On June 12, Marines from across the Marine Corps’ special operations units gathered in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to participate in the 2019 Marine Raider Competition.

Six teams, each comprised of six spec ops Marines, competed for the glory of being awarded the title of best Marine Raider. The six teams hailed from the 1st Marine Raider Battalion (1st MRB), 2nd Marine Raider Battalion (2nd MRB), 3rd Marine Raider Battalion (3rd MRB), the Marine Raider Training Center (MRTC), and the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, respectively.

“The endurance coupled with the strength needed for some of the events was one of the most taxing parts of the competition,” said a Marine Raider with the MRTC team, who also serves as an assessment and selection (A&S) land navigation instructor, in a statement to DVIDS. “Trying to pace ourselves and make sure we were maintaining hydration throughout the events while pushing through all the aches and pains was the most mentally straining aspect.”

The biggest challenge of the competition was a 15-mile ruck march peppered with various tasks and tests. The teams had to conduct stress shooting, breaching tests, casualty evacuation, paddling in Zodiac inflatable boats, and rappelling. Throughout the multiple events, each competitor carried a rucksack weighing a minimum of 45 pounds, plus their combat load.