Watkins

1st Lt. Tyler Watkins of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune performs a fireman's carry in the seventh challenge of the High Intensity Tactical Training Championship at Butler Stadium aboard MCB Quantico, Sept. 12.

Sport: High Intensity Tactical Training

Quick facts:

• Finished third at High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT) Championship that was held at Marine Corps Base Quantico from Sept. 9-12

• Two-time HITT Championship qualifier

• Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s installation champion in 2019

• Assistant operations officer and will now be serving as the signals intelligence/electronics warfare officer in charge for 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

• From Indian Land, South Carolina

• Joined the Marine Corps in 2016

• Was a Division I linebacker at Presbyterian College and Coastal Carolina University

• Father of two sons, Easton (five) and Luke (one)

Q&A: 

Q: WHAT WAS IT LIKE COMPETING AT YOUR FIRST HITT CHAMPIONSHIP?

A: It was awesome competing at the HITT Championship. While it was my first time competing, I qualified for the Championship last year as well, but was unable to attend due to operational requirements. The event was extremely well run, the HITT staff did an incredible job making the events challenging as well as ensuring that our training produced valuable information that could improve the overall fitness and lethality of the Marine Corps.

Q: WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGE OR ASPECT OF COMPETING IN THE HITT CHAMPIONSHIP?

A: The most difficult challenge of the HITT Championship was the intensity. There were some pretty impressive athletes in attendance. While the events were tough, it made them much tougher being forced to push yourself to the extremely uncomfortable level necessary to be successful in the competition.

Q: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF COMPETING AT THE HITT CHAMPIONSHIP?

A: I do not believe I had a favorite part of the HITT Championship. I love competition, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the competition and its process. If I could wake up every day [to] compete and push myself mentally and physically to the levels that the HITT Championship required, that would be the dream. However, I was very happy with my performance during the shooting event. The shooting event, and shooting under stress with an elevated heart rate, ensures that there is a lot of room for error. I was very happy with my execution during that event.

Q: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN THE MARINE CORPS?

A: I decided to join the Marine Corps because I wanted the ethos that is instilled in the organization. I played Division I collegiate football for the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers. While I was there, we had great success, rising to the #1 team in the nation in Division I FCS football with a record of 33-10 for all three years, beating most teams by 30-40+ points. I believe that was inherently due to the environment and professionalism that our head coach Joe Moglia and the rest of the coaching staff created. Professionalism, discipline and competition breed excellence, and I craved all of them. I knew the only organization I would find all three once leaving Coastal Carolina University and looking for a career would be the Marine Corps.

Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?

A: Anything outdoors or fitness related – shooting, hunting, working out, hiking and spending time with my two sons, Easton and Luke.

Q: DO YOU PLAN ON TRAINING FOR NEXT YEAR’S HITT CHAMPIONSHIP?

A: I’m always training, regardless of if it’s for the HITT Championship or not. My ability to attend next year’s HITT Championship will be largely dependent on timing and my schedule. The Marine Corps keeps its officers extremely busy, and I was unable to attend the past two years due to operational requirements.

If you’d like to nominate an area athlete for Athlete of the Week, email Calvin Shomaker at cshomaker@camplejeuneglobe.com.