CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, UNITED STATES
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Drenched in sweat and with aching backs and sore feet, they marched on. Whether hot or cold, on pavement, gravel and sand, they pushed through the discomfort and toward their goal of mission readiness.
Marines and sailors with Ragnarok Company, 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics group built up their physical and mental endurance with conditioning hikes aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., in December.
Something was different each time the company set out on a hike: equipment, terrain or mindset.
“If I knew [hiking on the beach] would be this interesting, with the terrain difference and the view, I probably would have done this a long time ago,” First Sgt. Damien P. Wright, the company first sergeant, told the Marines and sailors of Ragnarok Co. “[Pain] is all mental; I told you that in the very beginning. Your body can do some amazing things when it’s pushed to the limit.”
The hikes were intended to help prepare the service members for winter training aboard the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., and the upcoming NATO exercise, Cold Response 2014.
“We’re out of our element,” said Lt. Col. Jesse A. Kemp, the commanding officer of 2nd Supply Bn. “This is the first time, as we refocus after Afghanistan, that we will be focused on every climb and place, and we have to focus on cold weather. The elements are going to be against us and we’re going to be in environments we’re not used to.”
While participating in Cold Response 2014, the company will serve alongside the militaries of approximately sixteen other countries, and is expected to uphold the image of the Marine Corps.
“[Ragnarok Co.] has representation from just about every unit in the 2nd MLG,” said Kemp. “You represent the best the 2nd MLG has to offer; all eyes will be on you. Many nations are going to be present [in Norway] … the world knows what a United States Marine is and it’s going to be watching.”
The rigorous training each service member experiences with every other member of the unit throughout the company’s preparation is planned out to help him or her become physically and mentally stronger and create closer ties within the unit.
“This is what the Marine Corps is all about,” said Wright. “It’s camaraderie through adversity.”
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This work, Ragnarok Co. training intensifies for Cold Response 2014, by Cpl Sullivan Laramie, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.