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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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Supt. Bn. program challenges Marines to friendly competition

By Pfc. Alicia Small | | August 31, 2007

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Sgt. Penelope Lopez, the administration chief for Support Battalion, cringes from an arm-bar applied by black belt instructor Staff Sgt. Earnest Watson.

Sgt. Penelope Lopez, the administration chief for Support Battalion, cringes from an arm-bar applied by black belt instructor Staff Sgt. Earnest Watson. (Photo by Cannan Brumley)

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Marines from Recruit Training Regiment’s Support Battalion and Headquarters and Service Battalion’s Combat Camera tested their Marine Corps martial arts skills Aug. 21, during grappling matches.

“Support Battalion started a healthy regimen in early August of challenging other offices on the depot to friendly competitions,” said Sgt. Penelope Lopez, Supt. Bn. administration chief.

The idea of competing with different sections came to light after Sgt. Randy Kirby of Combat Camera sent Lopez a video of the Marines in his office grappling to brag about how tough they all are.

After watching the video, Lopez issued a challenge to Kirby, claiming her Marines could out-grapple the Marines in his office. They came up with fun nicknames for everyone competing, and pumped themselves up for the event.

Martial-arts instructors on the depot were present to officiate and also took part in the entertaining rivalry.

Contests like the grappling matches benefit the participating Marines in many ways.

"We do it for the challenge and to get more interaction between RTR and H&S,"said Lance Cpl. Rick Schebesta, Support Bn. administration clerk. "It also gives us a break from the busy and monotonous schedules we sometimes get stuck carrying out."

Results from the competitions also provide entertainment for a while after their completion, as discussions of who is the best and strongest often ensued.

Lopez believes the contests are good for building unit cohesion and camaraderie within the offices and between sections. She said departments have to band together as a team in order to be victorious. Also, it gives Marines from across the depot an opportunity to meet up and have fun together.

Participants in the contests get to work on something else that is highly valuable to all Marines’ physical fitness.

Challenges provide Marines with enjoyable ways of staying fit and healthy. The purposes of the events are to focus on the physical fitness of Marines and avoid redundant workouts.

The matches help the Marines realize their strengths and weaknesses.

According to Support Bn.’s sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. Robert Eriksson, this realization also helps build confidence because it makes people more aware of their skills in various activities. It boosts a person’s self-esteem when they know they are good at something, or they win a contest they did not know they could.

"After a competition you notice what you are good at and what you need to work on to become a more well-rounded person and Marine,"said Schebesta.

Friendly rivalry brings out different sides of people too, said Eriksson. A Marine who is generally quiet could be very competitive and outspoken during these matches and those who would generally be big-talkers might be calmer during the contests.

The grappling matches served their purpose well, as everyone who took part had fun and got a challenging workout. Members of Support Bn. look forward to more successful competitions and welcome anyone who wishes to challenge them in the future.

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