November 01, 2004
After nearly a year assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron-41/AIMD, I began to sense a restlessness among the assigned Marines and sailors. Cynicism and complacency were setting in. Their respective influences were eroding morale within our organization. We needed a vehicle that contradicted the normal, more accepted types of physical fitness (and problem solving). I felt that only an unconventional approach would reinforce the bonds of teamwork, solidify trust, foster responsibility, and rebuild individual/team accountability. The Monster Mash (a program introduced to me in college by a Navy SEAL) was the prescription.
I sent out Warning Orders, “invitations” so to speak, hand-selecting most of the participants initially. By design, I didn’t make the training convenient. Drills commenced on Friday afternoons after everyone had gone home or to the local watering hole for happy hour. Response at first was a bit sketchy, but there was at least some interest. So, on a cold, rainy afternoon, our first Monster Mash began. Dressed in utility uniforms and boots, the drills ranged from heavy bouts of calisthenics to crawling through a muddy trench numerous times. We also implemented martial arts techniques and as the afternoon wore on, most of the lads wore out.