FREDERICK, Md. - The crowd of nearly five thousand people had to walk past a recruiting booth manned by Marines at the Ultimate Fighting Championship, better known as the UFC, on Fuel TV held at George Mason University. It was Recruiting Station Frederick’s first experience partnering with the UFC and was not only a recruiting effort, but a rare opportunity for the local Marines to enjoy the fights.
The enhanced area canvassing event attracted a number of young men and women willing to test their strength. The recruiters were convincing fans to take the Marine Corps Pull-Up Challenge in between bouts. RS Frederick Marines set up an eye-catching and informative display of posters, pamphlets and incentive items.
The Marines on recruiting duty were eager to spend most of their evening working with the UFC.
“The unique part is to sponsor the most popular fighting event on the entire planet. They fight for the belt and we fight for the country,” said Staff Sgt. Luiz Castro, a canvassing recruiter at Recruiting Sub-Station Silver Spring. “This fight is not just about fighting your opponent and winning fights, it is also about physical preparation, dedication and determination.”
As many Marines know, those are only a few of the important traits Marines should have.
Sgt. Marquita Duckworth, a canvassing recruiter out of RSS Chantilly, also explained her thoughts on doing this type of partnership.
“I just had fun interacting with the population there, they were more like the kind of people you could see interested in the Marines. Most of the people that came to speak to us were within the age range and could do it,” she said. “The atmosphere was welcoming and people seemed receptive.”
The pull-up challenge participants at this type of event makes it much easier with which to identify.
“We knew we had at least one thing in common with most of the people there, and that was organized fighting,” said Duckworth. “Every Marine has to do it and the people attending the event were obviously into it or they wouldn’t be there. So it gave us common ground with the audience,” she said.
Marines, working and watching the event enjoyed being part of this opportunity.
Gunnery Sgt. Brian Heckard, from RS Frederick’s Officer Selection Office, spent time both manning the booth and watching the fights.
“The most interesting thing that I saw was the fighters from the “Ultimate Fighter” and of course having the opportunity to get a picture with GSP” (George St. Pierre, a very well-known fighter.)
The UFC does not come to this area very often. Most fights are held in Las Vegas or Atlanta, which are both difficult locations to get to when a Marine is on recruiting duty.
Experiencing the UFC in this capacity is beneficial to the recruiters and fighters alike.
“The participation from the fans and from the Marines from different recruiting stations in the area came together and held a good pull-up challenge,” said Heckard. “The rare opportunity to experience the UFC partnership was not wasted by RS Frederick.