National Guard's 'Amazing Race' Trains Young Soldiers

Published 09/24 2012 01:25AM

Updated 09/25 2012 12:45PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) They came with the vision of victory on their minds.

"Yeah we're pretty competitive about it.. we would usually just dash to it to beat them there and that would kind of demotivate them there," said Austin Frase, leader of the winning team.
But only one team of 10 outplayed and outlasted 74 young soldiers lined up to experience the military's version of the Amazing Race at Missouri Western State University on Saturday.

"I think it's a little overwhelming when you first look at it," said organizer MSG. Thomas Black.

Seven challenges including marksmanship, physical training, retrieving casualties and even pulling a Humvee.

"They've had to work together, sweat together and maybe some have even had to cry together today, I don't know," said MSG Black.

Soldiers like these need strength, stamina and ingenuity to perform their best, but to win they have to work as a team.

"It's definitely a confidence builder to know that we can just push through like that and get along together and just communicate, " said Frase.

This training ground is preparing them for the battle fields.

"You go to basic training and you are about a weekend ahead of everyone else, it kind of gives the drill sergeants, 'oh he kind of knows what he's doing,'" said SPC. Brad Komar.

Criss-crossing the fields of Missouri Western, the soldiers know they either have what it takes, or they have some work to do.

"At this point I've signed up, and I go to basic in January," said PVT Michael Kerr.

Core values of the guard are a must know.

"If they don't truly understand and believe them and live those values, there will be issues later on," said MSG. Black.

The most important lesson - how to work as one.

"We pushed through it, we figured out the best way to go through the map, doing it together as a team really," said Frase.

The soldiers used the exercise as part of their monthly weekend drill.

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