MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO --
More than 30 Marines from The Basic School’s Artillery Instructor Battery were doused with plenty of motivation as they went through the Montford Point Challenge competition with the staff at Officer Candidates School on Feb. 8.
The purpose of the Montford Point Challenge is to celebrate the sacrifices and heroism of the Montford Point Marines.
At the end of OCS’s Staff Orientation Course the Montford Point Challenge is done. This was the second time this event has been made into a competition for the entire OCS staff to take part in. The winners of the event have their picture put up in the OCS battalion command post, Wilson Hall.
Marines were put into teams and the commanding officer of OCS, Col. Kris J. Stillings, made sure to shake things up a bit.
“We form the teams a certain way so that Marines are working with people from different sections,” Stillings said. “So there are officers, staff non-commissioned officers and junior Marines who are on the same team that have never worked together. I think it breaks down barriers and builds esprit for the entire unit.”
Each team went through three stages along the 2.91-mile course.
The first stage had teams going through Junior’s Stamina Course Obstacle Belt. Obstacles consisted of the commando crawl, high crawl under barbed wire and balancing while running on elevated logs. The second part of this stage was picking up 40mm ammo cans and carrying them up and down hills and through knee-deep swamp water.
During the second stage, after putting down their ammo cans, teams picked up two stretchers, placing three sandbags on each. While in possession of both stretchers the teams would run down Sandy Trail and then take the Fallujah Trail to their next groups of obstacles that end with each member of a group climbing up and down a cargo net.
After taking a quick break to hydrate, teams had to pick up one log and run back down the Fallujah Trail to the back side of Loop 1. From there they proceeded through the Smelly Gully and then through the Endurance Course obstacles. Their last test was the rope climb, where all team members sat on the log they have been carrying as one member ascends a rope. After the Marine slaps the horizontal log at the top of the rope, the team’s time would stop.
“We communicated very effectively and executed good ideas out there,” said Sgt. Eric Daniels, tactics instructor, OCS. “We used our strengths to our advantage and we compensated for the weakness some of our members had. I recommend other units come out to the next one, because it’s a fun time and it definitely encompasses everything about combat fitness.”