BLT 1/4 honors NCOs during 'Warrior's Night' on Easter Sunday

16 Apr 2006 | Cpl. Ruben D. Calderon 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

"Easter Sunday, Kuwait, BLT 1/4."These were the words the Lt. Col. Bart Sloat, battalion commander, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, used to remind his Marines of their current situation and to stress that no matter where they find themselves, they will always be able to celebrate their holidays and traditions during his opening remarks at the noncommissioned officer's Warrior's Night at the mess hall here April 16.The Easter event was held in honor of and attended by noncommissioned officers of the battalion only."Over the years, in my career, I've spent Easter in many places," said Sgt. Maj. James Burnett, sergeant major, BLT 1/4, Camp Pendleton, Calif. "But I can definitely say that there's no other place I’d rather be than here, with you."The Warrior's Night is a time-honored event that Marines have celebrated for generations. According to Burnett, the first mess night was originated by the 4th Marine Regiment, when it was stationed in Shanghai many years ago.Traditionally during a mess night, Marines feast, drink and have a good time prior to going into battle.Battalion leaders used this event to commend some NCOs for their leadership in preparing their junior Marines to fight in the Global War on Terrorism.Throughout the night, Marines feasted and entertained themselves with comical skits about battalion life. The mess night is essential in building camaraderie within the NCO's from the different companies, and to remind NCOs of their heritage, who they are and what they fight for, said Burnett."It's good to be recognized at a battalion level," said Cpl. Douglas J. Sweeney, squad leader, 3rd squad, 1st platoon, Co. C. "Having these events is a good way for Marines to get together and to all be recognized.""Look around you and look at the warriors sitting next to you," Sloat told his Marines. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. I say that because we will never ever have the exact same group of men together under one roof at one time and in this setting," said Sloat.The "warriors" of BLT 1/4, after wrapping up their sustainment training exercises in Townsville, Australia last month, came to Kuwait with one thing in mind, to train for war."I'm counting on all of you to train and to teach the lance corporals, privates first class, and the privates," said Sloat. Teach the platoon sergeants, the lieutenants, and the company commanders. That way "we'll get better. If they call our number (to go to Iraq), we'll be prepared," said Sloat.Although Sloat does not know what the future holds in store for the battalion, before the evening was through, Sloat reminded his Marines to train hard, be safe and look out for each other. Sloat also told the NCOs that long after the BLT concludes its training here, and even after the 11th MEU's deployment is over, to remember where they were on Easter Sunday. "Always remember where you were on April 16, 2006. In Kuwait."For more information about the 11th MEU (SOC) visit their website at http://www.usmc.mil/11thmeu.

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
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Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
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LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
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Sergeant Major DeBarr enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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