Military News From ‘American Ninja Warrior’



Staff Sgt. Randall Forsythe, a 375th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and U.S. Navy Lt. Natalie Schibell, the environmental health officer at Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut, have both been chosen to compete on NBC’s summer reality series American Ninja Warrior (airing Mondays at 8/7c, repeating Tuesdays on the Esquire network).

For those of you not spending a lot of time down at the gym, American Ninja Warrior is a competition show now airing its seventh season. Competitors race along ever more complicated and difficult obstacle courses with the winner who conquers the final course winning $1,000,000. Except no one’s ever actually completed the last leg in the show’s history, a fact that seems to motivate competitors even more.

Both Forsythe and Schibell submitted packages months ago and, as time passed, each figured that the show hadn’t selected them. In late April, Forsythe received word that the show wanted to do a special military episode and that he was chosen as one of the Air Force representatives. After months of waiting, Schibell was “feeling pretty disappointed, and all of a sudden out of nowhere someone called me. I was over the moon, so thrilled and excited.”

More than 50,000 people applied for the current season and 800 contestants were selected to compete in qualifying rounds in six cities across the country. Around 20% will reach the finals in Las Vegas.


Forsythe said he wanted to do the show in honor of his father. “Last year my father passed away suddenly and that’s when I realized life is short,” he said. “I have always wanted to be on American Ninja Warrior, so I decided to submit an audition video to set an example for my daughter.”


Schibell believes she can compete in spite of her small stature. She’s not quite 5-foot-3 and weighs 125 pounds. “I’m a female. I’m short. So a lot of people tend to judge a book by its cover and they really have no idea until they get to know me that I’m a lot tougher than I look,” she said, of her answer. I look like I’m a little younger than my real age and maybe unintimidating to people who don’t know me. But people who do, know better,” she said.

Schibell says her episode is set to air June 29th. No confirmation yet from Forsythe, but it’s likely he’s competing in the same military-themed episode as Schibell. You can follow each of them on Twitter: @RandallForsythe and @NatalieSchibell. Check out their respective training videos below.