Photo Information

Sergeant Eric Castro, ammunition chief, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, makes another phone call as he tries to coordinate a six-mile hike aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 25, 2014. Castro was the acting logistics officer for the hike. During this training, noncommissioned officers acted roles of their superiors as they planned and led the hike. The goal of the hike was to empower NCOs and let them see the big picture.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Keenan Zelazoski

CLR-1 empowers NCOs during motivational hike

28 Mar 2014 | Lance Cpl. Keenan Zelazoski 1st Marine Logistics Group

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, conducted a regimental hike to empower their noncommissioned officers aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 26, 2014. 

Combat Logistics Regiment 1 took a unique approach in preparing for this hike. NCOs switched positions with their superiors, taking on full responsibility for planning and executing the hump over a six-mile route. The Marines carried close to 60 lbs.

“This is part of the reawakening,” said Sgt. Eric Castro, ammunition chief, CLR-1, 1st MLG. “It gave us the opportunity to walk in the shoes of our higher ups and really get out of our comfort zone.”

The reawakening is a call for NCOs to snuff out the wrong doers in the Marine Corps and make an already excellent fighting force even better. Part of doing that is giving the NCOs more power to exercise, so they can solve problems on their level as well.

“I had to coordinate with everyone,” said Castro, who was the acting logistics officer for the duration of this exercise. “Ensuring everything for the hike is prepared was a lot more work than I thought.”

Corporal Craig Wurzel, utilities chief, CLR-1, 1st MLG, and the acting commanding officer of the regiment agreed, adding that it was definitely an eye-opener.

“Everything pertaining to the hike comes by the commanding officer of the regiment. I had to make the final calls, which required me to look into the future at all the possibilities,” said Wurzel.

Often times, knowing the big picture changes how people think about things.

“Usually we just put our gear on in the morning, do the hike, the morale of the unit goes up and that’s what we know,” said Wurzel, a native of La Crescent, Minn. 

After the hike, the acting higher-ups and the actual higher ups debriefed their Marines on the hike, making it clear that they were all pleased with how well the hike was executed. 

“In conclusion of this [training], the one thing I am taking away from it, is that the next time I wake up early for a hike, I will know a lot of work was put into planning it, and I’ll put my work in on the hike,” said Wurzel.

Combat Logistics Regiment 1 intends to continue empowering their NCOs through other similar training evolutions that will also be planned and led by the backbone of the Marine Corps.

1st Marine Logistics Group