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A Marine with 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion strikes a pinata at the unit’s final family day at Desert Winds Golf Course, May 5, 2014. The battalion is slated to deactvate this summer. (Photo by Erika Capistran, FRO)

Photo by Courtsy Photo

3rd CEB celebrates Family Day

5 May 2014 | Lance Cpl. Paul S. Martinez Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

High-tempo music filled the air as Marines and sailors frantically circled two rows of back-to-back chairs. Although they are surrounded by family and friends, a tense mood fills the atmosphere. Suddenly, the music comes to an abrupt halt, and the group immediately pounces on their nearest chair, shoving each other in the process until one is left the odd man out. He performs a playful walk of shame as those around him laugh, wishing him better luck on the next round of musical chairs.

Marines, sailors and families of 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion enjoyed an afternoon of food and games during the unit’s family day at Desert Winds Golf Course, May 5, 2014.

“Having returned from deployment in October, we wanted to get everyone together again,” said Lt. Col. Brian Dwyer, battalion commander, 3rd CEB. “With Marines and families throughout the unit, we wanted to ensure camaraderie and do something together as a unit to have some fun. We want to show the families that we appreciate everything they do day in and day out.”

The family day was themed toward the Cinco de Mayo celebration, with Mexican food provided by Tim Perez. Music and a piñata with candy were also featured in the fun.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Capt. Andrew McGinn, company commander, A Company, 3rd CEB, whom attended with his wife and daughter. “The piñata was pretty funny to watch and the food was great. I think these unit functions get everyone out of the work mindset and allow them to be on a more personal level.”

All over, the battalion could be seen enjoying spoonfuls of Mexican cuisine while watching their fellow Marines and sailors stumble over games of musical chairs. A bounce house kept the children entertained.

“We pride ourselves not as a battalion but as a family,” said Erika Capistran, family readiness officer, 3rd CEB. “[Family day] gives us an opportunity to come together for unit cohesion.”

According to Dwyer, the unit is turning its operational focus on supporting Exercise Desert Scimitar this month. 

“The Marines and families of 3rd CEB have been incredible,” Dwyer said. “They have performed admirably and I honestly believe the families of the Marines helped make them successful. I’m incredibly proud to be the commanding officer of this unit.”

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms