MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
As the entire base was consumed in darkness, the 13 Area football field was lit bright by the glow of reflective belts worn by hundreds of Marines and sailors in green-on-green and yellow-and-blue, preparing for a regimental run.
“Two hundred and twelve!” screamed the regimental sergeant major, “Turn up the heat!” responded the Marines and sailors with the regiment.
Two hundred and twelve is the temperature that water boils and the regimental sergeant major wanted his Marines and sailors to always push themselves to work hard and be at the boiling point.
“One degree is the difference between hot water and boiling it,” he said.
Service members with Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, participated in their monthly regimental run aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 2.
“Every Marine that joined the Marine Corps wanted to be a part of something big – a brotherhood. They wanted something like a regimented lifestyle,” said Sgt. Maj. Robert E. Ledferd, regimental sergeant major, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “You can see the motivation these Marines and sailors are exuding out of their core and their sweat during events like this.”
Ledferd said Marines are often blinded by their section’s missions at hand and lose sight of what they’re a part of. A regimental run would bring everyone together and remind them where they came from and who they belong to. It’s like a wolf never hunts alone without its pack, Marines should always stick together.
“It’s a great social occasion and a great opportunity to get these Marines and sailors together to address them all in the same place,” said Col. James W. Clark, regimental commander, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “It gets everyone in the regiment together so they understand they’re not just in their own company or battalion, they’re a part of the regiment.”
Ledferd added that it’s a great chance for him and the regimental commander to express their appreciations for everything that the Marines and sailors are doing within the regiment. He also challenged all regiments to take the lead and “get some” with their service members, showing them that they can lead from the front.
“It’s all about motivation, and motivation is contagious,” said Ledferd. “They’re enjoying it and they’re looking forward to it. This is what every Marine wants deep down inside.”
Being the second regimental run led by Clark and Ledferd since they took charge of CLR-17, Clark said the Marines and sailors were fantastic.
“They were outstanding, I was really proud of them,” said Clark. “I don’t really need to be paid to do this job. It’s such an honor to stand in front of CLR-17 to lead this regiment. It’s the thrill of my career.”
Clark was proud of his subordinates, not only during the run but also for all the accomplishments they’ve done both in combat and in garrison.
“These Marines and sailors provide support to the 1st Marine Logistics Group, as well as [1st Marine Expeditionary Force],” Clark said. “I don’t think there’s a finer regiment on this base.”
As the tradition established by Ledferd, the company or battalion that stood out from the rest within the regiment for the month received the ‘Motivation Award,’ who would have led that month’s regimental run, Ledferd explained. Every unit wanted to be the ‘top dog’ of the regiment.
“Although everyone was fantastic and great, Food Service [Company] was just a little bit above this time,” said Ledferd. “They had no incidents and were drinking the Kool Aide. So this month’s Moto Award goes to Food Service.”
As service members finished the run and headed back to their sections, Marines and sailors are straightening up, looking for ways to improve and prepare their unit to be the next recipient of the Moto Award.