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Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
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Cpl. John Stewie, mechanic, 1st Tank Battalion, throws the 42-pound Tank Bar in the Tank Bar Toss during the unit’s field meet at Del Valle Field Aug. 31, 2012.

Photo by LCpl. Ali Azimi

1st Tanks Field Meet

7 Sep 2012 | LCpl. Ali Azimi Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Marines with 1st Tank Battalion competed against each other in a field meet held at Del Valle Field Aug. 31, 2012.


The Marines split up into teams, dividing seven different companies and sections.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Lance Cpl. Derak Waldrop, tank crewman, Company C., 1st Tanks. “It brings everyone together and builds better unit cohesion as you get to know everybody.”

The battalion was pulled away from its daily training for a day of competition and fun.

“We spend so much time out here in the desert, it’s a good chance to have a little team work and competition,” said Lt. Col. Greg Poland, battalion commander, 1st Tanks. “It lets them blow off some steam, compete a little bit and talk a little trash to each other.”

The first event, a pull-up competition, had Marines sweating, as they lined up in front of the pull-up bars. In order to win, a team had to reach a combined sum of 1,000 pull-ups. Supply and Communications Company came out ahead, hitting their mark at 18 minutes and 38 seconds.

The next event was the Tank Bar Toss, followed by the Humvee pull. The bar toss is a traditional field event among the tankers.

“I think it’s one of the more famous ones that I remember from my days being a captain,” Poland said.

What sounded like an easy task, proved to be much more difficult than what Marines had expected.

“A lot of the younger guys come up here thinking it’s going to be easy, only to be surprised by how heavy it actually is,” Poland continued.

Every member from each team tossed the 42-pound bar as far as possible. Distance was measured after striking the ground ahead of them, and Co. A walked away with the win.

Following the bar toss, the pace of the competition changed with the Humvee pull. Marines raced through the muddy track on the field to try to get the best time through the 100 meters. Grabbing the rope attached to the heavy vehicle. Service and Communications earned another victory, with a time just under 18 seconds.

Next, the Tanks Marines crowded around an inflated arena where the Officer Joust took place. Marines cheered as they watched the commissioned officers of 1st Tanks pummel each other off the platform with the padded pugle sticks.

“The joust was my favorite,” said Waldrop. “It was fun to watch. Then again, my commander is big and we won.”

After the joust came one of the most competitive events of the day, the Tricycle Race. Two Marines on tricycles lapped around the track, the first to finish three laps was named the winner.

The competition for the race was heated. There were crashes and there was falling. Marines were prepared to do whatever it took to win. Some chose to use the tricycle as a scooter to move faster while others simply picked up their three-wheeled vehicle and ran around with it on their backs.

The test of speed transitioned to a test of strength with the Tug-of-War, the final event.

Fifteen Marines lay face down on both ends of the rope. At the signal, they jumped to their feet to tug their way to victory.

At the end of the meet, the points from each event were tallied up, naming the defending champions, Motor T, as the day’s victors.

“I saw a lot of smiling faces, a lot of sweat and a lot of mud out here today,” Poland said. “It reminds, these guys, they are part of something bigger, called the 1st Tank Battalion family.”

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms