Medal of Honor Stories: LT. Michael P. Murphy

by Ed Sealy


As I’m sure you are all aware, CTF has registered as a host event for The Murph Challenge, to be held on Memorial Day, Monday May 30th.

Over the next few weeks, I will be trying to shine a spotlight on several Medal of Honor recipients, some of whom are still alive, as well as those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect their teams and our freedom.

I will also end each week with an organization, either charitable or serviceman owned that could use our support as a grateful community.

With that being said, who better to start with than the inspiration for the Challenge and creator of the Murph Workout… Lt. Michael P. Murphy?


Michael P. Murphy was born on May 7, 1976 in Smithtown, New York to Irish American parents Maureen and Daniel Murphy, a former assistant Suffolk County district attorney. He was raised in Patchogue.

He attended Saxton Middle School, where he played youth soccer and pee-wee football, with his father as coach. In high school, he continued playing sports, and took a summer job as a lifeguard at the Brookhaven town beach in Lake Ronkonkoma. He returned to the job every summer throughout his college years.

Murphy was known to his friends as “Murph”, and he was known as “The Protector” in his high school years. In 8th grade, he protected a special needs child who was being shoved into a locker by a group of boys, this was the only time the principal of the school had called his parents, they couldn’t have been prouder.

He also protected a homeless man, who was being attacked while collecting cans. He chased away the attackers and helped the man pick up his cans.

Just another testament to the leadership and moral compass that this man had even at an early age.

In 1994, Murphy graduated from Patchogue-Medford High School and left home to attend The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). He graduated from Penn State in 1998, with degrees in both political science and psychology.

A more in depth account of his life and the early years of his military career can be found with a quick search in Google, but we all know why we honor him in the CrossFit community with a Hero WOD.

On June 28, 2005, Lt. Murphy exposed himself to enemy fire, knowingly removing himself from cover in order to obtain a clear signal to communicate with headquarters to request immediate support for his overwhelmed team of four. He was able to provide his unit’s location during the request of support and his last radio communication was the words “Thank You.”

He continued to fight until finally succumbing to his wounds.

On October 27, 2007, Medal of Honor was presented by president George W. Bush to his parents Dan and Maureen Murphy, who later started the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The Forged Murph Challenge is the primary fundraiser for the Foundation and has raised more than $400,000 the past 2 years.

The Murph Challenge is our way of saying “Thank You” to Lt. Murphy for his service and sacrifice. Please take a few minutes to hit the following links to read a letter from Dan Murphy (Michael’s Father), register for The Murph Challenge, and to read the Citation for the Medal of Honor.

Thank you to the CTF Army for the opportunity to host this event and the ability to honor the over 1.1 million service men who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation.

Join us for the Murph Challenge on Monday, May 30th as we give thanks and celebrate the lives of those who allow us this blanket of Freedom!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *