Article Display

Shaw Airmen remember the fallen during “Murph challenge”

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny
  • 20 Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Team Shaw members participated in a Murph Challenge at Shaw Air Force Base, May 28.

The challenge starts with a 1-mile run followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups and 300 squats and finally ends in a second 1-mile run, challengers also wear a 20 pound vest. The challenge is named after Lt. Michael Murphy, a U.S. Navy SEAL, (Sea, Air, Land operative), who died in the line of duty.

Murphy knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire to save his team which deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy, according to a biography from,

While taking fire, Murphy made contact with the Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team.

Murphy was shot in the back causing him to drop his radio. He picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in. Severely wounded, Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.

The challenge is in Murphy’s honor for his actions on that day.

The 1-mile run started at the main gym, went around Memorial Lake, and then back to the gym. Road guards were posted on roadways to ensure the safety of participants.

“I played football at the Air Force Academy, my wife being a graduate from the Academy, all of my friends serve their country and with all of those things and myself being a first generation American, the flag means a lot to me and my family,” said Cofie Asare, 20th Force Support Squadron golf course tournament and program coordinator. “Anytime you can do a workout in honor of those who have come before you and paid the ultimate sacrifice, you should.”

This is the second year in a row the 20 FSS hosted the Murph challenge. Airmen, officers and civilian employees all participated in the challenge together.

“It’s good to remember those who never made it back home,” said Maj. Amanda Pelkowski, 20th FSS operations officer. “While you’re suffering through this, you imagine they were suffering a lot more. I take time to reflect on the fallen.”