Seven Summits Conquered

Maj. Robert Marshall and Maj. Mark Uberuaga, co-founders of the Air Force’s Seven Summits Challenge, assembled Air Force-led military teams that climbed to the highest point on each continent. Over the course of eight years, these teams scaled the summit of the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, in some cases becoming the first military team ever to accomplish the feat, the two airmen told attendees of AFA’s Air and Space Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Sept. 17. Enlisted personnel, officers, and wounded warriors participated in the various climbs, planting the Air Force and US flags on these summits: Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, Antarctica’s Mt. Vinson, Asia’s Mt. Everest, Australia’s Mt. Kosciusko, Europe’s Mt. Elbrus, North America’s Mt. McKinley, and South America’s Mt. Aconcagua. Marshall and Uberuaga said the teams, along with the skills they applied, exemplified Air Force values of teamwork, leadership, resiliency, risk management, and physical fitness. The climbs also had another benefit: raising some $780,000 to give to military-related charities, they said. Marshall and Uberuaga said they continue to look for ways to get airmen involved in physical activities that build teamwork and leadership. Marshall is currently a V-22 acceptance test pilot for the Defense Contract Management Agency in Amarillo, Tex. Uberuaga is now a student at the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Ala.