3rd Reconnaissance Marines win second straight Recon Challange

3rd Reconnaissance Marines win second straight Recon Challange

by Cpl. Charles Plouffe
3rd Marine Division

CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa, Japan-- For the second year in-a-row, two Marines from 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division recently won the 10th Annual Recon Challenge at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, May 17, 2018.

Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Kovar, a native of Newport News, Virginia, and Sgt. Gabriel Gillespie, a native of Decatur, Texas, represented the Okinawa-based battalion during the 10th annual event.

“The challenge is something that you need to constantly train for,” said Gillespie, a reconnaissance Marine with the battalion. “It lets you see where you lie with other elite performers in the recon community.”

The competition consisted of eight stations, over 24 miles, which tested the Marines and Sailors physical and mental endurance. The pair completed the grueling challenge after approximately nine hours of hiking and swimming with a 45-pound ruck.

The Recon Challenge brings Marines from around the reconnaissance community together to honor fallen reconnaissance Marines around the globe.

Kovar and Gillespie volunteered for the challenge to commemorate Sgt. Daniel Gurr, a reconnaissance Marine who served with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. Gurr was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2011.

“When you carry your brother’s name on your back, that is what it is all about,” said Kovar, a reconnaissance Marine with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. “Sgt. Daniel Gurr served honorably at 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, we won it for him.”

The consecutive victory highlights the readiness and combat conditioning of the forward-deployed reconnaissance battalion as they continuously deploy in the Indo-Pacific region year-round.

The current mission of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion is to conduct ground and amphibious reconnaissance and surveillance along with other operations as directed in support of 3rd Marine Division.

Photo Caption:

Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Kovar (right) and Sgt. Gabriel Gillespie represent the 3rd Reconnaissance battalion during the annual Recon Challenge held on May 17, 2018, at Camp Pendleton, California. The competition consisted of eight stations, over 24 miles, which tested the Marines and Sailors physical and mental endurance. The pair completed the grueling challenge after approximately nine hours of hiking and swimming with a 45-pound ruck. Kovar is a native of Newport News, Virginia. Gillespie is a native of Decatur, Texas.

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