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    Becoming The Best | The importance of Super Squad

    Super Squad 21: 3rd Bn., 7th Marines

    Photo By Sgt. Hannah Hall | U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. Joseph Engeland a grenadier with Co. K, 3rd Battalion, 7th...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Jamin Powell 

    1st Marine Division

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Sept. 20, 2021) – In 1994 a competition was born to test the abilities of the Marine Corps infantry squad. This competition tested every aspect of leadership and individual proficiency within infantry squads; testing a single infantry squad’s ability to conduct land navigation, squad-sized patrolling, combined-arms employment of multiple weapon systems and much more. This competition, now called Super Squad, defines the best infantry squad in a Marine division.

    From Aug. 22-27, 50 Marines from 1st Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Regiment, 7th Marine Regiment and 3d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, competed for a week to determine who would be crowned the best infantry squad in 1st Marine Division’s 2021 Super Squad competition.

    “From the time they arrive, they are being evaluated,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Keith Marine, the 1st MARDIV gunner and one of the lead planners for Super Squad 21. “The competition focuses on core competencies of offensive and defensive tasks. 1st MARDIV executed those tasks through live-fire evaluation during day and night attacks, ambushes, defense, patrolling, along with one day focused on marksmanship and battle drills.”

    The typical Marine Corps infantry squad is made of 13 Marines: three four-person fire teams and one squad leader. Sometimes the squad leader will fall into one of the fire teams causing some squads to be made up of only 12 Marines.

    “In a super squad, every single Marine is fully trained and capable of being the squad leader,” said Sgt. Maj. Troy E. Black, the 19th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. “The top Marine is the squad leader but in the super squad you’re not just third Marine to the left.”

    Black explained that Marines who compete and win this competition are not your typical Marines, rather the epitome of what all infantry squads should strive to be.

    “It’s a combination of self and unit discipline,” Marine said. “It’s the teams that have built real discipline – Marines doing the right thing because they know it’s necessary and because they don’t want to let down the team.”

    Marine said that this competition allows himself, as the division gunner, to see the strengths and weaknesses of the division’s rifle teams, plan training to sustain their strengths and focus training to improve the weaknesses.

    “Anytime we create a competition to see who is the master of their skills, we will find better Marines, units and continue to maintain our fighting edge throughout the growing history of our Corps,” Black said.

    The Super Squad competition has been held in many different places over the years but it continues to assess the same traits and resolve in the participating Marines.

    “Not much has changed over the course of the time that we have been executing these squad competitions,” Black said. “The weapons have changed, where we assess has changed, but what is being tested has never and will never change.”

    At the closing ceremony on Aug. 27, 2021 Marines with Co. B, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, were announced 1st MARDIV’s Super Squad.

    “The rifle squad has always been a critical component to the Marine Corps’ success on the battlefield.” Marine said. “How do you win against an enemy with the same capabilities, equivalent or better weapon systems, night vision and supporting arms? You do that with a better led, more disciplined fighter, who has built proficiency and cohesion through countless repetitions of the most challenging training. That’s what 1st Bn., 5th Marines, demonstrated this year and that’s why they accomplished what they did.”



    Date Taken: 09.24.2021
    Date Posted: 09.28.2021 15:00
    Story ID: 405996

    Web Views: 853
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