NCOs Embrace Grit, Fortitude From On Endurance Course

NCOs Embrace Grit, Fortitude From On Endurance Course

A Marine with 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group vaults over a hurdle during an endurance course aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 26, 2014. Endurance courses give service members an opportunity to test physical fitness while encountering obstacles they might face in combat. Photo by LCpl Sullivan Laramie.

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (June 27, 2014) - In the early morning humidity, they stumbled over roots, slid in mud and waded through chest-deep murky water as they ran the gauntlet of the Battle Skills Training School in the backwoods of Camp Lejeune.

The chilly water soaked the uniforms of approximately 50 Marines with 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and the added weight turned the endurance course into an even more demanding endeavor. The Marines set out on the course to ensure combat readiness and develop camaraderie and leadership skills among new noncommissioned officers, June 26.

"We need to make sure corporals distinguish themselves," said 2ndLt Gregory Carnazza, a company operations officer with the battalion. "That's the beginning of being a noncommissioned officer. The idea is to separate them from the Marines they were friends with six months ago."

The exercise served as a test of the NCOs' leadership capabilities and a preliminary run-through of the more than three mile course in preparation for a future competition involving service members of different ranks.

"For everyone who has not run this endurance course before, it was a lot more challenging than they expected," said Carnazza, a Montclair, New Jersey native. "When Marines think of an endurance course, they think of running and a few obstacles. This one was mostly water obstacles and not as much running."

The battalion command's intent for the event was to give the NCOs a way to become a tighter group while building trust and confidence in themselves and each other through adversity.

"It was challenging," said Carnazza. "I think that's what we need. It's almost a teambuilding exercise as there were many obstacles that required someone [else] to help get over a wall or up that next log."

The misery began on the second obstacle when cold water filled the Marines' boots, and the sloshing of soaked footwear haunted each footstep on solid ground. Frequent dips in the waterways tortured the Marines as they tried not to get stuck in the mud.

Despite the hardships and physical wear of the course, Carnazza said the Marines found the difficulty motivating, and they took pride in the fact that they did something challenging.

"The Marines enjoyed it," said Carnazza. "They enjoyed getting dirty, and it reminded them of why they became Marines in the first place."

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