8th and I BARRACKS, WASHINGTON -- The Camp Lejeune, N.C., annual Rifle Squad Competition winners from 3d Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, received the Rifle Squad Competition Badge Aug. 18 here from the Commandant of the Marine Corps General James L. Jones.
The ceremony took place prior to the 8th and I Barracks Evening Parade where Lejeune's Marines were guests of the commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Alfred L. McMichael.
Besides the badge, Squad Leader Sgt. Joseph Poe, from Fayetteville, N.C., of 1st Squad, 2d Platoon, Kilo Company, received a Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the rest of his squad received Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medals for their triumph at the 2d Marine Division Rifle Squad Competition.
The event was a conclusion to the Marine Corps wide Rifle Squad Competition known as "Super Squad." During Super Squad, rifle teams begin their competition at the company level and then battalion before competing for bragging rights as the division's best. In order for a rifle team to win, they endure a week of sleep deprivation and participate in a graded course to include land navigation and rifle team offensive and defensive tactics. They also complete an obstacle course and finish with a written test.
"The course of events that led to us being here symbolizes what rewards you can get when you try a little harder than the next man. We are good at what we do and we're a tight unit. Most of us have been to Kosovo together, so we are familiar with each other strengths," said Cpl. Carlos Jaramillo, a 3/8 competition winner.
"The Marines we have before us are part of the reason why we are the greatest fighting force the world has ever known," boasted the general following the presentation.
In conclusion of the event, the squad's families celebrated by taking photos and congratulating one another. They also watched a Marine Corps Silent Drill Team performance.
Other Rifle Squad Competition winners who were also at the presentation included, 2d Squad, 2d Plt., Bravo Co., 1st Bn., 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division from Camp Pendleton; 3rd Marine Division's 1st Squad, 1st Plt., 1st Bn., 3d Marines of Okinawa, Japan, and 1st Squad, 2d Plt., Alpha Co., 3d Bn., 23d Marines, 4th Marine Division, from New Orleans.
"This was a great opportunity for all our Marines and it's been a nice change from everyday work," Poe said. "Now that it's over, it is back to work."