Marine Corps veteran Kelly “Murph” Murphy was the winner on the first season of the CBS competition reality show “Tough as Nails,” so the producers decided to approach the Marines about filming season 3 on base at Camp Pendleton.
Murph appears in the first episode to guide the new competitors through their challenges. We’ve got a clip of his dramatic entrance on the show.
Murph is proud to be back at Pendleton. "It was like a homecoming," he said. "I spent 16 years of my career on Camp Pendleton. I met most of my lifetime friends on that base. My oldest daughter, Audrey, was born on the Naval Hospital aboard the base. Camp Pendleton is like home to me.”
The gear for each of the 12 contestants gets dropped via parachute from the cargo bay of a C-130 Hercules. Murph gets introduced as a judge and receives wild applause from the competitors as he’s driven up waving from the gun turret of a joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV). After he displays his “Tough as Nails” championship belt, he gives a little speech about how moved he is to be back at Pendleton.
“Tough as Nails” presents itself as sort of a blue-collar Olympics, with trade workers displaying their strength, mental toughness, resilience and endurance through a series of difficult work challenges. This season features two military members in competition, Lia Mort and Sarah Ham.
Mort is a 54-year-old veteran who describes herself as a “Jill-of-all-trades” who makes her living doing odd jobs of all types. She first served in the Marine Corps on active duty from 1986-1990 as a MOS cryptographic repair technician and left as an E5 SGT.
She enlisted in the Army in 2002 as a sergeant and small arms repairer. She was reclassified as an intelligence analyst in 2005 and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mort now serves in the Army Reserve.
Ham is a 30-year-old cement mason and Army Reserve veteran from Queens, N.Y. She served for eight years as a 92Y unit supply specialist.
Season 3 of “Tough as Nails” premieres on CBS on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Episodes will stream on Paramount+ the next day.
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