AUGUST 14, 2011
JOHNSTON, Iowa - The Drake football team met head on one of the toughest opponents it will face all year on Sunday (Aug. 14) as the Bulldogs visited Camp Dodge to participate in Operation Bulldog with the United States Marines.
The mission was designed to train, educate, and inspire the Bulldogs in order assist them in building a cohesive unit that is prepared for a successful upcoming football season.
The entire Drake team and coaching staff arrived at the "Freedom Center" a little before 2:00 p.m. for a briefing from Major Sean Quinlan, who spoke to the Bulldogs about tradition and what he believes, are its nine principles. Those principles include; team work, respect, attitude, discipline, initiative, toughness, imagination, old breed and new breed.
The Wolfpack Nation, which included Marines representing units from five states and soldiers from 12 states were present to run the Bulldogs through a series of team-building initiatives during the nearly three-hour session.
Following Major Quinlan's speech which he concluded with two guiding principles for the team, which were, do right and fear no one and no one breaks your spirit, the squad headed to the parking lot for the beginning of Operation Bulldog.
The team split up into two 55-man groups (offense and defense) and fell out onto the road in front of the "Freedom Center" where they picked up several logs to run with to the Leadership Reaction Course.
Once there the teams split up into two units, with one participating in the LRC and the other in the Combat Fitness Test.
The CFT consisted of the ½ mile sprint, ammo can lift, and the maneuver under fire portion of the test. Once the ½ mile sprint was complete, the team then executed ammo can lifts, needing to lift the can 97 times in two minutes. Once the lifts were completed they executed the maneuver under fire portion of the CFT.
For the "maneuver under fire" portion of the test, there were five lanes (11 men per lane). The Bulldogs crawled 30 yards before getting to their feet to zigzag through the course for another 30 yards. Once at the end the players had to drag a teammate 10 yards before using a fireman's carry to lift their teammate an additional 50 yards. The player then needed to carry a pair of 30-pound weights for 60 yards, throw a grenade at a target, and do five pushups before carrying the weights back past the finish line to complete the course.
The LRC had five lanes running simultaneously. Each lane had an 11-man squad with one squad leader working to accomplish the given task. In addition, each lane had an Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) who was responsible for briefing the scenario to each squad, assigning the squad leader, and leading the debrief. While there were five lanes running, each squad was only able to complete two of the five lanes. Each NCOIC ensured that the squads receive 15 minutes to complete the task and five minutes to complete a debriefing.
Once both groups completed the CFT and the LRC, the units jogged back to the "Freedom Center."
The Marines presented a special baseball bat to Creighton, Lahart and Hall before the Bulldogs presented a game helmet to the Marines in appreciation of their efforts.