Engineer Marines celebrate their patron saint, St. Patrick

19 Mar 2010 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Barrera

“Resolved, that every Marine engineer officer, staff non-commissioned officer, noncommissioned officer, and enlisted man, do each year on the day of St. Patrick refrain from all duties and spend the day in observing the memory of our brother.”

“Resolved, that each year, for all engineer related occupational specialties, on the day of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Military Engineers, a holiday is declared. “

Such reads the 1903 University of Missouri declaration and since longer than most engineer Marines can remember, every St. Patrick’s Friday, they have celebrated their patron saint, the Marine Corps way.

The Marine Corps Engineers School gathered Friday, March 19, at 8 a.m. and conducted competitions between different classes and units.

“We are conducting a field meet to celebrate the patron saint of engineering, St. Patrick,” said Staff Sgt. Tony Hale, company gunnery sergeant for Utilities Instruction Company at the Marine Corps Engineering School. “It’s a big day for us, we get together to compete, have a good time and build camaraderie.”

The day started off with a class competition which involved six Marines from each class and another six from the Headquarters and Support Company.

The event required pairs of Marines to sprint a set distance and complete 100 push-ups, single count. Afterward they sprinted some more and completed 100 crunches and finished the event running back to the starting point.

For the Marines that were not participating in the competition they stayed on the sidelines and cheered on their fellow classmates and friends.

Other events included a water bull rolling, tug-of-war, maneuvering through the obstacle course, the dizzy izzy, and a 7-ton pull.

“I did the dizzy izzy, it was fun,” said Pfc. Freddy Estrada, a Marine awaiting training with Combat Engineer Instruction Company. “Usually we do working parties during the day while waiting to pick up class.”

Marines eagerly participated in the 7-ton pull, which consisted of roughly 16 to 20 Marines working together as a team to pull the vehicle over a set distance.

At the end of the day Marines gathered around in circles discussing memorable moments of Marines falling during the dizzy izzy to the 7-ton driver backing up while they were trying to pull it to the objective.