MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines and sailors from 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, participated in the first Kings’ Games at Onslow Beach May 2 to bring the regiment together through friendly competition.
Teams of Marines and sailors from the regiment’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Battalions and the Headquarters element of the regiment competed in the event, which brought training activities to a new level with a dose of fun infused.
“I think it’s a great unit cohesion and esprit de corps builder because we as Marines, by nature, love competition – we compete at everything we do,” said Sgt. Maj. David J. Zhorne, the sergeant major of 10th Marines and native of Tama, Iowa. “This is going to give us an opportunity to get out there and do a little smack-talking and show the colors, so to speak – to get out there and have a fun day to be a Marine kind of thing.”
The name “Kings’ Games” was chosen for the event as a nod to 10th Marines’ function as an artillery regiment, because artillery has historically been called “the king of battle,” according to Sarasota, Fla., native Col. Bradley R. Hall, the commanding officer of 10th Marines.
The five teams competed in various events such as obstacle courses, relay races, tugs of war and more. Different groups of Marines and sailors represented the larger team in each event, maximizing the number of people involved. Winning teams of each event were awarded three points for finishing first, two for second and one for third.
“The thing about (the Kings’ Games) is that it’s all combat related,” said Hall. “All of the events are all strength, endurance or agility-related, so it’s a competition but it’s also a training venue.”
The Marines wanted to represent their respective battalions well and took each event quite seriously.
“It’s all about pride,” said Clifton Hill, Mo., native Cpl. Chad Sapp, a motor transportation operator with 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, after defeating four consecutive opponents in the pugil joust event. “You want your section to be recognized as the best.”
The event was also a camaraderie builder. The regiment has more than 3,000 service members, so the Kings’ Games gave Marines and sailors a chance to spend time with others from within the regiment they would normally not have contact with.
“The Kings’ Games is a great event,” said Savannah, Ga., native 1st Lt. Zachery Williams, the operations officer with the Remain Behind Element of 2nd Bn., 10th Marines, as the majority of the battalion is forward deployed to Afghanistan. “The games are a great way for the Marines of the regiment to get together and sort of compete against each other and sort of meet one another. It’s rare when a Marine from, for arguments sake, from (1st Bn., 10th Marines), hangs out at an event like this with a Marine from say (3rd Bn., 10th Marines). So, it’s a good event – I’m enjoying myself.”
Competition was intense throughout the day, but the event also allowed the Marines and sailors a much-deserved opportunity to rest on the beach, swim in the Atlantic Ocean, eat barbecue-style food, and play catch with each other when they were not competing in events.
“We’re just out here having a good time,” said Sapp. “You know, work gets stressful and everything – we’re just trying to let loose.”
The event ended in the afternoon with 3rd Bn., 10th Marines, crowned as King of the Beach, after earning 34 points. Headquarters Battery finished second with 27 points; 1st Bn., 10th Marines, third with 19 points; 5th Bn., 10th Marines, fourth with 13 points; and a short-handed 2nd Bn., 10th Marines, team bringing up the rear with three points.