MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- It rained like the end of the world. The wind blew from every direction. It was cold. Despite the clime, 150 Marines took aim during the Intramural Rifle and Pistol Competition at Stone Bay’s rifle and pistol ranges aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune March 11 through 14.
Weapons Training Battalion hosted Marines from 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment; 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion; 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion; 2nd Radio Battalion; 2nd Tank Battalion and Combat Logistics Regiment 25 during the competition.
Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Gorry, Marine Corps Installations-East Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune commanding general, presented the competition’s individual and team winners with awards during a ceremony at the Stone Bay Gym March 15.
The intramural competition was only an appetizer for the Eastern Division Pistol and Rifle Championships, which started March 18, and the Marine Corps Pistol and Rifle Championships, scheduled to begin March 25.
The competitions are designed to enhance the combat marksmanship proficiency of the Marines stationed around the Camp Lejeune area, build camaraderie and allow the Marines to see which unit is the best of the best.
“The Marines really pushed each other out on the ranges,” said 1st Lt. Jared N. Hendee, Stone Bay alpha rifle range officer in charge. “It was great to see the different units compete, especially since they endured some tough weather while firing.”
The competition not only pushed the Marines who competed, but allowed those same Marines to take their knowledge of improved marksmanship skills back to their commands to pass on to their fellow Marines.
“It’s a great experience to compete,” said Hendee. “This adds a competitive edge to what Marines annually do to keep up their shooting skills. Now, they aren’t just trying to get a better rifle or pistol score, they’re trying to be the best of the most elite riflemen in the world.”
The Marines fired from the 200-yard line, 300-yard line and 500-yard line. Each distance had a slow and fast firing rate for the different shooting rounds.
“It was a tough week, but it brought my Marines and I together as a tight knit family,” Capt. Lawrence Greene, the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines adjutant who was the 200-yard rapid fire and overall individual rifle winner. “The other Marines who competed were serious about competing and that pushed me to do my best.”
The Marines used M16 and M4 rifles for the rifle ranges and the M9 pistol for the small arms range. Personal equipment could be used providing competition officials approved it.