School which was weeks of swimming, running, telephone pole physical training, running with rubber boats on our heads, and drills with small rubber boats in and out of the surf zone. The course concluded with an all-night amphibious reconnaissance
mission. We essentially spent the entire night swimming in the ocean. After that school, I was sent to one school after another. Each school required high levels of fitness and the ability to endure hardship in the field. From Amphibious Reconnaissance I went to Recon Indoctrination Training (RIP), pre-scuba, Navy Dive School, Army Recondo School, FBI antiterrorist training, POW camp training, survival training, winter warfare instructor training, submarine escape trunk training, Naval Parachutist training, and more. Life was busy. When I wasn’t going to formal schooling I was training, or on
deployment. I was living with 80 men who were just like me, we trained hard and we loved it. There were all sorts of tough men in Recon and they all loved long hard runs. While living in Hawaii a new sport started, the Ironman triathlon. One of my friends, Bill Kipp, heard about the Ironman and went out and purchased an old Schwinn ten speed bicycle at a Goodwill store. He took it on a 50 mile trial ride and then entered and completed the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon. Looking back on it, I realize that we were all at Ironman levels of fitness.
Virtually everyone in Recon could do 20 pull-ups, with one man able to do 90 pull-ups. I personally maxed out at 35 pull-ups, 25 muscle-ups, and 70 bar dips. We were a running tribe. We could all run very well. While virtually all of us were running three miles in under twenty minutes, we had a high percentage who could run three miles under eighteen minutes. While my best three mile time was 16:30, but we had one Marine who could run it in 14:30. We would run for hours.
Along with the college bound young men from my reserve Naval Special Warfare platoon, I participated in triathlons, marathons, open water swims (including five swims from Alcatraz to San Francisco, and one seven mile swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oakland Bay Bridge), mountain climbing, and ski camping in the High
Steve O'Connor leading our climb of Half Dome, Yosemite California. After being discharged from active duty, I started college and joined the Navy Reserves. I drilled briefly with a mobile dive and salvage unit (hardhat diving), then transferred to a Reserve SEAL platoon. I am not a SEAL, but this unit needed a hospital (medical) corpsman that was dive and parachute qualified. To bring me up to standard, this unit
sent me to Special Operation Technician training (dive medical technician training). They also trained me in close-circuit diving (diving with gear which leaves no bubbles) and combat swimmer training at the Naval Special Warfare Center, Coronado, California. I was in this unit for most of the 1980s while I was in college and beginning my career. In this SEAL unit I became very close with other college bound SEALs, another Recon Corpsman, and an Army Ranger who was jump, dive, and most importantly jumpmaster qualified.
Because this SEAL unit needed medical support and a jumpmaster so they allowed the two Recon Corpsman (me included) and the Army Ranger Jumpmaster into the platoon as operators. In addition to training for special operations during our weekends and summers, the younger members of the platoon met frequently to engage in some extracurricular hard core physical training. We lived and trained in the San Francisco Bay area and were influenced by the feats of the fitness legend Jack LaLanne who performed big fitness events every year. Like him
we would do one monumental fitness event each year.
A photo of me on top of Half Dome with Yosemite Valley in the background. This was taken after completing a technical climb of Half dome. One year we did a run-swim-run from Capitola Beach to Santa Cruz, California. We ran along the beach until we came to a wharf, cliff, waterway, or obstacle, and then would swim around it. Another year we swam from Alcatraz to San
Francisco without wetsuits. Feats in other years included a technical climb of Half-Dome in Yosemite, California, running the “Double Dipsea” run over Mount Tamalpais from the San Francisco Bay to Stinson Beach and back, rigorous back country crosscountry ski excursions, and sleeping in snow caves. We ran the Oakland marathon and competed in biathlons and the new sport of triathlons. One of our platoon members, Chuck Newman, even came in second in the Hawaiian Ironman completing the entire bicycle portion of the event in running shoes. Before leaving this unit and California I completed the
swim from Alcatraz five times and the seven mile swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oakland Bay Bridge once. The older grizzled SEALs in the platoon looked at us younger ones and the amount of food we ate after training and gave us our moniker, “You guys aren’t the Dogs of War, you are the Dogs of Chow!” The Dogs of Chow, that was us. I stayed in that reserve unit for most of a decade.
Exiting the waters of San Francisco Bay after my second (of five) swims from Alcatraz. This one was part of a triathlon. Note that in the early 1980s wetsuits weren't allowed.
