MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
U.S. Marines are known by their enemies as the fiercest, most dominate opponents on the battlefield. They must remain ready for combat at a moment’s notice to live up to their legacy through history’s most destructive battles.
One Marine warrior, Cpl. Joshua Boozer, an ammunition technician with Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, went the extra mile to prove his mettle as one of the nation’s elite Marines.
Boozer participated alongside fellow devil dogs from across the Marine Corps in the U.S. Marine Corps High Intensity Tactical Training Ultimate Tactical Athlete Championship aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Sept. 15-17, 2015.
The HITT program’s primary purpose is to enhance operational fitness levels and optimize combat readiness and resiliency for the active duty Marine.
The 22-year-old HITT champion’s hunger for competition and playing sports began at a young age.
“I starting playing basketball in middle school and continued all the way through high school,” Boozer stated. “That’s when I discovered that I loved to compete.”
That competitive attitude spurred Boozer into looking at the Marine Corps as a career option after seeing the Corp’s staple commercials and posters.
“What I had seen from the commercials, Marines looked good,” he said. “They looked like the best, so I decided the Marine Corps was the best fit for me.”
For the Jacksonville, Florida, native, military blood has always been coursing through his veins.
“My grandfather retired from the Marine Corps as a master sergeant,” Boozer said. “And my father is a lieutenant in the Navy right now.”
Boozer explained that his family and brothers in arms were incredibly supportive during the grueling competition.
“He is truly a well-rounded Marine [non-commissioned officer] that performed exceptionally against some determined and physically gifted Marines,” said Sgt. Maj. Brian A. Priester, sergeant major, 1st Tank Bn.
The competition was based around scenarios Marines may experience in combat situations. Marines were seen sprinting with simulated casualty dummies and ammo cans and dragging tires and chains during a number of routines that mimic the hardships of combat.
Boozer said staying active is where he finds the rest of his motivation to ensure he’s at the peak of his physical performance.
“I love trying to be faster than everybody else,” he said. “When I go to the gym with my buddies, I always try to lift more, even if they’re bigger than me. It’s what keeps me motivated.”
Despite his love for the gym, Boozer sometimes doesn’t have time to go, but the lack of workout equipment doesn’t stop the Marine from enhancing his physical performance.
“I normally go to the gym in the morning and again at lunch, but when that doesn’t work, I do Insanity,” Boozer explained.
Insanity is a program that Boozer used to further develop his power and agility in preparation for the competition.
Having won the competition once, he plans to compete again in the following years to defend his title.
“It feels mandatory to do it again next year,” Boozer said with a laugh. “I’m going have to focus more on HITT and my diet.”