MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- For almost 30 years, the annual United Services Automobile Association Pendleton Cup has been around for members here, to participate in and enjoy.
Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group was awarded first place in Division III of the 2009 USAA Pendleton Cup here, Jan. 14, for the first time since its inception.
The USAA Pendleton Cup consists of many races, competitions and sport tournaments scheduled throughout the year. Marines could win points for their unit by participating in these activities, more points are awarded by winning the challenges.
"This is big for us," said Col. Bruce E. Nickle, commanding officer of CLR-17, 1st MLG. "We did great, I'm grateful that our Marines were out there participating in all the races, the sporting events and the (Single Marine Program) events."
Each month, SMP has a list of events service members can join. Most are ideas taken from fellow Marines and sailors working with the SMP staff; includng movie nights, and volunteer opportunities. Recreation centers around the base also offered classes, races, and physical competitions for service members, all of which added points toward the Cup for participation.
"I'm grateful to Col. Nickle for giving me carte blanche to put the word out on MCCS activities and programs, and to all of the CLR-17 officers and [staff non-commissioned officers] who take the time to pass it on to their shops," said Christina J. Chilleme, MCCS coordinator for CLR-17, 1st MLG.
Before, service members did not know about recreational options avilable to them, Chilleme said. But as word was passed down, more participants started showing up to the activities.
"I want to encourage Marines to participate in these activities," said Nickle, 45. "Some Marines come to California and never get to experience anything. These activities build camaraderie and offer more things for the Marines to do."
To prepare for the cup, CLR-17 hosts its own internal sporting competitions among the companies, such as flag football, Nickle explained.
"Marines and sailors are motivated to get involved and go beyond their standard duties to participate in activities that are beneficial to them both mentally and physically," said Chilleme.
The MCCS Semper Fit Athletics department is doing a great job of offering activities that appeal to athletes, Chilleme said.
"I'm mostly proud about the fact that we were able to balance things out to accomplish our missions," said Nickle, from Vienna, Va. "We were able to participate in these activities and carry on with our training for our upcoming deployment."