I started college with the intent to become a physical therapist or to return to the military as an officer in special operations, but these goals were altered when a training injury left me incapacitated for months. After failing medical treatment in desperation I went to a chiropractor who in one week had me 90% better from my malady. Immediately I switched my goal. I was going to be a chiropractor. At Palmer College of Chiropractic–West I met my wife, Clare, also an avid fitness enthusiast. Our first date was a swimming
workout, which turned into an all-out one mile race. I had thought the Navy SEALs were competitive, but they in no way prepared me for Clare. Now she was (is) a competitor. During my summers I would activate to Coronado, California and treat the SEAL and SDV teams as well as the students in the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUDS) program. I would have men lined up as I treated them with chiropractic adjustments on the pool table in the recreation room. I also trained throughout the year with my reserve unit. We trained in
mountaineering, winter warfare, airborne operations, riverine warfare, and our primary mission, the underwater ship attack: the rubber duck op. In the ship attack, we would rise early in the morning and rig a rubber boat with our dive gear, weapons, explosives (or simulated explosives), and a parachute. We would then outfit ourselves. For the “Rubber Duck” operation we would parachute with a rubber boat (aka the rubber duck) over the horizon at night. Typically we parachuted between 25 and 40 miles out to sea. Once in the water, we would rig the rubber boat and head
toward shore. When we were within three miles of our target, a ship, we would deploy combat swimmers from the rubber boat and start swimming toward our target on the surface. After swimming on the surface for a mile and a half, we would submerge with our Dräger Lar V rebreathers (dive rigs which leave no tell-tale bubbles). Then we would swim relying solely on our compasses and watches for 1 ½ miles to the target and another 1 ½ miles back. At the target we would place magnetic mines on the hull of a ship. Then we would swim back to our rubber boat underwater again using the compass
to navigate the murky darkness. Once back on the rubber boat we would return to the open ocean to rendezvous with a submarine or patrol boat 25 miles out in the open sea. In one night we would traverse 45-60 miles, 6 of those miles were swimming, and 3 of those 6 miles were swimming were underwater. With the birth of my first son and the increased workload of my practice, I decided to end my 14 year stint in the operational Navy in order to focus on my practice and young family. I continued to work out and compete in foot races, triathlons, and even in a body building competition. When my
sons were old enough, we all took up martial arts training which occupied much of our energy for most of the next 20 years. For twelve of those years I ran my own dojo after work, Chieftain Martial Arts Academy, and taught scores of students.
After completing college I spent a summer in the West
African country of Liberia providing medical care through Partners International.
Taking a shot from my daughter, Heidi, while
teaching martial arts. My own Sensei was a stickler for fitness. For our black belt test we needed to perform 1000 jumping jacks, 350 sit-ups, 150 push-ups, and 300 squat kicks before we even started the technical portion of the black belt test. In time I attained the rank of 5th degree black belt in Shaolin Kenpo/Aki-jujitsu. My all-time maximum for push-ups in one set was 150, which I did at age 41 during my black belt test. Thirteen years into my private
practice I re-affiliated with the Navy by becoming a treating provider for a research project at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center). Seventeen years later I am still caring for wounded warriors and various other types of patients. In addition to the military, I have been called to work in executive health clinics to provide care for high ranking government officials. In 2009 I began caring for the United States Naval Academy’s football team, providing care mid-week and before and during games. Working with the strength coaches,
certified athletic trainers, orthopedic surgeons, and coaches at the Naval Academy has been an eye opening experience. I have learned volumes about functional training and performance. This knowledge, coupled with my time working with the specialists at Walter Reed, my time in Marine Recon, and serving as the primary corpsman for a SEAL platoon has prepared me to identify flaws in conditioning programs and to create programs.
