August 6th, 2011, 40 miles south of Kabul, Afghanistan. The Chinook helicopter callsigned Extortion 17 (“one-seven”) took off into the darkness and accelerated toward a destination less than 20 miles west. Extortion 17 carried 38 men, 15 of them SEALS from Gold Squadron of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, popularly called SEAL Team 6. A Taliban fighter would shoot the helicopter out of the sky with a rocket-propelled grenade; all aboard would be killed. It was the single most significant loss of American life in the Afghanistan war. Those killed ranked among the world’s most highly trained and experienced commandos.

August 6th marks the anniversary of Extortion 17, and CrossFit gyms around the globe will be doing Hero WODs.

Like it or hate it, everyone has an opinion about CrossFit. The eyes of half of you just rolled so hard you almost fell over. According to its website, CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise, and sound nutrition. CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance. The program works for everyone — people who are just starting and people who have trained for years.

You have undoubtedly seen the crazies running down the street in their wild clothing, sometimes carrying odd objects or just pulling a sled… for fun. My personal experience with Crossfit has been very positive and has undoubtedly helped me accomplish very specific goals, such as the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course. My personal opinion is that you give it a chance if you’re looking for something new. But if you don’t like it, don’t drop it right away; give it six months. The joke is, once you get the CrossFit bug, that’s all you’ll ever talk about.

A Hero WOD (workout of the day) is a tribute to a fallen first responder or member of the military who died in the line of duty.

Many of the Hero WODs listed here were submitted to coaches or gyms from the global functional fitness community. Others are “official” CrossFit Hero WODs (meaning they appeared on the CrossFit Main Site). Perhaps the most famous of these Hero WODs is called “Murph.” It is dedicated to fallen Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy. This workout has appeared twice at the Crossfit Games, in 2015 and 2016.

Josh Bridges (SEAL), Nate Schrader (Green Beret), Anthony Kurz (Green Beret) are just a few names of Special Operators that have graced the CrossFit Games and proven themselves some of the fittest men in the world. There is no doubt that when a fitness competition, which has taken over the world, is scheduled the best of the best will compete.

Military members, police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians will have the opportunity to compete in their respective categories and compare their scores.

Since debuting in 2007, the Crossfit Games have earned notoriety for claiming to be able to measure and assess the “Fittest” athlete on Earth. These separate divisions potentially allow someone from the military to claim the title of “Fittest Military Member on Earth.”

On a regular schedule, a lot of the WODs are named after women. According to Crossfit founder Greg Glassman, “anything that leaves you laying on your back gasping for air wondering what just happened to you should be named after a girl.”

Click here for a shortlist of WODs named after the men of Extortion 17 that died on August 6th, 2011. Having personally done Tumilson today, I can attest that it will ensure that you’re laying on your back at the end of it and wondering what just happened.