News

Brits and Americans share day of camaraderie

18 May 2003 | Sgt. Jose M. Montes

Marines and sailors with the 1st Force Service Support Group, battled against soldiers from 3rd Battalion Royal Electronic Mechanical Engineers, British military, in a three-sport competition on Sunday.

Approximately 32 Marines and sailors from Combat Service Support Battalion 16, 1st FSSG made the short trip to compete in three events, softball, volleyball and the Brits favorite soccer, or "football" as they call it.

Both 32-man teams were divided into four-eight-man teams. While three teams competed in the events, the remaining 8 men were used as substitutes.

British Cpl. Marianne Scott, an electrian with 3rd Bn. REME and Sgt. Frank Becker, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the Force Protection platoon, coordinated the field meet.

"While visiting the exchange at Camp Tarawa, I was talking about sports with my guys, we saw some Marines and discussed an idea for a field meet with one of them," Scott said.
Although Becker was in charge of coordination for the Marines, another Marine replaced him.

"I just took over what Sgt. Becker had started, after he left earlier than expected," said Cpl. Krzysztof J. Kaminski, an administration clerk with GPAC, CSSB-16, 1st FSSG.

One of the biggest obstacles Kaminski had to overcome was finding enough Marines and sailors to partake in the event.

Many Marines and sailors volunteered for the days festivities but most of them "changed their minds at the last minute, first we were going to compete with 40 Marines and sailors but in the end we only had 32," he said.

Those who did compete had a good time according to Kaminski.

"On the way home I had so many of the guys coming up to me, saying what 'good job' I had done," he said.

Although sportsmanship was seen throughout the whole afternoon, camaraderie was the event's main focus.

"Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, this was great for both services to bond and get to know each other," said Scott.

In between events, both the British soldiers and Marines could indulge in food that was grilled by British cooks.

Both services were skeptic about their chances of coming out on top.

"I thought we would lose by a big margin, mainly because of the sports that were chosen," Scott said, "the Brits are partial to football while the Marines are better at softball and volleyball."

After all the events were completed, five two-man teams were selected to go head-to-head in a tug-of-war.

The British soldiers one that event, three games to two.

As for the winner of the day's events, the Marines and sailors of CSSB-16 emerged victorious with a final tally of 109-90. The end score was the accumulated results of the final score of each event.

After the events were over and the winner claimed, the Marines and sailors were invited for tea and cold water at the British mess hall.
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