MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The Marines of the Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School’s Company B are currently strutting around the schoolhouse all chesty with their heads held high.
Marine students, instructors and civilian personnel of MCCES gathered at Victory Field Oct. 10 to take part in the culmination of the school’s annual field meet.
Sgt. Maj. Michael B. Gray, the school’s sergeant major, said the main goal of the five-day meet, which began Oct. 6, was to raise the morale of the unit.
“This is one of the biggest things we can do to raise morale and build cohesion,” said Gray, a native of St. Louis.
Events included basketball and softball tournaments, a 10-kilometer run, pull-up and flexed-arm-hang competitions, a humvee push, and a tug-of-war contest. After each event was completed, each of the school’s four companies were awarded a certain amount of points depending on where they placed in the event with the company receiving the most points being declared the overall winner.
Gray drew from personal experience to emphasize the longevity of the meets.
“I went through this school 20 years ago, and we were doing it then,” said Gray.
Gray also said due to academic schedules and coursework the schoolhouse will not be released to participate in the upcoming Combat Center Challenge, so the meet served as a way of allowing the MCCES community to partake and test themselves in events similar to those of the Combat Center Challenge.
Lt. Col. Charles K. Carroll, the executive officer of MCCES, said opportunities for the school’s estimated 2,500 students to come together as a whole are rare, and this year’s meet helped emphasize Corps values and the spirit of competition.
“The important thing here is to come together, increase esprit de corps and the camaraderie between the Marines,” said Carroll, a native of Santa Maria, Calif.
Carroll also said in addition to raising morale through friendly competition, the meet is also a stress reliever for the students and faculty.
“It is the spirit of competition,” said Carroll. “But it’s good old-fashion fun too.”
Lance Cpl. Jamaal Bess, a MCCES student with Company A, said the meet was successful at providing students with a break from their studies and increasing the bond between companies.
“It’s been fun stuff,” said Bess, a native of Lakewood, Wash. “It forces everyone to come together and get along.”
Pvt. Brandon Warner, a MCCES student also with Company A, and native of Kansas City, Mo., said in addition to providing Marines with bragging rights, the meets also allowed MCCES students to meet new people and hear about what other MCCES students are training for and participating in.
Once all the events were completed, and the scores were tallied, the companies were put into formation, and the final results were announced. Headquarters Company finished fourth, Company C finished third, and Company A finished second, making Company B the victor and recipient of one year of bragging rights and the 1st place trophy, which was awarded by Col. Kevin J. Nally, the commanding officer of MCCES.