Auburn baseball team builds camaraderie on Ranger course

The Auburn baseball team peforms sit ups as part of their visit to Fort Benning and Camp Rogers on Oct. 14. (Photo Credit: Markeith Horace)

The Auburn baseball team performs sit ups as part of their visit to Fort Benning and Camp Rogers on Oct. 14. (Photo Credit: Markeith Horace)

By Gerald Williams, Bayonet & Saber /

FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 19, 2016) — The Auburn University baseball team hurdled obstacles, climbed ropes and crawled through mud on the Ranger Malvesti Confidence Course Oct. 14, on Camp Rogers.

“Our coaching staff was looking for a team building exercise for the baseball team this fall,” said Butch Thompson, head coach for the Auburn baseball team. “Maj. Hurd and his entire staff gave us an amazing educational presentation on the background of Rangers on Fort Benning. We got to go through an obstacle course and workout while being encouraged throughout the process by Rangers.”

“We’ve learned more about what men and women in the Armed Forces do to protect us every day,” added Thompson. “We’re thankful they’ve given us the opportunity and freedom to play baseball. This will be a great memory for our players to look back on.”

Maj. Dan Hurd, Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, recognized a good leadership training opportunity.

“When the Auburn Tiger baseball team reached out to us in need of team building training, we thought that this was the perfect opportunity to show them the confidence course and what we do to train leadership and teamwork.”

“The principles we teach here: leadership, discipline and toughness apply towards all sports and teams,” said Hurd. “Ranger school is about working together to accomplish any goal. Specifically, working in teams on this course builds camaraderie, confidence and discipline.”

“The Rangers believe that no man should be left behind,” said Thompson. “They move together. If someone is deficient in one obstacle, then you help them get through it. That’s a big lesson for our guys today. We all have different skillsets and have to come together for a common goal. The obstacle course this morning really showed us that lesson.

The experience will benefit the team throughout the season.

“I appreciate Maj. Hurd and his men spending the time to help build our team, but they didn’t just spend their time, they went above and beyond what we thought they’d do by giving us a presentation on Ranger history,” said Thompson. “My goal as a coach is to help the team grow. This is a memory that I will refer back to as a coach all year long.”

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