MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines and sailors with II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group know how to work hard. II MHG was the last Marine command to redeploy from Operation Iraqi Freedom in early 2010, and even though they’ve been back aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. for almost four months, they continue to dedicate themselves to their mission as II MEF’s headquarters element.
But amidst their toil, they still find a little time to play. On May 21, behind the Goettge Field House aboard Camp Lejeune, the Marines and sailors tested their humvee pulling, tire flipping, stretcher racing, volleyball playing, “dizzy izzy” running, rope tugging, and, with the help of Semper Fit, “cha cha” sliding skills. A combination of these activities and a huge cookout was the recipe for a II MHG field meet.
“The Marines in the Headquarters work an enormous amount of hours weekly,” explained Gunnery Sgt. Jessica Luna, the II MHG mobility chief. “Every once in awhile, the Marines deserve some time off to do something fun.”
For the competitive events, the Marines were split into teams representing their sections. Military Police Support Company and Truck Company each had two teams, and Headquarters and Service Company, supply, engineers, and logistics each had one team.
Pfc. Andy Schumann, a military policeman with II MHG MP Support Co, ran three relays in the “dizzy izzy,” where he ran down the field, put his forehead on the tip of a baseball bat and spun around the bat five times before attempting to quickly navigate back to the original starting point.
“You start bragging a little bit to the other companies and the other teams,” said Schumann. “When you succeed or fail, you do it together, so it builds a bond.”
But, one of the most comical events of the day wasn’t a competition at all. After the Marines had been at the field meet for a couple of hours, representatives from Semper Fit, a part of Marine Corps Community Services, arrived and led the Marines in entertaining exercise, like dancing the “cha cha slide” and “cupid shuffle.”
Though the field meet is a fun way to reward the Marines for their hard work, at the end of the day, unit camaraderie is the most important lesson learned.
“Our sections are spread across Camp Lejeune, and the Marines do not interact with each other daily,” Luna explained. “[The field meet] improves morale and establishes communication within the Headquarters. They can bring away new contacts for work issues and maybe make a friend or two!”