The Murph

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While the story of the “Blackhawk Down” mission in Somalia is well known, most people are probably not familiar with Operation Red Wing, a kill-or-capture mission to be executed by US Navy SEALs and SOF Soldiers in Afghanistan, 2005.

The plan was to disrupt a group of Taliban fighters known as the Mountain Tigers. Ultimately, the team was  compromised, probably by a group of Afghan goat herders, and then overrun by 100–200 Taliban. The incident is famously recorded in the book, Lone Survivor, written by Marcus Luttrell,  the only American survivor of the US ground operatives.

The operation’s leader, SEAL LT Michael P Murphy, died when he was shot in the abdomen while attempting to contact higher headquarters on his cell phone. The military comms systems were not working properly due to the mountainous terrain.

In the rescue attempt, insurgents sent an RPG round through the open back ramp door of an airborne Chinook helicopter which carried 8 SEALs and 8 members of the elite 160th SOAR. The helicopter smashed into the side of a mountain and fell to the bottom of a ravine, killing all on board. In all, 19 US personnel died. Marcus Luttrell managed to find refuge with native Afghans and was later rescued.  Michael Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

CrossFit names many of its Workouts of the Day after fallen US military personnel. One of its most brutal workouts is known as “The Murph”, so named for Michael Murphy’s favorite workout, which he called “Body Armor.” It goes like this:

For time, do the following, partitioning the bodyweight drills until you complete the prescribed number. For the hardcore, do the workout like LT Murphy did: wearing 20 pounds of body armor.

1 Mile Run

100 Pullups

200 Pushups

300 Bodyweight Squats

1 Mile Run

This week, I plan on completing The Murph. I’ll let you know what my time is, and maybe provide some pics or video.


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