Posted by: joshjasper | July 22, 2011

Rally Cry

Good morning Tough Mudders,

Last night I had a dream about being in the Marine Corps again.  The dream got me thinking about an experience I had and I thought I would share.

I was a machine gunner stationed in the Mojave Desert during my last year when I was selected to lead a team that would compete at what is called “gun competition.”  The competition determined what team in the entire Marine Corps was the best.  Our team quickly advanced into the final round of the competition that was held in Camp Pendleton, CA.

It is what happened during the final round of our competition that I still consider to be one of the proudest moments in my life.  The last event of the competition was a 8 mile run in full combat gear, carrying a 50lb pack, and your M240G machine gun.  (this run was no joke!)  We were down by a few points and we needed to turn it up a notch if we were going to win it all.  I pulled our team aside before we started the run and asked them to dig deep and truly rely on the team members.  We had to be able to let each other know if we needed help, putting ego aside, and let someone know if they needed another person to carry their pack should they need a rest.

We had just passed mile 6 when Corporal Thibodeau went down.  He was dehydrated, cramping, and you could see in his eyes that he had given it his all.   One of the race monitors informed me that I could opt to let him not finish, take a 5 minute penalty, and continue on as a team, while they truck him back to base rather than be slowed by his injury.   I had no idea how the other teams were doing, but I instinctively knew that we were not going to leave someone behind.   Team members stripped him of his gear, and spread it out amongst the others to carry.  We then took turns carrying him to the finish line.

I vividly remember sitting in the dirt and sand catching my breath after the race and looking over at Thibodeau.  Tears ran down his face as he thanked each of us for allowing him to finish and not denying him of what was to happen next.  Our team won the competition and was crowned the best in the Marines.  We were each awarded an achievement medal.  It may have been the proudest moment in each of our lives.

I share this with you as fellow team members as a reminder of what we are tomorrow, and for what we will always be.  We are a team; a band of brothers and sisters.  We will run the Tough Mudder together, push each other to our respective limits, overcome each obstacle together, and leave no one behind.  We will leave nothing behind, we will give it our all.  Rest assured, the pride that you will feel when crossing the finish line will not be so much about what you individually accomplished, but rather, what we will have accomplished together, as a team.



  1. Josh,
    This is inspiring. This is also what we need for the end of domestic violence and the end of child abuse. What a beautiful metaphor.

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