CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa, Japan–Two Marines from 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division recently won the 10th Annual Recon Challenge at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, May 17, 2018.
Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Kovar, a native of Newport News, Virginia, and Sgt. Gabriel Gillespie, a native of Decatur, Texas, represented the battalion during the annual challenge.
The competition consisted of eight stations, over 24 miles, which tested the Marines and Sailors physical and mental endurance. The pair completed the grueling challenge after approximately nine hours of hiking and swimming with a 45-pound ruck.
“The challenge is something that you need to constantly train for,” said Gillespie. “It lets you see where you lie with other elite performers in the recon community.”
The Recon Challenge brings Marines from around the reconnaissance community together to honor fallen reconnaissance Marines around the globe.
Kovar and Gillespie volunteered for the challenge to commemorate Sgt. Daniel Gurr, a reconnaissance Marine who served with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. Gurr was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2011.
“When you carry your brother’s name on your back, that is what it is all about,” said Kovar, a reconnaissance Marine with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. “Sgt. Daniel Gurr served honorably at 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, we won it for him.”
The consecutive victory highlights the readiness and combat conditioning of the forward-deployed reconnaissance battalion.
Participating in the Recon Challenge is an honor that every recon Marine takes seriously, according to Gillespie.
The current mission of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion is to conduct ground and amphibious reconnaissance and surveillance along with other operations as directed in support of 3rd Marine Division.
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