Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Marines with 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division were the first group to participate in a pilot program coordinated by Marine Corps Community Services called Operation Adrenaline Rush, Sept. 29.
Operation Adrenaline Rush is a program geared toward units that are just returning from a deployment in order to help them adjust to being home again.
The idea behind this program is to give Marines and sailors an opportunity to participate in extreme sports as a way to relieve stress. The participants get an adrenaline rush similar to if they were in combat, but while they are in a controlled environment.
The Marines began the day riding buses to the U.S. White Water Rafting Center in Charlotte, N.C. Once there, they participated in outdoor sports such as white water rafting, rock climbing, mounting climbing and different ropes courses.
“I think this program was a great idea,” said Cpl. Thomas Kerley, a liaison with Headquarters Battery, 1/10. “It was a lot of fun. I really like the whole theory of having an adrenaline rush. I have a bike and I ride it all the time; it’s therapeutic for me.” “It’s different than talking to a counselor,” continued Kerley, an Anchorage, Alaska native. “This program is a good alternative to me.”
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma are the only two installations conducting the pilot program as of right now, but many hope that the program stays around and spreads throughout the Marine Corps.
“We were offered this opportunity by MCCS,” said Sgt. Maj. Juan Alvarado, the battalion sergeant major for 1/10. “We brought them to an environment outside of work or the field for a day so that they can experience some excitement. “ “I think it’s a great program and I can’t wait to hear what the Marines thought about it,” continued Alvarado, a native of San Mateo, Calif. “The Marines were definitely eager to be a part of this program. I think the benefits will be great.”
Another point the program stressed besides post-deployment operational stress control was unit cohesion and “esprit de corps” by having the Marines work together during the events.
“This program was definitely ‘outside the box’,” said Lance Cpl. Jeromy Joye, legal clerk with Headquarters Battery, 1/10. “I would absolutely do it again and recommend it to any Marines who get the opportunity to do this.”