Memorial Day is a day to honor the sacrifices of national heros throughout U.S. history. Many Americans spend the holiday relaxing and spending time at home with friends and family. Sailors aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), however, honored the fallen through physically challenging themselves by completing the Murph.
The Murph is an annual Memorial Day crosstraining fitness fundraiser that occurs around the country on the last Monday in May, in honor of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a U.S. Navy SEAL who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.
“I feel like I did something to honor the uniform I wear every day and was able to overcome a very difficult challenge,” said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Haley Blatchford “I feel so accomplished after finishing the challenge.”
Led by Blatchford, the participants in this year’s Murph on Antietam, included Antietam’s Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Watkins, Antietam’s Chaplain Lt. David Williams, Fire Controlman 1st Class Cameron Gelock, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Amanda Hanson, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Robert Muwoomya and Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Cameron Myers.
The Murph starts with a one mile run, transitions into 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats, and finishes with another one mile run at the end of the workout. All of the Sailors aboard Antietam who participated in the event completed the workout within one hour.
“This grueling workout is a fitting tribute to truly honor Michael Murphy, a national hero who sacrificed his life for his teammates and for our country,” Watkins said. “We can’t forget our fallen and I hope more people join us next year to remember Murph.”
The Murph is a modification of the exercise Murphy used himself. Murphy would complete the exercise in preparation for deployments wearing a 25 pound flak jacket; he called
the exercise “Body of Armor.” After his death during Operation Red Wings, the cross-fit
community that carried on the exercise named the workout the Murph in his honor.
Antietam is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of
security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.