Workout Date:





Lombardi, Bling, Hoser (YHC)

The Thang:

Last week Bling led a great Q and Beatdown and shared some interesting information in a this day in Military History Format. At the BOM of that beatdown, YHC announced that next week would see us on the beach for a D-Day inspired WODin honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion this Saturday. Pax were informed that they would have the option of getting wet and sandy or just sandy.

During the week YHC gave a reminder announcement about the workout and informed pax once again they could join and not have to get wet if they so choose not too. That announcement was met with replies of  “The boys storming the beach didn’t have an option not to get wet, I don’t want one either. I vote for getting wet”. I feel that I should mention that the pax that left this reply also failed to show up this morning.

This warm morning was greeted by three PAX in the parking lot of the AO. By this time we have all agreed that we are stupid, and should be doing this not no waisted time, energy, or oxygen was waisted in giving a disclaimer.

YHC went around with a spare ruck for items that pax needed to bring with them but did not want to get wet.

At 0431 we headed out for the beach. During this ruck march YHC shared some general information about the landing at Normandy on June 6th 1944.

When we arrived at the beach was ocean was a little choppier than normal. We did a safety sweep for any Portuguese Man of Wars that may have been washed up on shore. None were found.

This mornings WOD was a 21 minute AMRAP of:

6 burpees,

6 air squats

19 Merkins/Big Boy Sit-Ups/ LBC’s

44 Single count flutter kicks.

Pax would do one round in the surf zone, run up to the dry sand and do one round on the dry sand, then run back to the surf zone and do a round. This pattern would repeat until the 21 minutes were up.

The pax completed 5-6 rounds. All pax present got a heaping taste of perspective. As this workout was challenging for some and hard for me, we were not getting shot at, we weren’t sea sick, the ocean temperature was 74º this morning and with the air temperature in the low 70’s with a nice breeze was a far cry from the mid-upper 50’s that the allied force experience.

After a quick swim in the ocean to get sand out of parts unknown, The got back in the surf zone for our last exercise. During the D-Day landings the 2nd Rangers were tasked with climbing the hills Pointe-du-Hoc to neutralize enemy cannon that were aimed at the Omaha and Utah beach landings. This climb was about 100 feet that had to be done on rope ladders. In their honor we did 100 single count Mountain Climbers for these men.

After the Mountain climbers we gathered our gear, washed off any remaining sand as best we could and headed back for the AO.

On the way back YHC shared some information about the 2nd Rangers and their mission to silence the guns at Pointe-du-Hoc, as well as the man that would lead them Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder.

While many are aware of the battle of Pointe-du-Hoc and what the Rangers faced that day. Many may not know of Lt. Col James Earl Rudder.

James Earl Rudder (May 6, 1910 – March 23, 1970) was a United States Army Major General. As a Lieutenant Colonel he commanded the historic Pointe du Hoc battle during the Invasion of Normandy. He also commanded U.S. forces at the Battle of the Hurtgen wood and led a series of delaying actions and ambushes during the Battle of the Bulge. General Rudder also at various times served as Texas Land Commissioner, the 16th president of Texas A&M University, third president of the Texas A&M University System, mayor of Brady, Texas, and a high school and college teacher and coach.

His U.S. Army Rangers stormed the beach at Pointe du Hoc, scaling 100-foot (30-meter) cliffs under enemy fire to reach and destroy a German gun battery. The battalion’s casualty rate for this perilous mission was greater than 50%. Rudder himself was wounded twice during the course of the fighting. Though there was fierce resistance the Germans had removed the main armament from Pointe du Hoc in April 1944, and secretly constructed Maisy battery as the main heavy artillery position in the sector which was left operational. In spite of this Rudder ordered his men to dig in and they fought off German counterattacks for two days until relieved.[1] His men and he helped to successfully establish a beachhead for the Allied forces. The siege was replicated in the 1962 epic film The Longest Day.[2]

Seven months later, Rudder was re-assigned in the middle of an assault to the 109th Infantry Regiment, which saw key service in the Battle of the Bulge. Rudder earned military honors including the Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, French Legion of Honor with Croix de Guerre and Palm, and Order of Leopold (Belgium) with Croix de Guerre and Palm. He was a full colonel by the war’s end and was promoted to brigadier general of the United States Army Reserve in 1954 and major general in 1957.

Rudder won the 1956 state land commissioner election as a Democrat. He became vice president of Texas A&M University in 1958 and was named its president in 1959. He was president of the entire A&M System from 1965 until his death in 1970. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented him with the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Army’s highest peacetime service award. Since his death in 1970, an annual service has been held in Normandy, France, in his honor.

While president of Texas A&M, Rudder is credited for transforming it from a small, all-male land-grant college to the renowned university of today. Specifically, he made membership in the Corps of Cadets optional, allowed women to attend, and led efforts to integrate the campus. While the changes were hugely unpopular to the former students (it has been said only a president with Rudder’s heroic military record could pull off such drastic changes), there is no doubt these changes freed Texas A&M to become the fourth-largest university in the United States. Many reminders of Rudder are on campus, including Rudder Tower, next to the Memorial Student Center. A special training unit within the Corps of Cadets known as “Rudder’s Rangers” is named in his honor. Cadets within the Corps of Cadets at A&M are expected to be able to recite an excerpt from the inscription on Rudder tower, a “Campusology” that reads:

In memory of James Earl Rudder, 1910–1970, Class of 1932, Heroic Soldier, Commissioner of the General Land Office of Texas, Sixteenth President of Texas A&M University … Third President of the Texas A&M University System. Earl Rudder was architect of the dream that produced this center. In this, as in all he did, he demonstrated uncommon ability to inspire men and lead them to exceptional achievement.

Rudder died on March 23, 1970, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. He is burred in the campus cemetery at Texas A&M.

The pax made it back to the AO and while changing into dry clothes, the boys of salty gears came rolling into the parking lot. Apparently Jingles has an alarm that goes off when ever Bling gets undressed.

WaveRucker and Salty Gears came together in prayer.

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