U.S. ARMY NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER, FORT IRWIN, Calif. —
Camaraderie: you can’t coach it but with the right resources, you can practice, build upon, and maintain it.
Marines, sailors, and civilians with Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow and soldiers from National Training Center Fort Irwin proved this during the third annual Army vs. Marine Corps flag football game held at NTC Fort Irwin, Dec. 10.
The game is held each year during football season to continue the good relationship between the Marines and sailors of MCLB Barstow and soldiers at Fort Irwin.
The idea originated three years ago from an MCLB employee.
“I thought it would be good for the Marines to play a game like this,” said A.J. Jacobs, sports coordinator aboard MCLB Barstow. “It’s a great way for the ones who love to play sports to enjoy playing them and build camaraderie with the Army while doing it.”
A month prior to the game, the Marines, civilians, and lone sailor of the team began practicing basic fundamentals of football such as route running, conditioning, and strategizing plays.
“Going into the game, I thought we’d a have a good game,” said Cpl. Jimmy Cryan, a separations clerk with Headquarters Battalion aboard MCLB Barstow.
“We were practicing plays and putting together a pretty good team. I thought we’d have a good chance to compete with them,” he added.
Previously, the games have been one-sided, with the Army taking a commanding lead throughout the majority of each of the games and without a score from the Marine Corps’ team. This year, while taking another loss from the Army’s team, the Marine Corps managed to answer back with a score. The game ended with a final score of 8-34 and the Army retaining their bragging rights for yet another year.
“We lost; it’s as simple as that. There’s no excuse as to why we lost. All we can do is practice more, work harder, and see how that works out,” Jacobs said.
Although the game has ended, Marines of MCLB Barstow hope to keep up with the friendly competition throughout the year.
“I’d love if we had a scrimmage or two against them,” said Cryan, a Toledo, Ohio, native.
“I’ve played for the team for two of the three years now and it’s great. I won’t be around next year so I’d loved to get in one more [game] before I go,” he added.
At the end of the day, the members of the MCLB team accomplished what they had planned to do this game; build camaraderie between the two. It was great that the members of both teams were all able to come together to put on this game and have some fun doing it, Jacobs concluded.