7TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY --
Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, completed their eight-week squad competition aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), Feb 5.
CLB-11 has conducted various events on a weekly basis throughout the deployment as a part of their squad competition. Each event had its own theme, which focused on basic Marine Corps skills that all Marines should know. Events included MCMAP, physical training, communication drills, weapons handling skills, and close order drill.
“Things like this negate complacency and promote that well-rounded Marine Corps lifestyle,” said Sgt. Danyel Tactay, a ground radio repairman and material readiness platoon sergeant with CLB-11, 11th MEU. “It’s important to reinforce those basic tenants of being a Marine, which Marines sometimes lose sight of.”
At each event, squads selected designated participants to compete against the representatives of the other squads. After the event is completed, each squad received points based on how well they performed. Upon completion, Gunnery Sgt. Justin Burns, first sergeant of CLB-11, 11th MEU, calculated the total amount of points accumulated and declared a winner.
“It was definitely a morale boost,” said Lance Cpl. Isaiah Gaddy, an artillery systems technician with CLB-11, 11th MEU. “I got to interact and get closer with my chain of command because I was working with them in a way other than how I usually do during working hours.” The multitude of events also served as a way to provide a level playing field for all the squads, while reinforcing those skills Marines may not frequently use.
“The competition made me understand that our bodies can do more than we think [they] can,” said Cpl. Mohamed Yakubu, a warehouse supply administrative clerk with CLB-11, 11th MEU. “I pushed myself to the limit, while also pushing others as a leader.”
Competition in the Marine Corps serves as an effective way to properly teach, train and maintain skills, while establishing unit morale and cohesion. Above all, it helps individuals push past their previously conceived limits.
“Competition is essential for the highest level of training possible,” said Tactay. “As a leader, the competition helped me find out the strengths and weaknesses of not only the ones participating, but myself.”
CLB-11’s deployed mission is to provide support behind the scenes for any unit within the 11th MEU at any given time.. Their mission readiness is essential to sustaining all elements of the 11th MEU.
“It’s important to just be ready all the time,” said Gaddy. “You never know when a unit needs us to support an operation, so you have to stay mentally and physically ready and I think doing all these events with all these different things taught us to be prepared for anything.”
The 11th MEU’s is an amphibious crisis response force, capable of rapidly responding to crises or contingencies from the sea.