Photo Information

Marines flip tires during a Super Squad Competition hosted by Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Oct. 7, 2015. With a total of seven stations to complete, the Marines powered through physical fatigue, 200 pull-ups divided amongst each individual squad member and memory-challenging exercises. Their ability to work as a team and function under stressful scenarios enables them to provide outstanding support to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. MWCS-28 provides expeditionary communications for the Aviation Combat Element of the II Marine Expeditionary Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez

Super Squads competition sharpens body, mind

9 Oct 2015 | Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

The U.S. Marine Corps principle of taking care of the Marine to the left and right of you can determine the outcome of a mission.

The tight-knit, teamwork-based Marine structure this principle portrays was put to the test during a Super Squad Competition hosted by Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28, Oct. 7.

The Super Squad competition consisted of 36 Marines separated into four squads of nine Marines; it’s purpose was to foster teamwork and the ability to function under combat situations.

“This competition will create stress, test the Marines’ physical endurance and build teamwork skills,” said 1st Sgt. Michael Hawthorne of Bravo company with the squadron. “They are going from station to station, exercising both their body and mind.”

With a total of seven stations to complete, the Marines powered through physical fatigue, 200 pull-ups divided amongst each individual squad member and memory-challenging exercises.

According to Hawthorne, the Marines were not allowed to begin any station without the entire squad present. The purpose behind it was to enforce the Marine Corps’ belief of never leaving a Marine behind.

“We are only as fast as our slowest Marine; we all depend on each other,” said Hawthorne. “I might be the best runner, but you might be the best problem solver and we have to come together to figure out the best way to accomplish every goal. It shows that we all have a purpose and together we can accomplish anything.”

Testing the Marines’ ability to maintain teamwork, the competition put Marines against each other without having any previous familiarity or knowledge of their teammates’ abilities.

“When you go into a competition like this, you may never have worked with a person in your squad,” said Sgt. Carlos Artagos VI, one of four squad leaders for the competition. “The squad leaders have to figure out the best role and position for each Marine to play and work together efficiently.”

With bragging rights at stake for the winning squad, and the majority of events being obstacles that a Marine could encounter in a combat situation, each squad burst from the starting line putting forth their best warrior effort.

“It motivates the Marines to know that there is a finish line,” said Artagos. “When you see a bunch of Marines competing around you, you can either compete or be a spectator.”

MWCS-28 provides expeditionary communications for the Aviation Combat Element of the II Marine Expeditionary Force. Their ability to work as a team and function under stressful scenarios enables them to provide outstanding support to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.


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