Commander’s Challenge May 10 to be day of team building, athletics

Everyone at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is invited to participate, with proper supervisory approval, in an inaugural Commander’s Challenge May 10, one of two designated Wingman Days this year.

The day is designed to strengthen bonds, test athletic skills and build resilience, and will be hosted by Col. Bradley McDonald, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base commander, and the 88th Air Base Wing.


Mary “Jan” Devitt, 88 ABW community support coordinator, offered some insights about the plans for the day.

Why is this event being held?

Devitt: The day's activities will support the four domains of resilience – spiritual, mental, social and physical, and they will yield a lot of fun and light-hearted competition. We want everybody who can to participate. This is one of our Wingman Days focused on resilience, and it's a really good thing to serve those who serve.

How is the day going to be structured?

Devitt: Events will be held on both Areas A and B, with a midday break for a Commander's Challenge barbecue, served near Jarvis Fitness Center and coordinated by the 88 ABW chaplain staff and funded by the wing commander's office. PT gear is uniform of the day; morale shirts have been approved. Participants are encouraged to wear attire appropriate for the events entered.

Who can take part in this?

Devitt: Military members, including all service branches and Guard and Reserve, civilians and contractors, contract permitting, are encouraged to form teams from groups, units and squadrons, with points awarded to the winners of the individual and team athletic and sporting events. The ultimate winning team will be awarded a traveling trophy and bragging rights.

The day of events is approved as an alternate duty location for the 88 ABW. 88 ABW personnel not competing or cheering are expected to consider May 10 a regular work day.

What’s the schedule?

Devitt: The events below are scheduled from 7:30 to 4 p.m.:

• 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. – Commander’s Choice

• 8:30 to 8:45 a.m. – Safety briefing at Jarvis and Wright Field Fitness Center (team competition times delivered then, individual competitions will occur at will)

• 9 to 11 a.m. – Commander’s Challenge

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Commander’s Challenge hamburger and fixings barbecue, between Jarvis gym and track

• 2 to 3:30 p.m. – “Unit” tugs-of-war and tug-of-war finale, Jarvis

• 3:30 to 4 p.m. – Trophy presentation, Jarvis

What’s special about the athletic aspect of the day?

Devitt: Recently added is a pull-up challenge at a brand-new TRX "gym in a locker" at the Jarvis track field. The TRX Tactical Training Locker was designed by a former Navy Seal and offers a variety of exercises that leverage the athlete's body weight.

What are the other events?

Devitt: Other Area A events will include dodgeball and swimming relay at Dodge Fitness Center; log rolling at Dodge pool; volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee at Jarvis; hula hoop contest, tricycle relay, Humvee push, 3-legged race and tug-of-war at Jarvis track; bowling (Bowling Center, Kittyhawk Center); and golf challenge at Skeel driving range.

Area B events will include kickball and soccer at the softball fields; and 3-on-3 basketball and wallyball at Wright Field Fitness Center.

Who is running all these events?

Devitt: Volunteers throughout the base are coordinating them. This day is being run by all volunteers, who are trying to make this day special for the people at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

How do you participate?

Devitt: To register a team, go online to

For more information, contact Devitt at

Any final comments?

Devitt: We hope for maximum participation and to make this an annual event.

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