10th Marines battle for unit pride

14 Dec 2006 | Cpl. Adam Johnston

From the moment they don the uniform, Marines are strictly business.  Their day isn’t over until the job’s done.  But, as the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  Even Marines, dedicated as they are, need to let loose every once in a while.

Approximately 1,500 Marines gathered at Liversedge Field to participate in the 10th Marine Regiment field meet, Dec. 8.

“The tug-of-war and the seven-ton pull were great because more than one person could participate in the event,” said Cpl. Gregory E. Linton, a field artillery cannonneer with Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment.  “The more people are involved, the more they want to root on the team and see their unit win.”

Linton represented his battalion during the half-mile run in boots and camouflage utilities.  With a first class physical fitness test, to include a 17-minute three-mile-run time, the North Beach, Md., native, was more than qualified for the job.

“Winning my race was nice, but 3/10 taking the whole thing was even more exciting,” Linton said.  “The bragging rights alone were worth the effort.”

Chief Warrant Officer-4 William L. Dagenhart, the regimental field-meet coordinator, kept things interesting by putting a twist on the usual schedule of events.  By no means was this your everyday run-of-the-mill field meet.

“I met up with representatives from each battalion prior to the competition,” Dagenhart said.  “Our goal was to keep the events as closely related to artillery as possible.”

Linton and the other competitors were faced with challenges more difficult than the typical “dizzy izzy” race.  They did pull-ups with a flak-jacket, Kevlar helmet and a full pack weighing them down.  They also battled to see who could hurl a 155mm round, which weighs in at roughly 100 pounds, the farthest.

“Being out in the field all the time can get really miserable, really fast,” Dagenhart explained.  “We wanted this event to be something that everyone could enjoy.”

With the regiment’s current operation tempo, field meets of this magnitude only happen once or twice a year.  But when they do, the Marines are more than ready to prove who’s the best.

“Doing the same thing everyday can get pretty boring,” Linton explained.  “The sibling rivalry between units brought out the competitive nature in everyone.  Overall, it was a motivating day.”