Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) participated in the fourth annual T.G.I. Fitness Challenge at the parade grounds on Naval Station Norfolk (NSN), June 20.
Despite an overcast sky, the early hour and heat and humidity at the NSN parade field, teams representing commands from across the base took their place at their assigned stations, awaiting the signal to begin the competition.
A whistle blast echoed across the open field. With a contraction of muscle and a roar of encouragement, the challenge began.
The team from Theodore Roosevelt, comprised primarily of chief and first class petty officers, competed in the event as part of the carrier’s CPO 365 program, which is a two-phase, year-long series designed to prepare first class petty officers to be chief petty officers.
“This day was about getting to know each other better,” said Chief Personnel Specialist Brian Kentosh, a native of Mansfield, Ohio, discussing the interaction between the chiefs and the board eligible first class petty officers. “It’s fun to see what they do in this phase of training.”
NSN Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted the competion which consisted of five events. Ten teams competed in sandbell stacking, a T-drill race, a 4×400 meter relay race, an obstacle course and tug-of-war. In addition, the Sailors cheered in a spirit competition.
Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Dung Dinh, a native of San Diego, the organizer and captain of the Rough Rider team, said the event was a great way to develop the leadership and teamwork necessary to be a chief petty officer.
“It’s all about learning the role of being a chief,” said Dinh. “It’s about stepping up, taking charge and being a leader.”
The Rough Rider team battled all morning through the heat and humidity but was unable to bring home the trophy. They did, however, accomplish their goal of building camaraderie and having fun.
“We did well. Everyone went out there and participated, and we had a great time,” said Dinh.
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Flood, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs