MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
On October 4, 2017, nine Airmen at Minot Air Force Base came together to overcome adversity as a unit during the Team Cohesion Challenge.
The nearly 10-mile ruck challenge is an Air Force-wide event that builds resiliency and promotes fitness.
“The main focus of this challenge is teamwork and wingmanship,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Hammond, 5th Force Support Squadron fitness and sports member. “While you can do great things alone, you can do impossible things with your team.”
The event emphasized the importance of communication and coordination as the participants were set up to carry a giant tire and collaborate as a team to prevent it from touching the ground, while moving from one station to the next.
“It’s all about building a team, meeting new people and overcoming a challenge,” Hammond said. “After it’s done, you look back and you’re better for it because you have this close group of people that went through this experience with you.”
Throughout the challenge, Airmen consistently overcame physical obstacles, to include bear crawling, sprinting, tire flipping and pushups, while never leaving their wingmen behind.
Hammond added how working together plays a powerful role as it can translate in the workplace.
“Nothing gets done without teamwork,” Hammond said. “At some point you may have to rely on others, so the ability to trust another person to help you overcome obstacles, whether in the workplace or anywhere else, is a skillset that is reinforced during this event.”
The route and obstacles for the event were created by GoRuck cadre Josh Hass, a prior Army Special Operations member with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
“I wanted to show people the value of teamwork, how to overcome adversity and how they can accomplish so much more by working together and communicating with each other,” said Hass.
Hass, led the event here for the second consecutive year, was impressed with how well the Airmen worked together so quickly.
“The group was tasked with carrying a big, heavy tire throughout the course and I told them there would be a penalty if they let it touch the ground, so they quickly came together as a team and formulated a plan,” Hass said. “It actually became a challenge for me to try to throw in more difficult obstacles because the Airmen hit the ground running and worked well together right from the beginning, which was really cool to see.”
Despite initially starting the four-hour challenge as strangers, the Airmen finished as a cohesive unit.
“Everything gets done quicker, more efficiently and with a greater overall success rate when you put aside any differences and work together to achieve the task,” Hass said. “The only way you can do that is through teamwork.”