Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas --
In addition to hosting a virtual competition, the 17th Force Support Squadron also hosted The Murph Challenge at the Mathis Fitness Center here, May 25.
The Murph Challenge was started by Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy, the officer in charge of a SEAL team in support of Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan in 2005.
Shortly after arriving in Asadabad, Afghanistan, his team was spotted by three goat herders who were immediately captured and later released. The goat herders reported the SEAL team’s whereabouts to the Taliban and a vicious firefight ensued.
Murphy and his men were greatly outnumbered but he knew that his team’s only chance of survival was for him to risk his own life and contact headquarters. Making the ultimate sacrifice for his team members, he stepped into the open to get a clear signal and calmly provided his location and the size of the opposing force.
Murphy was shot in the back ,which caused him to drop his transmitter. He picked it back up, completed his transmission, and continued to fight. Through his fighting, one member of his team escaped before Murphy succumbed to his wounds.
Murphy was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his sacrifice in 2007.
The Murph Challenge, originally called Body Armor by Murphy, was renamed by CrossFit as a monument to his selflessness.
Every year, thousands of people around the world participate in his honor. On Goodfellow, there were nearly 100 participants between members online and at Mathis.
“The Murph Challenge is something that we do now since last year,” said Mathis Fitness Center Operations Director Lavar Grimes. “We will continue to do it every year on Memorial Day in honor of Lt. Michael P. Murphy.”
The challenge consists of a one-mile run followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and finished with a one-mile run, all while wearing a 20-pound vest. The weighted vest wasn’t required to participate unless you wanted to compete in the official challenge.
Members of each branch participated on Goodfellow as they pushed themselves to their limit. 17th Training Wing Leadership including Col. Andres Nazario, 17th TRW commander, Col. Robert Ramirez, 17th TRW vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Lavor Kirkpatrick, 17th TRW command chief, paid their respects by participating in the challenge.