NEW PORT RICHEY — Couch warriors who master war videogames will soon get the chance to prove their mettle in the field at Making the Cut.
A dozen U.S. Army Green Berets and other active members of the military will lead the training exercises in the style of Army Special Forces.
Chasco Fiesta is adding the event for Saturday, March 29, at James E. Grey Preserve in New Port Richey. Making the Cut also will raise money to assist children in Gold families, who have suffered the loss of a soldier. Special Operations Warrior Foundation is playing a role as well.
Participants will test their intestinal fortitude for physical strength, endurance and mental toughness, not the least of which is the 4:30 a.m. check-in time for the six-hour event.
Pasco County Veterans Service Officer Brian Anderson is helping to organize Making the Cut. Anderson served in the Army Special Forces.
“The biggest thing is the team-building and the camaraderie you can build in the community,” Anderson said.
“There's nothing quite like it,” Anderson said about the camaraderie among Green Berets during his 10 years in Army. He recruited some of his old pals to help.
The event will borrow the Special Forces motto, De Oppresso Liber, which means To Free the Oppressed, Anderson said.
Participants who complete the course will earn “challenge coins” among keepsakes, Anderson said. Coins tell you where someone has been and how they were involved in an operation, he elaborated.
Organizers hope to get up to the maximum 96 participants, to form eight teams of 12, Anderson said.
So here's the drill, Anderson remarked. Physical conditioning for 45 minutes will precede tests such as crossing a rope bridge, rescuing a downed pilot and more.
Recruits will march at 10:45 a.m. and then conclude with a swim test at 11:30 a.m.
Sponsors of the event naturally will take precautions. “Casualty collection points” will be located throughout the area of operation for those who might overexert themselves. An ambulance will be on standby at headquarters.
The fee is $100 person. To register online go to www.active.com and run a search for “Making the Cut.” Or go to the Chasco Fiesta website to find a registration link.
“I am really excited about this event,” Kelly M. Hackman, executive director of Chasco Fiesta, said.
“I think the thing that makes this event so unique is that it is a great opportunity for individuals to meet and train with 12 members currently enlisted in Special Operations that are active duty military,” Hackman said.