Story by PO2 Justin Pacheco on 03/12/2019Hawaii-area Sailors, Airmen and Soldiers tested their physical and mental toughness during the inaugural Chief Emory Toughest Warrior Competition, hosted by Commander Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and held onboard Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) March 4-8.
The week-long event, comprised of nine six-person teams from various commands, included more than 25 physical, critical thinking and team-building challenges held at different locations throughout JBPHH.
The event came to fruition from a conversation on toughness between Rear Adm. Brian P. Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii, commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Command Master Chief Gregory Carlson.
"The Admiral and I were discussing tangible ways to celebrate the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) initiative of toughness," said Carlson. "We built into the competition what we thought made warriors tough. Through physical and mental problem solving, teamwork and constrained resource environment we provided the ability for warriors to think outside the box to develop solutions to problems."
The decision was made to name the event for former Chief Boatswain's Mate Ray Emory, a Pearl Harbor survivor, who recently passed away.
"We named the competition for the toughness displayed by Emory," said Carlson. "His combat action during the attack on Pearl Harbor and his follow-on life mission to match burial records with dental records to identify former unknowns,' helped bring closure and peace to families."
To enhance the teamwork building efforts, this year's challenges were kept secret until the teams were ready to compete. Events ranged from swimming, kayaking, rowing, running, sit-ups, pull-ups, problem-solving tasks, and bowling, followed by a championship event held at Hickam Harbor. This year's winning team, Naval Special Warfare Logistics and Support Unit THREE, was presented with a trophy following the championship.
Next year's events will be changed to keep them fresh and engaging.
"The CNO has his four attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative, and toughness," said Fort. "We decided to do something about the toughness initiative. We wanted to show that out here at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam we breed the toughest warriors. The CNO is all about taking a punch and getting back up never giving up the ship."