Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Building better Airmen: Peterson takes on Team Cohesion Challenge

By Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex

21st Space Wing Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  —  Five grueling hours of extreme tasks, sore muscles, pouring sweat and mud weren’t enough to keep Peterson Airmen from completing the GoRuck Light, Team Cohesion Challenge here, Aug. 29.

Participants spent two hours doing high-intensity calisthenics before hiking around base for the next almost three hours with rucks on their backs and completing tasks designed to challenge them both physically and mentally.

The fitness program is a partnership between GoRuck and the Air Force, which is intended to help promote unit cohesiveness, leadership and teamwork,” said Glen Wells, GoRuck cadre.

“It brings people together through an environment that’s not normal,” he said. “If you do an arduous event together or a very physical event together, it requires teamwork and you’re building a community. Not only that, but you’re building a community where people will remember each other through perseverance.”

Wells said the event may seem daunting, but really if a person can walk, they can also ruck. The upside was because this is a team event, no one was be left behind. Every person in the team was integral to the success of the group.

“When we say we’re building better Americans, we’re trying to get Americans off social media and socialize with each other,” he said.

Teambuilding started the moment their rucks were donned. Each person expected to be challenged, but may not have quite expected the teamwork to be so important. No one person could complete tasks on their own, said Airman Jason Owens, 21st Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineering technician.

It was the teamwork that drew him to compete in the challenge. He said anything physical and pushes the mind and body is important.

“Teamwork is especially important in the military because we’re one team,” Owens said. “In war there is a need for mental toughness just to survive. GoRuck was designed by (special operations military members) and the teamwork and leadership translates into GoRuck events.”

When it got tough completing tasks, he said he thought of his teammates and forgot about the strain and pain his muscles felt. If the team succeeded, each individual succeeded. It really gave each person a sense of humility and teamwork.

Those tasks ranged from bear crawls and soccer while crab walking to carrying huge logs and doing flutter-kicks while being sprayed with a fire hose, which was Owens’ favorite part.

“It changed up the mood,” he said. “You’re wet and cold and the suck level goes way up, but you push harder to get through it.”

Making it to the end brought exhausted smiles to the faces of participating Airmen as they discussed their favorite, or most challenging tasks.

After discussing their triumphs, participants talked about other physically demanding events they could do and teams they could build. That discussion was the goal of the event, to get Airmen to work as one and take a team approach to challenging tasks.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Participants in the Team Cohesion Challenge complete a series of intense exercises over five hours and 7-10 miles Aug. 29, 2015. The free event is led by Special Operations Cadre with the goal of building a team through various obstacles designed to push them physically and mentally. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Participants in the Team Cohesion Challenge complete a series of intense exercises over five hours and 7-10 miles Aug. 29, 2015. The free event is led by Special Operations Cadre with the goal of building a team through various obstacles designed to push them physically and mentally. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Peterson Airmen get ready to compete in the wheelbarrow race as part of the Team Cohesion Challenge at the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. Participants were split up into teams and required to work together to complete tasks given to them by the cadre overseeing the event. The event brought Airmen together through challenges designed to be completed as a team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Peterson Airmen get ready to compete in the wheelbarrow race as part of the Team Cohesion Challenge at the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. Participants were split up into teams and required to work together to complete tasks given to them by the cadre overseeing the event. The event brought Airmen together through challenges designed to be completed as a team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Second Lt. David Drago, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center cybersecurity lead, bear crawls around a cone and back so the next team member can have his turn at the Team Cohesion Challenge at the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. The event brought Airmen together in a series of tasks over the course of five hours that could not be completed alone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Second Lt. David Drago, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center cybersecurity lead, bear crawls around a cone and back so the next team member can have his turn at the Team Cohesion Challenge at the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. The event brought Airmen together in a series of tasks over the course of five hours that could not be completed alone.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Participants in the Air Force Team Cohesion Challenge run around the track between challenges behind the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. The challenge required participants to load a rucksack with weight and compete in five hours of team building events that covered a distance of seven to ten miles. Each task given wasn’t something that could be completed on their own, so participants had to become a solid team and work together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Participants in the Air Force Team Cohesion Challenge run around the track between challenges behind the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. The challenge required participants to load a rucksack with weight and compete in five hours of team building events that covered a distance of seven to ten miles. Each task given wasn’t something that could be completed on their own, so participants had to become a solid team and work together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Participants in the Air Force Team Cohesion Challenge stretch and prepare for intense mental and physical tasks behind the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. The challenge required participants to load a rucksack with weight and compete in roughly five hours of team building events that covered a distance of seven to ten miles. Each task given wasn’t something that could be completed on their own, so participants had to become a solid team and work together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Participants in the Air Force Team Cohesion Challenge stretch and prepare for intense mental and physical tasks behind the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. The challenge required participants to load a rucksack with weight and compete in roughly five hours of team building events that covered a distance of seven to ten miles. Each task given wasn’t something that could be completed on their own, so participants had to become a solid team and work together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Peterson Airmen move slowly to keep one participant stable on top the rest while participating in the Team Cohesion Challenge at the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. The tasks given to Airmen could not be completed individually and required concentration and teamwork. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Peterson Airmen move slowly to keep one participant stable on top the rest while participating in the Team Cohesion Challenge at the base Fitness Center, Aug. 29, 2015. The tasks given to Airmen could not be completed individually and required concentration and teamwork. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Peterson Airmen carry the American flag high as they ruck across base in the Team Cohesion Challenge, which started at the Fitness Center here, Aug. 29, 2015. The challenge brought Airmen together to build teamwork and camaraderie in tasks that could not be completed alone. After doing callisthenic-like exercises for two hours, they spent three more hours rucking around base and completing challenges together. This is the first time TCC came to Peterson and will be back next year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Peterson Airmen carry the American flag high as they ruck across base in the Team Cohesion Challenge, which started at the Fitness Center here, Aug. 29, 2015. The challenge brought Airmen together to build teamwork and camaraderie in tasks that could not be completed alone. After doing callisthenic-like exercises for two hours, they spent three more hours rucking around base and completing challenges together. This is the first time TCC came to Peterson and will be back next year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex)

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