JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington - The joyful screams of more than 260 children could be heard from all across the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) compound August 28, during the 10th Annual Kid's Q-Course. The Kid's Q-Course was created in 2008 by leaders of 1st SFG (A) as a way for Special Forces Soldiers to enjoy a day with their children while simultaneously showing them their jobs.
"I think this is possibly one of the best events that we have," said Lt. Col. Benjamin Jahn, the 2nd Battalion, 1st SFG (A) commander and host of this year's Kid's Q-Course. "It is a great opportunity to spend time with our kids and show them how important they are to us."
The day's activity started at 8 a.m. with a quick ceremony and speech by Jahn, encouraging the children to enjoy the day. Following the ceremony the children were broken up into teams and taken to eight different events spread across the compound. The events included: an obstacle course, a rock wall for climbing, a zip line, a simulation rifle range, a static display of weapons and vehicles, a land navigation scavenger hunt, a short ruck march with a "kids" load, an airborne jump procedures class, and a physical fitness test.
"My kid's love it," said Abby Cichelli, a spouse of a Special Forces Soldier. "This is their 3rd year attending, and the first time their daddy has been home for it, so they are very excited. So far their favorite event has been the zip line; they have been down it about five times!"
After six hours of non-stop fun the events came to a close. During a closing ceremony all participating children were made honorary Green Berets for successfully going through each event.
"For us it's not about getting better every year or trying to one up last year," said Jahn. "It is about sustaining what we've been doing; which is taking care of our kids. This whole event is all about simply having fun with our kids."
Addressing the worn-out gaggle of more 260 kids at the closing ceremony, Jahn kept his remarks short.
"At the beginning of the day I asked three things from you," he said.
"One: do your best to participate in everything."
"Two: be a team player, which I am happy I saw many of you do."
"And three... well I'll just ask. Did you have fun?"
The children erupted in unison with a thunderous Yes!