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Global Strike Challenge fostered personal, professional growth

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Ronald E. Tugby
  • 5th Security Forces Squadron
Approximately two months ago, my operations officer threw a last minute challenge my way. The objective: to coach and lead the security force's Air Force Global Strike Command Global Strike Challenge Team.

Reluctant at first, I realized every leader should refrain from turning down challenges. And after intense tryout sessions, our team was finally formed. Fast forward another 30 days and our team was flying to Louisiana.

"All business" was our team motto. We were hungry for a win, and the 10 other security forces teams in the command were just as hungry.

My team was composed of Tech. Sgt. Justin Haggerty, Senior Airman Lee Kozokas and Airmen 1st Class Michael Weatherford, Charquez Taylor, William Mott, Brandon Barlow and Anthony Terrazas. Airman Terrazas trained daily with the team and was selected as the 5th Bomb Wing mascot.

The first two days of the competition were focused on some very difficult weapons firing. The challenge cadre set up a complicated "aim small, miss small" course of fire. The toughest trial came later in the week at the mental and physical challenge.

This course was rumored to be a beast, and it lived up to the hype. It was a grueling five kilometer course designed to test our endurance, job knowledge and skill level.

With the 5th Bomb Wing leadership there to cheer us, we completed the MAP Challenge and were ready to collapse from exhaustion.

Prior to our final event, the tactics competition, I decided to remove myself from the competition and get Airman Barlow on the tactics course. With Sergeant Haggerty at the lead, the 5th BW's team dominated the course, completing all five events flawlessly and earning the highest possible score. We were awarded first place with honors in the tactics competition.

For epitomizing professionalism, teamwork and esprit de corps, Minot was awarded the Spirit Trophy taking a respectable overall fourth place out of 11 teams.

But more importantly, everyone who was involved won. This is because events like these teach us to accept challenges, step outside your comfort zone and give your people a chance to shine.

In the end, you have grown personally and professionally.