CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A physical training competition between Combat Logistics Regiment 15 units came to blows when 1st Maintenance Battalion brawled their way to victory in all contact-oriented events aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 24, 2014.
Marines completed a boots and utilities formation run to the pugil-stick ring where they faced rivals of similar weight, jabbing and thrusting their opponents into three feet of water in order to win the round.
The water added difficulty to the event, said Maj. William Frazier, Jr., operations officer, 1st Maintenance Battalion, CLR-15, 1st MLG. “Most of the Marines haven’t done this since boot camp.”
This uncommon PT routine came together thanks to a handful of Marines from Maintenance Battalion.
“The regimental commanding officer tasked our battalion to plan this event, and one of the only stipulations tasked to us was that we had to have pugil sticks…over water,” explained Frazier of Lanett, Ala. “That’s when we started asking ourselves, ‘how in the world are we going to do that?’”
After toying with numerous ideas on how to get water to the location, the committee finally came up with an idea to employ the help of personnel who never have an issue transporting tons of water.
“One of the Marines asked why we couldn’t just get the fire department to do it,” said Frazier. “We called them up, and they were more than happy to help.”
Pugil sticks was one of several events where Marines walked away drenched. Immediately following the bout with sticks, competitors participated in a unique relay race.
Marines sprinted across a wet tarp with a unit-decorated refrigerator box over their heads during the body-jousting event, but the water wasn’t the only thing making the surface slick.
“The tarp had a very, very, very large amount of dish soap mixed with the water,” said Sgt. Michael Ounanian, chief Mine Resistant Ambush Protectant instructor, Motor Transport Maintenance Company, 1st Maint. Bn., CLR-15, 1st MLG. “Not only can the Marine not see through the refrigerator box as he runs across the tarp, it’s also very slippery. It kind of adds to the fun and makes it a little bit harder.”
This wasn’t the first time Ounanian, a planner of the event, witnessed the debacle that occurs during the race.
“I used to do things like this before I joined the Marine Corps when I was part of a large youth group with my church. We would have huge field meets. One of the games we would play was body jousting. In that situation, there was probably about 13 boxes – so more people fell and ran into each other,” said Ounanian of Detroit. “I thought it would be something the Marines would like. I think everyone enjoyed it. It got a great laugh.”
Ounanian guessed right. As the event came to a close, body jousting was a popular favorite.
“The jousting was a blast,” said Cpl. Dillan Fryling, a participant of the event and floor mechanic, MTM Co., 1st Maint. Bn., CLR-15, 1st MLG, and a Grand Rapids, Mich., native. “I couldn’t see anything. I had my hands up in front of me inside the box, just in case I fell or hit something. When I first tried to run across, I slipped and fell immediately. The whole day was entertaining. I had a lot of fun.”