CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Seventeen teams of five – several from 1st Marine Logistics Group – participated in a bi-annual Single Marine Program Paintball Tournament here, April 8.
The SMP Paintball Tournament is a capture-the-flag based tournament inside an obstacle course. Each team had an opportunity to compete in eight preliminary games in the first half of the tournament to earn their placement in a single elimination tournament, which took place in the second half.
“I like it a lot,” said Pfc. Chris Copeland, landing support specialist, third platoon, Landing Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st MLG. “It’s a great way to train our combat maneuvers and basic tactics while having fun.”
It didn’t take long for paintball rounds to start flying in the obstacle course and eliminating their targets. These warriors were in it to win it, treating each match like a training exercise. Some even have friendly competitions with Marines in their unit to see who the ‘top dog’ is.
“It’s also a chance for me to get revenge on my platoon sergeant,” joked Copeland, 27, from Broken Arrow, Okla. “He won’t know what hit him.”
As competitive as the tournament was, many Marines just wanted to come out and have fun, and to meet other service members from different units.
“This is the best way to have fun,” said Lance Cpl. Ryan Washington, disburser, Service Company, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “There are so many teams competing. It beats sitting in the office all day.”
When the event was over, each member of the top six teams received a SMP towel. The top three teams also received trophies, and each member got a free full-day pass to the Paintball Park.
“I’m having a blast at this paintball tournament,” said Washington, 20, from Brooklyn, N.Y. “Even though our team didn’t win, I feel that we’ve accomplished something for our first time competing. I’ll definitely come out again if we get the chance.”