Fitness challenge is ‘PME hard’

Team Kirktastic Knights from Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic, from left, Capt. Jenny Allen; Capt. Eleanor Gonzalez; Cpl. Gabriel Guerrero; Capt. Joli Miracle; Lt. Col. Jody Brown (behind McKernon) and Capt. Melissa McKernon transport team member Spc. Kevin Diamond and equipment on a litter between objectives during the Physically, Mentally Emotionally Hard Challenge at the former Plum Point Golf Course Dec. 8, 2017. | U.S. Army Photo by Yvonne Johnson, APG News

Event honors Pearl Harbor fallen

Dozens of Soldiers and government civilians took the quarterly test of endurance during the Physically, Mentally and Emotionally Hard Challenge at the former Plum Point Golf course Dec. 8, 2017.

Led by Installation Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew McCoy and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia, the event honored the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.

Participants were tasked to complete four PME-challenging objectives that were designed to test their will to endure— much like those who took up arms to combat the aggressors over Hawaii that fateful day of Dec. 7, 1941.

“What you achieve, you will achieve as a team,” Tia told the players.

Team members move out smartly, lugging equipment across the field on the way to their next objective during the Physically, Mentally Emotionally Hard Challenge at the former Plum Point Golf Course Dec. 8, 2017. | U.S. Army Photo by Yvonne Johnson, APG News

“Pearl Harbor is remembered not only for the lives it cost but for the stress it caused, not only on service members but on the American people,” added McCoy. He said that “trust was and remains the centerpiece” for those who fought back that day as well as for those who carry on the nation’s modern-day defense missions.

“They knew if they trusted each other, they could overcome anything,” he said.

Teams were given radios and directed to the starting point. Once they completed an objective, which might include anything from push-ups to low-crawling, they had to call in on their radios for permission to move on to the next objective. As an extra-added challenge, team members were required to carry objects like ammunition cans and weapons that were not allowed to touch the ground throughout the challenge. Often, team members had to carry other team members and still come up with ways to keep the equipment elevated. Players moved in groups from station to station across the wild-growing grasses of the former golf course.

At its completion, about an hour later, the PME Challenge cup was awarded to the team with the best overall time.

The winning team is required to defend its championship during the next PME Challenge, Tia said. He thanked the volunteers and supporting organizations such as the Directorate of Emergency Services and the Army Wellness Center.

Players in the Physically, Mentally, Emotionally Hard Challenge honoring the Pearl Harbor fallen gather for a group photo after the Dec. 8, 2017 competition. | U.S. Army Photo by Yvonne Johnson, APG News

“It’s a terrific team effort,” Tia said, “and most important, it’s the culture you’re building. I hope you got something more important than just the physical aspect out of this. As you reflect on Pearl Harbor, you will find the human dimension. Hopefully, as we accomplish these things together you can appreciate the emotional aspect as well.”

The winning teams

1st Place, Beast Mode

2nd Place, NDT4

3rd Place, Suicide Squad

By Yvonne Johnson, APG News