Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune - --
Engineers from units across the installation gathered at Ellis Field on Courthouse Bay at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to honor their heritage and celebrate the patron saint of engineers, St. Patrick, March 17.
Marines competed individually and as teams in a series of multiple events, representing their respective commands in a battle to take home the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Field Meet Trophy.
"St. Patrick is our patron saint for engineers, and every St. Patrick’s Day we get together with all of the engineers that are available to come and compete," said Col. Scott Baldwin, commanding officer of Marine Corps Engineer School. "It’s just a great day for all the engineers to get together and compete against one another to build morale and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day."
The annual event also gives young Marines and aspiring engineers the opportunity to get a glimpse of their potential future commands and leadership in a unique environment, said Sgt. Jonah Lewis, a fire team leader with 8th Engineer Support Battalion.
"This is a good time for us, as engineers, to come together and have a good time," said Lewis. "Half of these Marines that are here from the school are probably going to wind up in one of the units out here. It’s important to see their future leaders out here competing, participating and having a good time."
The field meet consisted of numerous challenges the Marines had to overcome through teamwork, strength and endurance. From tug of war, relay races, the obstacle course, a stone toss, cross cut saw relay, to a tractor pull most events required the Marines to put their engineering skills to work.
"This is just healthy competition and most of the events are engineer- related competitions," said Baldwin. "Whether it’s the stake-driving relay, breaking concrete with a sledge hammer or carrying water buckets out of our water bladders or even pulling a piece of heavy equipment. It is a great day for engineers."
While the meet is a tradition in the engineering community, it isn’t all about winning events, Baldwin explained.
"We are competing against each other but we’re all on the same team and headed in the same direction," said Scott. "This is an opportunity to commemorate those who came before us and compete for those who couldn’t be here today."