MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Lance Cpl. Ryan E. Turnage
Marine Corps Base
Oct. 25, 2007
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Paperwork and pay issues are not the only things disbursing Marines tackle here. More than 70 disbursing Marines stepped away from mountains of paperwork to gear up and battle with pugil sticks.
“Pugil sticks are not only good training, but they’re fun and motivating,” said 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Larry J. Hill, a Cliffside North Carolina native and travel clerk with Disbursing Office, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Falling rain only increased the intensity and motivation of the surrounding dispersers.
“Even though it’s raining today, we are still training hard to better prepare our bodies and mind for deployment or any situation,” said Hill.
The only way to win a fight is to strike an opponent with the red tip or with a severe strike of the butt stock. Red symbolizes the bayonet attached to a rifle. Big hits get spectators cheering, but unfortunately don’t end the match.
In combat, a strike with the butt stock of the rifle may not kill a person and the fight will continue. Disbursers must keep a combat mindset whether it’s fighting paperwork or training to deploy.
Currently, there are 54 disbursing Marines from the base disbursing office deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to Master Gunnery Sgt. Timothy G. Haddix, the battalion’s disbursing chief, and they expect more than 50 Marines to deploy in the near future.
“Combat training is essential for these Marines because dealing with paperwork can take their minds off the main goal of the Marine Corps,” he said.
A Marine may not always have ammunition, he continued. It’s essential to learn proper hand-to-hand combat skills and practice them frequently to have the confidence to survive in combat.
Although this fight left the Marines wet, muddy and tired, they were together now just as they will be in combat.
Other than pugil sticks, the disbursers plan to train at the Military Operations on Urban. Terrain facility here, as well as advance in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Combat readiness takes time and as much training as possible.