RAEFORD, N.C. — On May 3, Soldiers of the 4th Military Information Support Group (Airborne) completed a grueling adventure race dubbed the Lightning Warrior Challenge.
Spanning more than 22 miles, the race pitted two-man teams against each other as they navigated a course with more than 50 physical and mental challenges designed to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie.
Some of the challenges included an 8-foot wall climb, light medium tactical vehicle tire flip, tow bar carry, tap code cipher, pattern recognition and many other challenges.
Each team was given 12 hours to complete the course. For many Soldiers, the Lightning Warrior Challenge presented a running distance and challenges never before encountered.
In first place with a time of five hours, 13 minutes were Capt. Matthew Daigle and Staff Sgt. Blake Hampton of 6th Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne). Daigle and Hampton were each awarded the Army Commendation Medal, a gold medal, a gift certificate to Gander Mountain Sports Store worth $100, a first place trophy and a warrior knife.
Coming in second place, with a time of five hours, 17 minutes was the team of Maj. Jose Reyes, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th MISG (A) and Master Sgt. Duane Jolly, 8th MISB(A). Third place went to the team comprised of Capt. Scott Harris and Capt. Curtis Knie of 8th MISB (A). The second and third place teams were also awarded the Army Commendation Medal, silver and bronze medals and team trophies respectively.
The idea for the Lightning Warrior Challenge originated about two years ago, with a specific vision and training philosophy given by the 4th Military Information Support Group (Airborne) Commander, Col. Reginald Bostick.
The training philosophy and vision was to refine the connection between motivation, confidence and the stress associated with managing optimal individual performance.
Based on that guidance, a team of about 20 Soldiers designed the course to test the speed, emotional resilience, muscle strength, creativity, agility, stamina, mental grit, ideational fluency of participants while increasing camaraderie.
Preparation began with a six-mile “short walk” at Raven Rock Park with all key leaders. The walk was followed by the more challenging, “long walk;” 50 miles of grueling terrain under austere weather conditions on the Appalachian Trail. The third event of the series, was the Cross Cultural Communication Competition or C4. Each of those events, the hike at Raven Rock, the long walk, and the C4 competition, were designed to test and prepare Soldiers of the group on their physical and mental abilities for the final and ultimate challenge — the Lightning Warrior Challenge.
“Each event was designed to ensure that our organization could provide world-class, cutting-edge operators anywhere in the world,” Bostick said. “We have been committed to building a deliberate and continuous process that would develop our MISO force into formation composed of competent and confident leaders capable of executing operations with minimal guidance. Now we are at a point in our organization where we can take on this 22-mile, 51 obstacle course in less than 10 hours.”