MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NORTH CAROLINA --
The High Intensity Tactical Training program hosted its inaugural, preliminary Tactical Athlete Competition here, July 22.
The top male and female winners are scheduled to compete in the final event being held at Marine Corps Air Ground-Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, Sept. 16. After the final event, a winner will be crowned the Ultimate Tactical Athlete in the Marine Corps.
“(Events like this) spark the competitive drive that all Marines have,” said Brandon Johnson, HITT coordinator. “Competition is at the base of every Marine’s soul. You put a finish line in front of Marines and they will all try to get there first.”
Requirements for the competition include active-duty status and having first-class physical and combat fitness test scores.
According to Johnson, the HITT program was built to train for performance improvement. The HITT program is beneficial to Marines in their advancement as athletes and improving fitness scores.
Marines completed the challenges wearing boots and desert utilities, which is the common uniform for the CFT. The competition was comprised of various strength and endurance tests. The tests include: agility drills, 100-yard dash, 100-yard tire flip, and a kettlebell-burpee challenge.
To Johnson, earning the title, “Ultimate Tactical Athlete,” means being the best in a realistic tactical situation, he said.
“I put my all into it,” said Lance Cpl. Edwin Villalobos, an automated support system technician with Marine Aircraft Group 14 and the male winner of the competition. “I changed up my routine to get my muscles in shape. It is fun, I like competing.”
“There are bragging rights on the line for Marines and their corresponding commands,” said Johnson. “I’m expecting the ultimate tactical athlete to come from here. Let’s bring the title to Cherry Point.”