Members of the the Missouri National Guard's Recruit Sustainment Program recently participated in an "Amazing Race" training program.

The Missouri Army National Guard’s Recruit Sustainment Program prepares new recruits for basic training, but at April’s drill, the recruits got more than they were expecting.

“Our military version of the ‘Amazing Race’ challenges new soldiers to push themselves to see how strong they are both mentally and physically,” said program coordinator Staff Sgt. Dwayne Washington, of Liberty. “Soldiers must complete tasks that test their endurance and teamwork skills.”

The Guard’s version of the popular CBS show teaches new Soldiers fundamental skills.

The soldiers were divided into eight seven-member teams before the challenge.

“Written clues are given to each group and the team uses the clues to find their next destinations,” Washington said.

“Soldiers must complete a task at each destination before receiving their next clue.”

First, soldiers raced to the drill floor to complete 300 sit-ups, dividing the count among their group. Next, the Soldiers had to carry 40-pound water jugs around the armory while searching for three hidden flags.

“After completing their sit-ups, running to find flags and marching through woods, the soldiers were getting tired,” said assistant program coordinator Spc. Jennifer Job, of Kansas City. “We really tested their physical strength and they weren’t even halfway done.”

The soldiers continued the race by pushing a Humvee back and forth across the parking lot.

Then, soldiers were given compasses to find their designated flag in the woods. Next came the medical portion of the race.

“At the medic stop, soldiers had to carry a fellow team member on a litter up the length of the parking lot and back,” said cadre member Spc. Shannon Grubb, of Grain Valley. “It was interesting to see how the teams worked together and watched the other teams.”

Soldiers were then asked five questions about rank, general orders, map reading and drill and ceremony. If the team members answered correctly, they moved on to the next destination.

If not, the team had to run a quarter mile track seven times to collect all their flags. The soldiers finished up by disassembling and assembling an M-16 in the dark and racing to the finish line.

“I really liked the race,” said Pvt. Allen Collins, of Raymore. “It forced us to think on our feet and I liked the challenge.”

Pvt. Dustin Riley, of Harrisonville, agreed.

“Between doing sit-ups, finding flags, carrying water jugs, and everything else, we learned a lot and started working as a team,” Riley said.

After watching the race, Washington said that he was proud of his Soldiers and their dedication. He said his goal is to teach the Soldiers to work as a team before they leave for basic training.

“Through the ‘Amazing Race’ soldiers are learning basic Soldier skills and their team building skill are put to the test,” Washington said. “The whole time they are doing physical training and most don’t even notice.”

For more information about attending a Recruit Sustainment Program drill as a guest, contact Staff Sgt. Dwayne Washington as (816) 922-5004.