Reservists take on Murph Challenge

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — About 30 reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing participated in The Murph Challenge June 3 to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Murph Challenge is named after Navy Lt. Mike “Murph” Murphy, a commanding officer killed in action during Operation Red Wing. Traditionally done on Memorial Day, the challenge consists of a one-mile run followed by 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats, and another one-mile run. 

“The participants honor not only Lt. Murphy, but their mates who have also paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Master Sgt. Justin Adams, first sergeant assigned to the 419th Security Forces Squadron and organizer of this year’s event. “Each participant has the chance to dedicate their workout to a friend or loved one who has passed on.”

The challenge started with Adams addressing the group and giving an explanation of the event, the singing of the nation anthem by Senior Master Sgt. Keith Quimby of the 67th Aerial Port Squadron, and a prayer given by Lt. Col. Rodney Campbell, 419th FW chaplain.

The participants wasted no time going to work to complete the challenge after taking a moment to think about who they were honoring amid the sweat and exhaustion.

“My grandfather’s brother, Lt. Col. Joseph Broadhead, was a World War II flying ace and flew the P-51 Mustang,” said Capt. Sterling Broadhead, 419th FW executive officer. “He was credited with 10 aerial victories during WWII, but what I appreciate more than his aerial victories is that he named his plane ‘Baby Mike’ after his son. Family was important to him, and family is important to me. I reflected on the power that family brings when I was feeling the fatigue of the Murph.”

After completing the challenge, some reservists continued to run additional miles alongside their fellow Airmen to encourage them toward the finish line.