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NEWS | March 26, 2021

National Guard Endurance Team competes in Dallas, gears up for try-outs this August

By Sgt. Jesse Elbouab, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Twenty one Soldiers from 11 different states and territories met in Dallas, Texas, on March 27, 2020, for the first DEKAFIT by Spartan racing event. Of the six elite titles up for grabs, which are the top three male and the top three female performers, the ALL GUARD team took home three, including first place overall. 

For more photos and video from the event:

"The National Guard Endurance Team, focuses on holistic health and fitness and the new ACFT; all of these new approaches are about creating a better human being," said Derek York, World Champion DEKAFIT titleholder, Arkansas National Guard Soldier and ALL GUARD team participant. "By creating a better human being first, you then create someone that wants to be a better soldier."

The ALL GUARD team is the newest addition to the national-level teams the Guard already sponsors. This endurance team comprises National Guard Soldiers from any state that tries out and qualifies to join the group. 

The team then competes in events all over the United States, promoting the National Guard brand and assisting in recruiting efforts for the fighting force as a whole. 

"The Guard has a very special place in our hearts," said Yancy Culp, Program Creator of Spartan DEKA. "We consider you all our country's most important athletes. You take care of your bodies for a little different reason than most people. In a moment's notice, you may need to serve the country; and that's so much more than fitness for looks or even better health."

DEKA is one of many races the ALL GUARD Team has participated in thus far. In this competition, participants complete a series of 10 functional fitness zones while running a 500M course between each zone. The course totals a 5K race. 

All zones are designed to challenge competitors ranging from elite athletes to first-time participants. DEKA wanted to design an inclusive race that is empowering and allows for every person to “earn their mark” by completing the race. According to their website,, the zones included the following series of events: 

• ZONE 1 - RAM Alt Reverse Lunge
• ZONE 2 - 500M Row
• ZONE 3 - 24" Box Jump / Step Overs
• ZONE 4 - Med Ball Sit Up
• ZONE 5 - 500M Ski Erg
• ZONE 6 - 100M Farmer's Carry
• ZONE 7 - 25 kcal Air Bike
• ZONE 8 - Dead/Slam Ball Shoulder Over
• ZONE 9 - 100M Tank Push/Pull
• ZONE 10 - RAM Burpees

“We made history at the first-ever Dekafit event,” said Robert Killian, a representative from the California National Guard. “The NGB competitive sports program is critical to maintaining these partnerships and opportunities for Citizen Soldiers to display their abilities to the world, not only through Civil Support and on the Battlefield but also as Soldier Athletes.”

Killian, a two-time Spartan World Champion, said the new functional fitness competitions play a large role in preparing soldiers for the ACFT. Dekafit aligns endurance challenges with obstacles and creates a more diverse soldier-athlete.

The event also becomes a recruiting opportunity for like-minded civilian-athletes.

“The recruitment opportunities and the positive impact we displayed by volunteering to help support the event after our race exemplifies our genuine passion for being a citizen soldier,” said Killian.

“We need more positive interactions like these between our community and the National Guard moving forward of these uncertain times of civil unrest,” he said. “Come out to our ALL GUARD Endurance Team tryouts later this summer for your shot at joining our team.”

Soldiers interested in testing their limits are encouraged to try out for the 2022 ALL GUARD team by competing in the time trials (ENDURO 2021) at Camp Joseph Robinson Army Base in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The event is scheduled from Aug. 27-30.

Soldiers can contact SFC Douglas D. Stephens, National Guard Military Competitions at (402) 309-8313 for more information on representing their state and supporting the ALL GUARD team.

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