Drill Sergeants Motivate Soldiers, Tough Mudder Competitors

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U.S. Army Drill Sergeants motivate a young man during the Army’s fitness test competition at Tough Mudder 2015 in Montgomery City, Mo. The timed challenge consists of a weighted sled push, pull-ups, low crawl, decline push-ups and weighted sled pull, with prizes for those who complete the course in under a minute. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Beth Raney, 363rd Public Affairs Detachment

MONTGOMERY CITY, Mo. — Participants of the Tough Mudder 2015 competition in Montgomery City, Missouri, are getting a unique opportunity to experience a small portion of what it takes to become a Soldier in the U.S. Army.

“We’re doing a fitness challenge for any of the participants that are competing in the Tough Mudder,” said Sgt. Bryan Smith, a drill sergeant with Company C, 354th Infantry Regiment. “It’s a little bit of a challenge, physically, for them to do and see where they’re at and compete against their friends.

The challenge consists of a weighted sled push, pull-ups, low crawl, decline push-ups and weighted sled pull, all in basic training style, complete with a timer and drill sergeants loudly motivating the competitors mere inches away from their faces.

Staff Sgt. Joshua McKee, a drill sergeant assigned to the 3rd battalion, 378th Infantry Regiment, explained the reason for the challenge.

“We’re giving some guys a little bit of an idea of what the military’s like, so they know it’s not as bad as they think it might be,” McKee said.

Smith added, “I think it helps them understand that if they want to join the military, it’s going to be physically demanding.”

The U.S. Army Reserve sponsors the Tough Mudder competition and has Soldiers attend each event.

Smith said Soldier presence at things like this “gives the local community exposure as to what we are, who we are.”

“They can ask questions and talk to us,” he continued. “It gives them a more laid back environment where they can just ask questions without the pressure of having to go to a recruiter’s office. It gives them a little more freedom to actually approach us.”

Azaree Lintereur, a nuclear engineer, and six-time Tough Mudder competitor, made record time going through the Army fitness test at Tough Mudder 2015 in Montgomery City, Mo. The timed challenge consists of a weighted sled push, pull-ups, low crawl, decline push-ups and weighted sled pull, with prizes for those who complete the course in under a minute. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Beth Raney, 363rd Public Affairs Detachment

McKee echoed the sentiment, saying, “I think it’s good for the Army to get different entities out, drill sergeants, regular unit individuals and different ranks as well. I think it’s good for them to see that Soldiers are people as well. There’s really not that much separation.”

“I think they accept our presence well,” McKee continued. “I think the region that you’re in helps, and this is a good region. They’re accepting that there’s Soldiers on the ground and we’re recruiting. A lot of places don’t have that.”

Azaree Lintereur, a nuclear engineer, and six-time Tough Mudder competitor, made record time going through the Army fitness test. 

“I like a challenge,” she said. “And we’re out here raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project and having the Army out here is great.

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