The Army Special Forces Qualification course or "Q Course" is commonly considered some of the most rigorous training in the military. Passing the entire course can take up to two years and upon graduation, Soldiers earn the title "Green Beret."
In an event modeled after Special Forces Qualification course, the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) children took part in the 9th annual Kids Q Course on Joint Base Lewis-McChord on August 17.
Bridget Manalo, the Family Readiness Support Assistant for 2nd Battalion, 1st SFG (A) said, "The former 2nd Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Brian Petit, came up with the idea nine years ago and it's been going on ever since with 2nd Battalion hosting."
Over 200 children of all ages competed with their parents cheering alongside, running through the seven events.
Some of the events included a zip line, an obstacle course, a mud crawl, barricade jumping, and an Army physical fitness test.
"This is great, it gives the children the opportunity to bond with their fathers and experience a little bit of what they go through every day," said Rachael, one of the parents. "It's so much fun watching them have a good time out here."
The Special Forces Charitable Trust donated over $6,000 for the event to provide T-shirts, food, and a Jurassic-themed bounce house that had obstacles to climb inside.
"This is all for the families so the children can have a fun day with their fathers while they're here at home and it's a great event to strengthen that bond between the families," said David Guernsey, the Special Forces Charitable Trust Executive Director.
Guernsey and Manalo agreed that the Soldiers' Families are an integral support network.
"The kids learned teamwork and that with the help of their family they can climb any wall and overcome any obstacle, Manalo said.
The parents helped, cheered, and motivated their children as they tackled the variety of challenging obstacles. The children received a certificate of completion at an award ceremony and lunch following the event.
"It was great event for the children of our deployed Soldiers because it brought them closer to their fathers who aren't here," said Sgt. 1st Class Adam, a 2nd battalion Special Forces sergeant.
Editor's note: Due to the mission of Special Forces Soldiers, some members of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) prefer not to use their full names.