MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Nervousness filled the atmosphere as the members loaded up in the 7-tons one-by-one anticipating their first of three missions. The spouses anxiously stood on the side of the paved road to wave them off, not knowing if their loved one would make it through the day.
Before filing off to get their meals ready to eat, they stood in formation. Almost all of them looked exactly the same, standing in camouflaged clothes. Except for the one at the end wearing pink.
The 1st Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group Marines gave their wives the opportunity to trade places here, Feb. 18, during a Jane Wayne Day where their civilian counterparts would have to complete three tasks a Marine does on a regular basis.
Their first assignment was the rifle range, then the combat fitness test and finally they would finish the day off strong with swim qualification.
Shooting in the standing position at the 25-yard line, The Marines assisted their spouses on the firing line with two magazines of 15 rounds of ammunition for the M-4 rifle and one magazine for the 9 mm pistol.
"I never shot anything before today," said Sarah Alaia, who was one of 18 perfect scores on the rifle and spouse of Sgt. Dylan A. Alaia, mechanic, Motor Transport Maintenance, 1st Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group. "I wasn't really nervous, but the noise was abrupt."
The spouses not only dominated the range using the M-4, but almost a third of the group demonstrated their skills shooting perfectly with the 9 mm, explained Sgt. Laura R. Levine, the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense specialist non-commissioned officer in charge, Headquaters and Support Company, 1st Maint. Bn., CLR-15, 1st MLG.
The group was on the go again after only two hours at the range, eating here and there whenever they had a chance. Much to their surprise, their next objective would be to take part in the Marine Corps newest physical training addition, the CFT.
With only a few modifications to the timed test, the spouses took off on a foot race against the clock. Only getting a short break between events, they lifted the 30 lb. ammunition cans over there heads and then rushed through the maneuver under fire course, a combination of low crawling, buddy drags and throwing mock grenades as fast as they could.
Although the challenge may have been harder for some, the spouses equally completed the task of having a good time and making friends.
"I think it was great fun," said Shawna Dean, spouse of Lance Cpl. Dylan Dean, administration chief, H&S Co., 1st Maint. Bn., CLR-15, 1st MLG. "Today has given us the opportunity to make more friends and now we can actually relate to our spouses."
Petty Officer 3 Lupe M. Roybal, a corpsman, H&S Co., 1st Maint. Bn., CLR-15, 1st MLG, who stood by for safety, explained that for a spouse to understand what their Marines do is important because they will learn to appreciate what their husbands do, and even though the Marine does not do these things everyday, it's just a glimpse of the hard work they partake in. They hiked a few blocks where they would complete their final task. Surprisingly enough, they were eager to dive right in.
The spouses successfully completed their own version of swim qual, jumping off all three dive boards totaling more then 75 feet, treding water and some even learned how to swim for the first time.
"The turn out was great," said Lt. Col. Kevin Stewart, commanding officer, 1st Maint. Bn, CLR-15, 1st MLG. "We are getting ready to deploy events like this create support networks and positive relationships spouses can rely on while having fun at the same time. Cohesiveness is just as important within the families as it is within the unit.