MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines, sailors and their families with the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force came together for a day of food, fun and games during the unit’s beach bash family event at Onslow Beach, Sept. 19, 2014.
The bash served as the first opportunity to bring everyone together to build unit camaraderie before the heavy training cycle begins.
“The commanding officer is very big on family and getting together with the time we have off,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Conner, deputy family readiness officer, GCEITF.
Clear skies and a cool breeze made the day ideal for fast-paced basketball, sandy volleyball, competitive football, or friendly games of corn hole.
“I enjoy events like this,” Conner said. “They work because Marines might be apprehensive about getting together since we are so spread out as a unit, but once you bring them together they will socialize and get that camaraderie going.”
Marines also cooked hamburgers and hot dogs for all to enjoy, while everyone made use of the event to get acquainted with the families of those they work with, and those within the unit they had yet to meet.
“The day was filled with good people and good food,” said Sgt. Tyler Jones, tank crewman, Company B, GCEITF. “These gatherings raise morale and that’s important. When Marines are able to enjoy themselves like this it gives them something to look forward to after their tough jobs and long hours.”
Marines and sailors were also got a chance to splash some of the unit’s officers in the dunk tank, including the commanding officer, Col. Matthew G. St. Clair.
“These Marines are part of a new unit and most have never met before so it’s good to get them and their families together to socialize,” Jones said.
Conner has plans to coordinate several more family events interspersed with the upcoming training schedule.
“We’ll have more of these coming up,” Conner said. “Having a good time with the unit is something I think will really pay off in the end.”
From October 2014 to July 2015, the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force will conduct individual and collective skills training in designated combat arms occupational specialties in order to facilitate the standards based assessment of the physical performance of Marines in a simulated operating environment performing specific ground combat arms tasks.