Brothers Compete to be 2019 HITT Champion
Story by Sgt Kirstin Spanu on 09/10/2019
Gunnery Sgt. Levi Gates and Gunnery Sgt. Justin Gates, brothers from Burleson, Texas, are competing in the Marine Corps’ 5th Annual High Intensity Tactical Training Championship aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Sept. 9 through 12, 2019.
This year’s championship consists of athletes of all ages, ranks and from Marine installations across the globe competing in seven events testing their over-all physical fitness and tactical readiness over the course of four days vying to be crowned the 2019 HITT champion.
Justin Gates, 3 years senior to Levi and returning competitor to the HITT championships, said he talked his brother into trying to qualify after having gone through the process himself.
“Seeing some of the things he was doing solidified my decision to try out for this year’s competition,” said Levi. “It’s been fun, but it’s been tough, because you feel like everyone you’re competing with is on the same level as you.”
Both Marines are representing Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., and are battling each other to be named the Corps’ top HITT athlete.
“We’ve never had an opportunity to be competitive with each other, and this is also the first time we have been stationed together,” Justin said. “Him being in the championship makes me feel that much more competitive because we’re the same rank, know the same people, and at the end of the day, I still have to live with him.”
The HITT program assists Marines to attain comprehensive fitness making them stronger, faster and more ready to confront the tactical obstacles they could face wherever they may serve.
Justin said he wants to set the example during this year’s competition. “You often hear older Marines saying they can’t participate in things like this, because they are too old.
“Here we are, two gunnery sergeants competing with Marines of all ranks and ages, proving that you can do anything you set your mind to.”