Photo Information

Gunnery Sgt. Bradley Hogan, an administration chief with Headquarters and Support Battalion, works with Cpl. Markecia Polk, an administrative specialist, during the wheel barrow relay at a field meet held by Headquarters Support Battalion for the units’ monthly Commander’s Cup Challenge, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, May 15. The Commander’s Cup Challenge is a yearlong series of physical competitions where the battalion’s companies build teams to battle it out for fun and a chance to be the top company in the battalion.

Photo by Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera

Challenge accepted: Marines battle it out in Commander’s Cup field meet

21 May 2014 | Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera

Marines with Security Company took home the CO’s Cup after defeating their peers in a field meet during Headquarters Support Battalion’s monthly Commander’s Cup Challenge, May 15.


Security Company led the way in seven of the nine competitions and won with 45 points. Alpha Company was awarded second place with 20 points while Bravo and India companies were disqualified for lack of participation. Each event, with the exception of the tug-of-war and Super Squad, was worth five points. The tug-of-war and Super Squad were worth 15 points.


“Security Company is taking back a lot of pride, but every company is walking away with a sense of accomplishment,” said Lt. Col. Harry Gardner, the commanding officer of HQSPT Bn.


The Commander’s Cup Challenge is a year-long series of physical competitions, held from July to June, where the battalion’s companies build teams to battle it out on any field for fun and a chance to be the top company in the battalion. In the past, competitions have ranged from team sports, like basketball games, to endurance races and obstacle courses.


“(The Commander’s Cup Challenge) gives members of the battalion a break each month to compete and show company pride,” said Gardner. “We vary the events each month so companies can choose different members to participate.”


The field meet included customary events, like a tug-of-war and dizzy izzy competition, as well as physical challenges typical of the Marine Corps, such as a rifle assembly and disassembly relay and an ammo can relay.


However, none of the events challenged participants more than the Super Squad, an event where eight-man teams competed to build-a-house across the field, perform buddy sit-ups, squad pushups, a belt drag and 10 burpees.


“I felt like I was going to die (during the Super Squad event), but I put out,” said Lance Cpl. Louis Huntoon, a clerk with Alpha Company. “I haven’t felt like that since boot camp.”


The Super Squad was the most fun event, but it was also the hardest in the competition, said Huntoon.

“My favorite part was watching all of the Marines really push themselves during the Super Squad,” said Gardner. “There were so many facets to that event. The exertion they went through was really impressive.”


While physical challenges are plentiful throughout all Commander’s Cup Challenges, each event serves as more than an opportunity to compete.


Cpl. Markecia Polk, an administrative specialist with Alpha Company, found seeing other Marines in a relaxed atmosphere to be one of the highlights of the event.


“Meeting everybody is really fun, especially because we don’t see each other on a day-to-day basis,” said Polk. “It was really great to get together and hang out. There were no ranks. Everybody was just enjoying each other’s company.”


Building a sense of camaraderie within the battalion was one of the goals of the event, said Gardner.


“The Marines exerted themselves as a team, and they got to enjoy each other’s company while they did it,” Gardner added. “Everybody had fun. There was a lot of humor and good competition.”


Security Company is in the lead for the overall Commander’s Cup Challenge with six wins.


“It felt great to win,” said Lance Cpl. Michael Guetti, a corrections specialist with Security Company. “It feels good to be a part of a group like this. We worked hard, but we were there to have a good time and meet people.”


The Commander’s Cup Challenge will continue with a kayak relay at the end of the month. It is set to conclude with a ground fighting competition, June 20.


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