MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
In an effort to build camaraderie, provide friendly competition and strengthen the bond of about 1,700 Marines, sailors and civilians, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, hosted it’s second event of the Commander’s Cup Challenge aboard the base, July 29.
All companies of the battalion are invited to compete against each other in a variety of athletic events every month, which began in June, to win the Commander’s Cup, which will be awarded next summer.
July’s event was a triathlon: 1,000 meter swim at the Area 2 pool, followed by a run to the Gottschalk Marina, and finally two laps by kayak around marked buoys in Wallace Creek. Maj. Joseph Jennings, the battalion’s judge advocate, won the event with a total time of 57 minutes.
“I think it was a success,” said Lt. Col. David G. Bardorf, commanding officer of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “The triathlon was just one part of the Commander’s Cup Challenge that we started here at Headquarters and Support Battalion. The first event was a golf tournament in June, the second event was the triathlon.”
Bardorf added the motto behind the Commander’s Cup series is that “Nothing creates a team like competition.”
“This competition is what brings the battalion closer together,” said Bardorf. “It’s building a team through unity of effort in a good, clean competition. There were 22 participants, all of which finished.”
Staff Sgt. Jeremie Imamura, substance abuse control officer with the battalion, said competing in the triathlon was a new experience for him. He also noticed that there was a lack thereof in participation but said to himself, “I can’t expect others to participate if I don’t try to participate myself.”
“It’s a standard leadership mentoring role,” said Imamura. “I figured if I volunteer and participate in these functions or activities, it gives me more leverage when I present the future activities to others.”
Imamura added that it was a “Grade A interaction” that everyone was able to get together and compete for camaraderie.
“This is a large battalion and the chances to get everyone together are far and few in between,” said Imamura. “If we can get more than a handful (to participate), its great. It’s also a great opportunity to have fun and meet others.”
Cpl. Ira Jimenez, a legal clerk with the battalion, said his participation solely came from wanting to be involved in representing his company in the Commander’s Cup Challenge.
“I saw the opportunity to be involved,” said Jimenez. “I also saw it as a challenge and it builds camaraderie. I was trying to spread the word, sending emails to different offices to encourage others to participate as well. I’ve never been kayaking, and I even fell into the water twice before I got into the kayak. But it was loads of fun and put my body’s limits to the test. It was a great experience.”
The next Commander’s Challenge Cup event, a basketball tournament, scheduled later this month.