MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- II Marine Expeditionary Force Marines are training hard, getting mentally prepared and sending volleys down range - the driving range.
The II MEF Commanding General Invitational golf tournament takes place at Paradise Point Golf Course, April 21.
The tournament is a four-man scramble, best ball tournament. Thirty teams have registered for the tournament and it's open to all ranks within II MEF and subordinate commands. However, one team made up of Marines from II MEF Headquarters Group is confident they'll take the prize.
"When you step out on that golf course you gotta know you're the baddest guy out there," said Lance Cpl. Scott Powell, logistics chief, II MEF G-7 Simulations Center, who believes he'd be a colonel if playing golf is how you got promoted.
The team is made up of Powell, Sgt. Ronald Cash, noncommissioned officer in charge, Cpl. Mike Anderson, Marine Air Ground Task Force Plans NCOIC, and Cpl. Dustin Fritz, supply clerk, II MHG supply.
"We've got some pretty good golfers, we're young, we got a lot of enthusiasm, and we're motivated," said Powell who was offered a golf scholarship to Ole Miss. "We want to go out there and show a lot of these Staff NCO's and officers that hey, NCO and below ranks can play golf too, and we're gonna do it."
Anderson and Powell believe each Marine brings something special to the team.
"In upholding the highest of naval and Marine Corps traditions, we wanted the best of the best," said Powell. "(Anderson) is one of those guys you just can't do without. In the past when we've been going through slumps, he's been there with a Lombardi-esque half-time speech."
They both agreed that Cash brings leadership to the team while Fritz completes the team.
"We pretty much have everything we need, but, when you can bring a golfer like Fritz in, what more could you ask for," said Powell whose best score is a 65.
That leaves Powell who Anderson believes is the "heavy hitter" of the team.
However, the very humble Powell believes he'll bring a little more then that. "I'm gonna use my substantial and overwhelming golf prowess to lead our unstoppable team of devil dogs to a victory the likes of which the Marine Corps has never seen."
With many units creating their own teams, the tournament offers a great chance to build camaraderie and morale.
"I think it's great that we have this opportunity to go out as a unit and get away from the daily grind and leave it all out on the golf course," said Anderson.
Powell followed with "You wanna be the best and it gives you a chance to get some braggin' rights, but, there might be some people who just don't have any thoughts of winning and they're just wanting to get out there and have a good time and enjoy the camaraderie. That's what it's really all about."
Powell can't wait for a chance to play in the tournament against a lieutenant general.
"It is just an event for fun and to enjoy the camaraderie and building a bond. You get to have me, a lance corporal out there, playing golf with a three star general. That doesn't happen very often," said Powell. "It's not often that you can just be like "Hey sir, how did you shoot today?'"
However, Powell and his team had this message for the general, "I hope you're going to be gracious in defeat, sir, and I hope it doesn't sting too much to lose your own tournament."