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NEWS | July 21, 2017

Joint Service Achievement Medal awarded to Montagu-Hunter Challenge volunteer Airmen

By Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes 70th ISR Wing Public Affairs

Four Airmen from the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing were recently awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal for their volunteerism at the Defense Program Support Activity’s Montagu-Hunter Challenge May 19, 2017. 

The Montagu-Hunter Challenge is an annual event that honors a U.S. Army veteran who was key to providing intelligence, identifying Nazi sympathizers trying to set up the 4th Reich.

During the challenge course, participants run two-miles, swim 800 yards, bench press, and complete pull ups and sit ups.

Because the event is physically demanding, skilled volunteers are needed to ensure the safety each competitor. The volunteers were: Staff Sgt. Ben, 94th Intelligence Squadron, Senior Airman Beverly, 34th IS, Airman 1st Class Clayton, 34th IS, and Airman 1st Class Nicholas, 22nd IS. They all ensured this year's event was a success. 

“I volunteered for the Montagu-Hunter Challenge because of the morale. Anything that has to do with being competitive, even if it’s not me competing, is worth it,” Nicholas said. “Seeing people who have confidence, enthusiasm and drive in an event that represents not just themselves but a team really makes it worth volunteering.”

Nicholas was moved during the competition when an Army sergeant was swimming and was close to failing.

“The Army sergeant was swimming at a decent pace, but not fast enough to finish in time,” Nicholas said. “He knew that, but something hit him with about five minutes to go, and he pushed through, then ended up finishing with about a minute to spare, with one of the fastest laps I’ve seen the whole day. He motivated me to not to give up, and push past your limits, and to always have a good attitude, no matter how difficult the task is.”

Nicholas was also motivated to volunteer for this event because it honored a veteran. His father and an uncle both retired from the Air Force after serving 20 years.

“For me, to receive it (the medal) before I hit my first year in the service gave me a tremendous amount of pride,” Nicholas said. He wants to continue his family’s legacy by being the best Airman possible, he said.

Volunteers at the challenge each took charge of several events, to include set-up, teardown and ensuring safety without incident, and their hard work led to them receiving the Joint Service Achievement Medal. 

“These Airmen partnered with the Army to celebrate our Intelligence heritage from the Army Air Corps,” said Lt. Col. Lisa Biewer, 707th ISR Group deputy commander. “It was a great event that allowed members of both services to work together as a team.”

Because of the Airmen’s efforts by volunteering at this year’s Montagu-Hunter Challenge, Biewer said the Army graciously extended an invitation for any interested Airmen to participate in next year's challenge.

(Editor's note: Last names were not used for security reasons.)