June 20, 2024

Vol Fighters host fitness challenge in celebration of Veteran’s Day

In celebration of Veteran’s Day, UT’s Vol Fighters host their first Combat Fitness Challenge on Nov. 12 to show students and faculty what training is like for a Marine.

(from left to right) Brock Bolton and Nathaniel Evans, members of Detachment 800's Air Force Reserve Officer Training Course, participate in the Combat Fitness Challenge. //Photo by Kaitlin Flippo

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In celebration of Veteran’s Day, UT’s Vol Fighters hosted a Combat Fitness Challenge event to show participants what its like to take a walk in their shoes, or rather a run in their boots. The challenge presented was essentially the same test a Marine would do on a regular basis as part of their training.

UT student and veteran Gregg Crawford thinks it’s good for veterans at the university to see that the student body supports them.

“We want students and faculty to have a bit more appreciation for the military,” Crawford said. “Maybe by experiencing what it is like will help them understand how we train on a daily basis.”

The participants were separated into groups of two according to their height and weight to make the challenge easier. Each group began by running two laps around the TRECS field. They then lifted a 30 pound ammo box as many times as possible in the allotted time, with 91 being a perfect score for their age group.

DSCN1007In the final portion of the test, each participant would maneuver through a course where running and lifting was heavily emphasized. The participants would sprint for 20 yards, crawl on their stomach for ten yards, crawl on their hands and knees for ten yards, maneuver through cones to drag and then carry their partner back to the starting line. They would then carry two 30 pound ammo boxes for 50 yards before finishing the course by throwing a fake grenade and carrying the ammo boxes back to the starting line.

UT sophomore Quentin Hatton admitted that he thought the challenge was going to be a lot easier and that it takes a lot of both physical and mental muscle to complete.

“It was tough and exhausting,” Hatton explained. “Lifting the ammo box was nothing compared to carrying my partner around.”

UT freshman Whitney Gulledge agreed that the challenge was very difficult.

“I don’t think I’ll be joining the Marines anytime soon,” Gulledge said. 

While the Volfighters had a good turnout, they hope that this experience shows participants what their training is like and gives them a greater appreciation for the military.

Photos by Kaitlin Flippo

Edited by Taylor Owens