A recent photo of my wife,
Clare, and I at the halfway point of a trail run. Warrior Athletes Imagine the most fit, the craziest, and most dare-devilish person at your high school. Now picture scores of people just like them from all across the country, all in the same military unit. Those are the men I served with. And these are the people who comprise most of the special warfare community. The Great White
Rich White was a Vietnam era Navy SEAL. When I knew Rich, he was in his late thirties and early forties. He was not a great runner, and he was always trying to get out of parachute jumping, but this man could breathhold dive like no one I have ever met. He was a champion spear fisherman and a promoter of the sport of underwater hockey (Google it). While Rich and I did not always see eye-toeye, I respected him as a combat veteran and frogman. Plus he is one of the best breath-hold divers I have ever seen in action. Every year my Naval Special Warfare platoon would go up the coast of
California for a weekend of abalone diving with our families. Abalones are large mollusks which are a delicacy and can only be taken on breath-hold dives. They are typically pried off of rocks with a large abalone iron. During one of our abalone excursions, Rich went down without an abalone iron and caught his limit of four abalone in one breath hold dive. He simply plucked them off the rocks by hand. It took me an hour of breath-hold dives to get my limit, but he got his in less than three minutes. After that he took his teakwood spear gun and dove down 100 feet in the murky water near Fort Brag, California, and
speared two large sea bass on one breath-hold dive. Elijah Morgan Elijah Morgan joined our reserve SEAL unit after his second stint in the teams. He was older than most of us when he returned to Naval Special Warfare after a substantial break in service. The Navy made him repeat the Basic Underwater Demolition School (BUDS). Bear in mind that it is rare for anyone to pass this hard school once, but to pass it twice the second time while in your midthirties, is superhuman. When I asked him what it was like to redo BUDS in
his thirties he responded with, “It was a good way to lose weight. “Elijah is now a gemologist. In fact he is the Indiana Jones of gemology. Murphy John Murphy was a specimen, an East coast SEAL who I suspect had an extra Y chromosome (of the chromosomes which determines your sex, Y is the male chromosome). When Murph first joined the team he told us that he could not lift weights because he would get too big. We thought he was exaggerating. However, when we were on active duty and exercised every day, we actually saw his muscles
swell and develop at a phenomenal pace. I agree with John, if he were to work out with weights, he would get too large. Murph was an East coast SEAL, so he had not done any mountain climbing. I remember his first experience climbing. He looked at the first leg of the climb we intended to perform. As we prepared to lay protection and use ropes to climb the first 80 feet, he simply put the rope on his back, climbed the cliff and then lowered the rope to us. With no training, no protection, and no fear he climbed the 80 feet as if he had been climbing his whole life.
Oak Steve O’Conner was strong. When I knew him, he was in his mid-thirties and working construction in Porterville, California. He was a Vietnam-era SEAL. We were getting trained in mountaineering by a world class climber in Northern California. The instructor, a man who had climbed Everest, was showing us some climbing moves on some low (40 foot boulders). On one route he got stuck and could not make it to the top. So he recommended that we not attempt that route when we attempted to climb. Oak, who had never climbed before and was closing in on middle
age, took the route that the instructor had failed. With little effort he climbed that pitch of rock with some of the most athletic moves any of us had ever seen. Even the world-class climber was astounded. In 1986 Oak and I climbed Half Dome in Yosemite, California. I let Oak do most of the lead climbing. Sean Sean (a young man I had mentored), who is serving in harms way in an Army Special Forces Unit as I write this, is another physical specimen. He is a third degree black belt in Shaolin Kenpo and Aki jujitsu. He trained for
years before joining the Army and trying out for Army Special Forces. Sean did several orienteering courses and trained incessantly. One day he took off with his backpack loaded with weight. After a couple hours I became worried and got in my car to go for him. I found him out in the snow-covered countryside running, twelve miles, with a 60 pound pack. Though the Army’s Special Forces Q-course put him through much greater hardships than a twelve mile ruck run, it shows the dedication that is required when preparing to become a special warrior.
Parachuting with the reserve SEAL platoon I was assigned as a corpsman. To the right of me is Murph, and next to him is "The Great White." Goody We did not have many black Marines in Recon; some murmured that it had something to do with the swimming requirement. But Charles Weldon Goodman dispelled all of those misconceptions. Not only was he the fastest swimmer in our Recon
Company, but he also was the best all-around athlete. When we had recreational sports time, whichever team had Goodman on it won. Whatever football team had Goody on it always won. It was true for any sport. He was the best all-round athlete I had ever met. Goody and I came up to Recon from the same infantry company. It was in our time in Marine Corps Infantry that I witnessed this confrontation. The base heavyweight boxing champion was talking smack to Goody. Goody told the boxer to put up or shut up. They put on the gloves ,and Goody soundly beat the crap out of the
boxer. Keep in mind that the boxer’s full-time job was boxing and training, while Goody’s was at that time an infantryman. In fact, I never had seen him practice boxing. Operator First, Athlete Second While virtually everyone in special warfare units is fit, and some are competitive in sports such as triathlons, adventure racing, mountaineering, orienteering, or biking, most are not competitive in outside sports. You cannot devote 100% of your efforts to two passions. One must suffer. In our Recon unit we were all runners, but we were
primarily operators. This means there were weeks and possibly months when we were operating and our personal fitness goals suffered. One Marine I knew came to Recon as a competitive marathon runner, so much so that it became a consuming passion for him. He did not want to go to the field, because it would interfere with his training. In time, it became apparent that he was not cut out for the operational side of the military that he was better suited for administrative work. He became a groomed and fine-tuned thoroughbred while those who remained in the platoon remained
rugged warhorses. While not as fast in a race, the operators were able to endure greater hardships in the field.
