MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Laughter and good times filled Del Valle field as the ‘Wardogs’ took a much needed break from their busy training schedule. Marines old and new to the unit, spent time with each other and shared food and refreshments in a setting that encouraged good fun and camaraderie. Second Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, trains to sharpen their skills to be at the highest level of readiness, but on Saturday, the battalion took some time to relax and unwind for all the hard work its Marines have done. Coming from multiple field operations, 2/7 hosted a barracks bash, May 10, 2014.
The event was coordinated by Diane Durden, family readiness officer, 2/7 and the battalion’s senior leadership to build camaraderie among the Marines and allow the unit to relax before the next training cycle.
“There are approximately 500 to 600 Marines who live in the barracks,” said Sgt. Maj. Fredrick Smith, battalion sergeant major, 2/7. “Having events like this, after a long duration in the field, is important to let the Marines blow off steam and be together.”
The event also helps alleviate stress by putting the unit in a relaxed setting where Marines can communicate freely and get to know one another.
“It’s great to see our leadership in an environment like this where there isn’t as much stress,” said Lance Cpl. William Youst, rifleman, 2/7. “It allows us to see them in a different perspective, not just the Marine side but a more relaxed side as well.”
The event featured tug-of-war matches, an inflatable obstacle course, food, refreshments, and other games for Marines to enjoy.
"Events like this help morale because it lets the Marines know how much this command cares about them,” Durden said. “We also make sure to ask the single Marines what they want to see in these events to make sure what we’re planning is what they actually want to participate in. Ultimately, we want the Marines to know that the command always wants to ensure the Marines are taken care of.”
The unit began their participation in the Desert Scimitar exercise, May 12, 2014 as their next training evolution.
“It’s good that this event was timed so the Marines have a break before going to the field again, but we’re also ready to begin our next mission,” Smith said.