MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. -- Members of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron have a day of high seas adventure ahead, with its fifth annual regatta, followed by a culinary treat with a chili cook-off and a chance to learn about opportunities at a resource fair at the community center aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River, Wednesday.
During the regatta, service members will compete in boats they have constructed primarily with recycled materials and try not to sink as they float through a body of water for a chance at a trophy and for bragging rights over the squadron.
"It’s something the Marines look forward to every year," said Jennifer Anderson, the family readiness officer with H&HS. "They get very creative. Some sections put a lot of thought and detail into it."
Teams from different sections in the battalion design a watercraft, find materials and build it in the weeks leading up to the regatta.
It will be Sgt. Maj. Luis M. Leiva’s, H&HS sergeant major, first time witnessing the squadron event. He hopes to see a different side of his troops during the event, said Leiva.
"I’ve heard great things about previous years and I’m looking forward to seeing what this year will bring," the Queens, New York native added. "I get to see our Marines doing great things every day and I’m looking forward to seeing their off-duty selves."
He’s also interested in seeing H&HS’ ingenuity for the watercraft.
When game day comes competition can get the better of some teams, leading to pirating tactics, said Anderson, a native of Burlington, North Carolina. Teams may try to sabotage others, or simply shot them with water guns to try to get the advantage.
"It can get pretty cut-throat," said Anderson.
However, it’s not the trophy or victory that makes the event great, said Leiva.
"It doesn’t matter who comes in first or last," Leiva added. "I want them to know the esprit de corps you experience at events like this."
Following the regatta, troops can attend the 3rd annual H&HS chili cook-off, where they can enjoy all-you-can-eat food and beverages for $5, with proceeds going to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
"It’s another reason to get together and enjoy each other’s company," said Anderson.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., representatives from various groups and organizations will be at the community center to share information and opportunities with the Resource Fair. Groups from Marine Corps Family Team Building, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Family Member Employment Assistance Program, Personal Financial Management and the Red Cross are expected to attend.
"Stop by, walk through the fair and talk to the representatives," said Anderson. "You never know how they can help."
Spouses are invited to attend and cheer on their service member, said Anderson.
"I want spouses to see what we do," said Leiva. "They’re familiar with what we do day-to-day but I hope they can see a different side of the Marine Corps."
The event fuses three of H&HS’ key events into one day of excitement, said Anderson.
"We’re keeping our fingers crossed for excellent weather and for a great turnout," said Anderson.