CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, UNITED STATES
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Breathing heavily, soaking wet and drenched in mud, the Marines paused for a quick breath before throwing themselves into the final obstacle of the day — a water-filled trench topped by concertina wire.
As the six Marines emerge from the murky water, they scramble over a small wooden wall and lower themselves into another pool of water where they begin to wash away the mud and muck accumulated over the previous 3.4 miles.
Camp Lejeune's endurance course, located at the base's Battle Skills Training School, is a 3.4-mile path through the woods that is home to swamps, creeks and a variety of obstacles designed to test the Marines' endurance and ability to work as a team.
For the Marines of Headquarters and Service Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, that is exactly what the course did, July 17.
"It was tougher than I expected," said Staff Sgt. David A. Charlton, the commercial coordinator for H&S Company's Logistics Movement Control Center. "I thought we would cruise through it, but that wasn't the case."
Marines working with H&S Company don't often get pried away from their everyday duties for field training, so for many of them it was a unique opportunity.
For Capt. Joni A. Ong, the commanding officer of H&S Company, it was the first time she ran the course.
"It was awesome," said Ong, a communications officer by trade. "Most of our Marines work in an office, which can get tough, but it's good to get the Marines into woodland type exercises."
The course included a rope wall, culverts, a high wall, and high hurdles that tested the agility and strength of each team. Marines pushed each other over, under and through each obstacle in a competition to see which team could navigate the course the fastest, but most importantly, develop teamwork and esprit de corps.
"It brings everyone together and makes them work together," said Gunnery Sgt. Keith K. Priest, the company gunnery sergeant for H&S Company. "If they don't work together they'll have a hard time finishing the course."
It took each of the 20 6-man teams an average of 1 hour, 9 minutes to finish the grueling cross-country course.
"They had their faults, but they worked together to overcome them," said Gunnery Sgt. Roger H. Williams, the chief instructor for the BSTS. "They did well."
For more information on the II Marine Expeditionary Force, visit the unit's web site at www.iimefpublic.usmc.mil.
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This work, Endurance course puts 2nd Marine Logistics Group Marines to the test, by Sgt Dwight Henderson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.