Challenge Warrior Bios
Warrior Leadership Team:
THOMAS “BILLY” COSTELLO, USA (R) GREEN BERET
Staff Sergeant Thomas W. Costello was born in Lexington Park, Maryland, on February 22, 1982 and enlisted in the Army in November 2002, after graduating from Great Mills High School. SSG Costello completed Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, and graduated from the Heavy Wheeled Vehicle Maintenance Mechanics Course. From there, Billy went to Air4borne School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he earned his Jump Wings. Upon completion of this training, SSG Costello was assigned to 1-72 Armor Battalion, Camp Casey, Republic of Korea. SSG Costello volunteered for U.S. Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection in December 2004, and was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. Upon completion of the SFQC he was assigned to Charlie Company, 4th BN, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant. Upon arrival to Charlie Company, he volunteered for the dive team and subsequently attended and passed the Combat Dive Qualification Course. SSG Costello deployed with his Operational Detachment Alpha team attached to 2nd BN, 3rd SFG(A) in support of operations in… Read More
SFC CHRIS CORBIN, USA, GREEN BERET
Sergeant First Class Chris Corbin entered military service in July 1995. Prior to becoming a Green Beret with the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) he served in various other Army units such as the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, and the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.
On February 17th, 2011, Chris was on his 3rd tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). That day he was on patrol with his Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) through a village in the Helmand Province, when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and suffered injuries to both legs resulting in a Bilateral, Below-the-Knee (Bilat BK) amputation.
After stabilization Chris was immediately sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he underwent several surgeries; after which he embarked upon – what was thought to be – a long road to rehabilitation.
On July 15th, 2011, less than 5 months after his injury, he was medically cleared to Return to Duty (RTD) with the 7th Special Forces Group (A), where he is currently…Read More
Aviation Electronics Chief David Caras, USCG
Born in Munich, Germany and raised mostly in Fayetteville, NC, USCG AETC (Ret.) David Caras entered the U.S. Coast Guard in 1984 at Training Center Cape May, NJ. He was a rescue surf boat crewmember until he graduated from Aviation Electronics School as an Aviation Electronics Technician Third Class. He is qualified as Avionicsman Radio Navigator Instructor on HH-3F helicopters, Flight Mechanic Crew Chief Instructor on HH-60J helicopters, HU-25A/B Falcon jets, and Radio Operator on HC-130 Hercules aircraft. He deployed to the Caribbean with USCG and DEA antinarcotics operations, and is a member of a USCG pistol and high-power rifle team. He retired in 2004 with twenty years of service.
Previous USCG assignments include: USCG Station Menemsha, Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Aviation Technical Training Center Elizabeth City, NC, USCG Air Station Cape Cod, Otis ANGB, MA, USCG Air Station Elizabeth City, NC, and USCG Air Station Clearwater, FL.
Staff assignments include: Avionics Shop Supervisor and Instructor, antinarcotics deployment team site supervisor, flight crew instructor, Chief of flight standardization board and flight safety board, maintenance shift supervisor, Airman Aviation School Chief, ready aircrew duty watch supervisor, Flight Program and Operations manager, radar and sensor systems laboratory and technician supervisor, and lead supervisor of avionics maintenance and aircrew instruction. He holds a Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Communications Commission licenses. Liaison with FAA, CENTCOM, SOCOM, Air Force MacDill/Avon Park, Raytheon, Hawker-Beechcraft, Southern Air Systems, Sandia Labs, Navy, Army, Navy Naval Research Laboratories, Naval Air Systems Command, and multiple engineering firms.
He attended North Carolina State University and is a graduate of University of Phoenix, earning a Bachelor of Science of Business Management. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree, and is a member of Delta Mu Delta Honor Society.
Military decorations include: USCG Perchard Award, Achievement Medal, Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Unit Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal, Special Operations Service Medal, Meritorious Team Commendation Medal, Bicentennial Unit Ribbon, Department of Transportation (Homeland Security) Outstanding Unit Ribbon, and qualified as Expert on multiple pistols, rifles, and shotguns.
In David Caras’ spare time he competes in triathlons, is an Area Coordinator raising guide dog puppies, camp counselor for Faces of Courage Kids Cancer and Blood Disorders camp, and camp counselor for Camp No Limits for young people with limb loss and families.
SSG JUSTIN M LANSFORD, USA (RET)
Staff Sergeant Justin Lansford attended Basic Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning Georgia in 2009. Following graduation, Justin was stationed Fort Bragg, NC, and assigned to 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. He deployed to Iraq in April of 2010 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lansford returned home in August, and began training for an Afghanistan deployment. He deployed in February of 2012 to Ghazni, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Justin served as a squad leader, and also as a machine gunner.
On April 23, 2012, Justin was severely injured when the truck that he was machine-gunning from struck a roadside bomb. The truck flipped over completely and Lansford was crushed underneath. He was trapped under the burning truck for over 30 minutes before they were able to lift the truck and get him onto a medevac helicopter. Justin suffered the loss of his left leg above the knee, and crush injuries to his right leg, among other injuries. Lansford was airlifted from the battlefield, and spent most of his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in D.C. After four months of inpatient care, Justin had fought several infections, and was released to outpatient treatment. He continued physical therapy for almost another two years.
In December of 2013, SSG Lansford was medically retired the United States Army. He is currently attending the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in International Studies; focusing on the Middle East and the Arabic Language.