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

16 Apr 2006 | Cpl. Ruben D. Calderon

"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 Jim W. Lively
Commanding Officer

Colonel Lively is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received his commission in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course program after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology.

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Lieutenant Col. Le E. Nolan
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Colonel Nolan is a 2001 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and received his commission through Officer Candidate Class 180. After completing flight training as a CH-53E pilot, he reported to HMH-361 in MCAS Miramar.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarr enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit