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Airman finishes first in Tough Mudder; dedicates race to combat controller

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cassandra Saphore
  • Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Christopher Stuebbe, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of enlisted force development for Air Force Special Operations Command, competed in and took home first place during a Tough Mudder Race in Jacksonville, Florida April 2, 2022.

This 15--kilometer, 30--obstacle race was his third Tough Mudder he’s competed in, and the most important one yet, because he ran it in honor of the late Airman 1st Class Kiegan Baker, a U.S. Air Force Combat Controller (CCT) who passed away in March 2020. Stuebbe learned more about Baker after winning a scholarship through a foundation named for the CCT.

“I just kept reminding myself throughout the entire race that I’m not going to fail at any obstacle because I’m doing this for him,” he said.

In addition to this accomplishment, he was also named one of the 12 Outstanding Airman of the Year for 2019, and he was selected to attend Officer Training School later this year. Following OTS training, he will attend training to become a Tactical Air Control Party Officer (TACP-O).

However, the road hasn’t been easy; in 2021, Stuebbe fractured his foot a month prior to leaving for TACP-O selection, but he didn’t let that injury affect his resolve.

“Setbacks are just a setup for a comeback,” said Stuebbe. “Just because something sets you back doesn’t mean that all doors are closed, and just because I had an injury doesn’t mean that I’m done with selection – there are other things I can do. I used those setbacks to power forward.”

Stuebbe’s leadership have been supportive of his goals and empowered by his achievements.

“We’re extremely proud of him,” said Chief Master Sgt. Ricky Lamm, superintendent for AFSOC Force Development. “He embodies core values and everything else that we look for in our Airmen. The fact that he went out and crushed a Tough Mudder on his free time – that’s the epitome of excellence in all we do, and he’s an inspiration to the team.”