Photo Information

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participate in a 5k run as part of a CLB 11 squad competition aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island, Feb. 1. The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and the embarked 11th MEU are deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photos by Cpl. Demetrius Morgan/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Demetrius Morgan

CLB-11 squad competition comes to a close

9 Feb 2015 | Cpl. Demetrius Morgan 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

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. 

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
Commanding Officer

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.

Read Biography

Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
Executive Officer

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.

Read Biography

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.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.

Read Biography