Working on the sidelines of my sixth Army-Navy Game.
Appendix: The Medal of Honor
The Medal of
Honor The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. It is generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress. On Dec. 9, 1861 Iowa Senator James W. Grimes introduced S. No. 82 in the United States Senate, a bill designed to “promote the efficiency of the Navy” by authorizing the production and distribution of
“medals of honor.” On December 21st the bill was passed, authorizing 200 such medals be produced “which shall be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen and marines as shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during the present war (Civil War).” President Lincoln signed the bill and the (Navy) Medal of Honor was born. Two months later on Feb. 17, 1862, Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson introduced a similar bill, this one to authorize “the President to distribute medals to privates in the
Army of the United States who shall distinguish themselves in battle.” Over the following months wording changed slightly as the bill made its way through Congress. When President Abraham Lincoln signed S.J.R. No. 82 on July 12, 1862, the Army Medal of Honor was born. It read in part: Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to cause two thousand "medals of honor" to be prepared with suitable emblematic
devices, and to direct that the same be presented, in the name of the Congress, to such non-commissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities, during the present insurrection (Civil War). With this simple and rather obscure act Congress created a unique award that would achieve prominence in American history like few others. Hero Workouts is dedicated to the Special Operations Forces who have earned medals for conspicuous
Little Known Facts about the Medal of Honor 1. Until 1861 the United States did not give awards for bravery. The MOH was the first medal for valor awarded by the United States. 2. More than 3,400 have been awarded since Congress authorized this medal in 1861. More than 1,500 MOH were awarded during the Civil War.
3. A Medal of Honor is received, not won. A hero is a Medal of Honor recipient, one does not win the Medal of Honor. 4. Only one woman has received the MOH. Mary Edwards Walker was awarded the MOH during the Civil War for her work on the battlefield tending the wounded and for her work as a spy for the Union Army. 5. More than 800 non-Americans have been awarded with an MOH. 6. Nineteen MOH recipients have received it more than once.
7. The MOH is only awarded for bravery in actions against an enemy of the United States. 8. When worn in uniform, all other service members must salute the wearer regardless of rank. A general would be obliged to salute a private wearing the Medal of Honor. 9. Medal of Honor (MOH) recipients are entitled to a monthly allowance of $1,259. 10. Medal of Honor recipients are given a 10% military retirement bonus.
Resources Additional books available by William E. Morgan: Elite Units of the U.S. Military: A photographic primer to special warfare and elite units of the U.S. Military
http://specialwarrior.com/store/ Elite Units of the U.S. Military A photographic primer to special warfare and elite units of the U.S. military. This Kindle book introduces the reader to the well-known and lesserknown elite military units within the Unites States military. It is rich with content and high quality photography. Highlights of Elite Units of the U.S. Military:
Descriptions of sixteen elite units including selection, training, and mission. Hundreds of high-quality photos unveiling the rigors of selection, training, and missions. While well-known special warfare units (Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Marine Recon, and Army Rangers) are included in this book, it also introduces the reader to some of the lesser-known elite warriors like SARC corpsmen, Marine FAST (anti-terrorist) units, SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Teams, Marine Scout
Snipers, and other special warfare units. This is an introduction for those who would like to know more about the elite forces that serve the United States.
Coming Soon to Kindle: The Marines Have Landed: Special Operations Insertion Techniques of the United States Marine Corps
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Thoracic Mobilization In chapter five I discussed the need to maintain sufficient thoracic spine motion when performing exercises like the clean and jerk. I also advocated the use of a foam roller to mobilize the thoracic spine (see excerpt below). Recently, however, I was introduced to a new product that is much more effective and comfortable for thoracic spine mobilization, the Rad Helix.
Excerpt from Chapter Five:
Figure 6. Those lacking sufficient thoracic spine motion will have impeded shoulder function. In addition to chiropractic manipulation
to the thoracic spine, the use of a foam roller can enhance thoracic spine mobility which in turn will improve shoulder motion and function. This schematic shows the effect of a foam roller in mobilizing the thoracic spine and opening the chest wall. Rad Helix:
While the Rad can be used on the calves, hamstrings, and hips, it is particularly well designed to mobilize the spine. To learn more go to:
http://www.radroller.com/#_a_dr Simply rolling on the Rad will provided a more comfortable mobilization of the spine. This device is much better than a standard foam roller for mobilizing the spine.