As long as women have served along side men in the military, they have been rumors and issues with the sexes working together. Many point to the idea that women are too weak to serve along side men, and they should not be in combat situations. There are also many cases where it seems people in their units do not look at the women as being equals. In a stunning viral video, we see this is not the case for units that are training and working together. Captain Sarah Cudd is at the center of the video as her team fights through a grueling training schedule. At one point, Cudd falls to the ground, and the reaction of her fellow soldiers is not what we would expect.
Captain Sarah Cudd of Public Health Command, Fort Knox set out to do something that was nearly impossible. She wanted to complete an elite medical badge with her unit. According to a report about the training that day:
“The Expert Field Medical Badge is an honor given to military medical personnel who can complete a series of exhausting and tiring tests, some written and some physical. It is so difficult to attain that it is estimated that up to 80% fail the examinations. U.S. Army Captain Sarah Cudd of Public Health Command, Fort Knox set out to earn this badge alongside a large number of other candidates.
While on the final leg of the examination – a grueling 12-mile tactical food march to be completed within three hours while carrying 70lbs of gear – she found herself growing weary. She was nearly at the finish line with 13 minutes to go when she collapsed from exhaustion. Despite her tiredness, Cudd refused to give up. She hoisted herself back onto her feet, but stumbled and fell again.”
With only 20% of those who attempt this badge finishing, it would not have been out of the ordinary for Cudd to give up. She was at the point of total exhaustion and packing 70 pounds of weight on her back did not help the cause.
As the viral video shows, Cudd fell to the ground with nothing left to give to the course. It looked like she was not able to finish the march even though she was only a short distance from the finish. She had three hours to complete the task and time was running out.
Instead of letting Cudd suffer alone or even chalking her possible failure up to her being a woman, members of her unit stepped into help. While they could not physically help her up or aid her in any way to get to the finish, those around her found a special way to help.
Each of the men and women that were there that day stepped forward to boost her spirit. During the video, words of support and encouragement are heard coming from all directions. This was not a time to compete, but rather help a team member in reaching an important goal. Her co-workers stepped in to make sure she had the support and encouragement to push through the pain of exhaustion.
Cudd needed this boost to pick herself back up not once but twice. She was able to make it across the finish line with a few moments to spare. That day she joined the elite few who complete the grueling course. She also earned the respect of those around her as she fought to finish the course.
Physically, Cudd did not have enough left to finish the course. The drive and support of her team helped her to find that last bit of energy to cross the finish line. Not only did Captain Cudd earn the badge that afternoon, but her team also learned what it takes to support each member of the team. Working in the medical field during combat can be extremely stressful, the support of the men and women around her made that day bearable.