The 473rd Marine Wing Support Squadron became the first Marine unit to tackle the Fort Hood Air Assault Obstacle Course on April 20.

The Fort Worth-based Reserve unit ran through the obstacle course to close out their weekend training.

“It’s very rare,” said 1st Sgt. James Williams Jr., Fort Hood Air Assault School first sergeant. “We have the Air Force located on Fort Hood and we’ve even had foreign services, the Dutch, here, but this is the first time we’ve had a service such as the Marine Corps here.”

Traveling to Fort Hood to complete their monthly training was a huge opportunity for the squadron.

“We’re on a reserve base so we don’t have the same kind of facilities that you do here,” said Capt. Matthew Mayer, logistics and motor transport officer for the 473rd. “We’re really thankful that the Army is so open to letting us come down.”

With members of the unit living as far away as San Antonio, monthly training is their only chance to interact.

“Whenever you have Marines or sailors together just once a month it’s hard to build that team morale that you get in an active-duty unit,” Mayer said.

The NCOs involvement is strongly encouraged as a team-building facet of the obstacle course.

“When you’re up there and you see your leadership do something that’s obviously difficult like scaling a 35-foot ladder and going 80 feet down a rope, you believe in that leader,” Williams said. “When that leader tells you, ‘Hey, you can do it, too,’ that’s a powerful statement to that soldier and individual.”

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