FORT HOOD, Texas - The 3rd Cavalry Regiment, Thunder Squadron, participated in the “Thunder Games” – a mental obstacle course designed to increase Soldiers’ resiliency – with the assistance of the Resiliency Campus here at Hood Stadium, March 10.
“We do it (the mental obstacle course) twice a year during our Action week,” 2nd Lt. Clarence Richardson, officer-in-charge of the event, explained. “The purpose of the event was to ensure that all troopers learn to work together, as a squad, and build trust in their teams.”
Six stations were set up around the track at Hood Stadium. The Soldiers of Thunder Squadron participated in the activity at each station for 20 minutes. They were allowed a five minute break in between each station.
Station one was a 1.5-mile litter with a MEDVAC, paying close attention to details while moving the patient around the track. Station two was memory recall of a nine-line MEDVAC, then moving the casualty with a sled drag team for 400 yards. At station three, the Soldiers were required to do 500 hand release pushups as a team while conducting a Range Card memory exercise using pictures. At station four, Soldiers performed 300 burpees as a team and recalled items within an Army combat lifesaver bag. At station five, Soldiers completed a 400 meter relay as a team.
Finally, at station six, the Soldiers performed a log squat/press exercise where the last person on the log leaves the formation and runs to the operation game then throws a “hand grenade” (placed beside the game) across the 50 yard line. Once they’ve completed all tasks the Soldier runs back to the log squat/press formation.
This event was designed to push the Soldiers physically as well as mentally and Richardson believes it helps the Soldiers become more resilient.
“As Soldiers, we sometimes neglect the mental agility required to also be successful in our everyday activities,” he said. “Testing physical fitness and mental agility simultaneously helps prepare the Soldier for whatever they may have to face in the future.”
Two members of Thunder Squadron who participated were Pfc. Cole Rothwell and Spc. Rayce Nebel.
Rothwell’s favorite station was station three.
“My favorite event was the 500 push ups … and remembering the range card,” Rothwell said. “It built teamwork and had a very challenging exercise. As a team we came together, completed the range card and won the event.”
Nebel’s favorite activity was the Skedco drag.
“I thought it was more physically demanding out of all the events,” Nebel explained.
Though they favored different stations they both felt the biggest gain from their experience was building trust amongst each other and their peers.
Richardson enjoyed running the event and was thankful for the help from the resiliency campus.
“The Resiliency Performance Experts played such a huge role in making the event a success,” he said. “They were able to evaluate the teams together and create stations that really tested the Soldiers’ physical and mental abilities. I learned a lot of things and have a lot of ideas for the next Thunder Games we host.”