Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28’s second annual Warrior Day

Gunnery Sgt. Nathan Sparks, left, and Maj. Robert Walker reassemble an M-16 assault rifle during Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28’s second annual Warrior Day at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Sept. 1, 2016. More than 50 Marines participated in MTACS-28's warrior day which included six different stations that incorporated ground fighting matches, an M-16 service rifle disassembly and reassembly, kayaking, radio set-up, repelling, and a 50-yard Humvee pull. Marines worked hand-in-hand to complete events as a team while sharing diverse leadership styles, years of experience and espirit de Corps. MTACS-28 is part of Marine Air Control Group 28, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason Jimenez/Released)

Marines assigned to Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28 negotiated land and sea during their second annual Warrior Day on Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Sept. 1.

Nearly 40 Marines from MTACS-28 broke into six teams and competed in six different events that would test the Marines physically, mentally and technically.

"All Marines are trained to withstand physical challenges," said Capt. Lawrence Parker, the squadron’s training officer. "But when we exhaust ourselves and have to then be put in a situation to answer questions knowledgably or set up a radio, that’s when you can really gauge our proficiency."

Stations included ground fighting matches, team kayaking, radio communication establishment, M-16 service rifle disassembly and reassembly, repelling from the Devil Dog Dare tower and a 50-yard Humvee pull. For an additional challenge, teams also had to carry ammo cans while transitioning from station to station.

In total, more than 50 Marines participated in the event, according to Parker.

As part of breaking normal routine, junior Marines were elected as team leaders to take charge of their senior leadership.

"We decided the junior Marines should be team leaders so they can start developing those leadership skills," said Parker. "It’s interesting to see when you put a private first class in charge of a lieutenant colonel, how they really have to come out of their shell to develop their leadership skills and be able to tell a lieutenant colonel, ‘Sir, you need to stage your pack here.’"

It’s a good experience to stand up, lead and make decisions, according to Parker.

"This is my first time leading a big group of people, especially senior leadership," said Pfc. Johnny Muro, an embarkation specialist with MTACS-28. "I felt like I was being put on the spot, but I adapted and overcame for my team."

In first place with a time of one hour and 47 minutes, Muro’s team beat out the rest of the competition in the arduous 3.2 mile course.

"I tried my hardest, and I now understand more about how to be a better leader," said Muro. "My favorite part was seeing everybody work as a team, not leaving anybody behind. We stayed together as a group, and finished as a group."

Even when you are tired and exhausted, you have got to be able to fight and accomplish the mission, according to Cpl. Shane Rogers, an aviation communications systems technician with MTACS-28.

"You have got to push yourself to the limit and still be able to perform," said Rogers.