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Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force

Integrated Task Force uncases unit colors

By | | September 19, 2014


In a brief, yet meaningful ceremony, the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force unveiled their colors for the first time aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Sept. 19, 2014.

“We got our identity today,” said Col. Matthew G. St. Clair, commanding officer, GCEITF. “Those colors represent the Marines and sailors. Everywhere we go we’ll wave them high so everyone can see us going by.”

As the companies stood in formation, St. Clair and Sgt. Maj. Robin C. Fortner, sergeant major, GCEITF, formally uncased the colors. Shortly after, the task force put their best feet forward in a motivational run to celebrate the uncasing of the colors.

The run was also intended to reinforce physical fitness within the task force, all while building camaraderie and esprit de corps as each Marine and sailor of the nearly 300-strong task force double-timed alongside their comrades.

“At the end of the day it all comes back to readiness,” St. Clair said. “We want to have the right Marines and sailors ready to go forth and fight our nation’s battles.”

During the run, non-commissioned officers in each company called cadence, and individual Marines and sailors were encouraged to wave their new company guidons high.

“I am extremely impressed with how the unit has come together,” St. Clair said. “We’re certainly standing up and looking downrange.”

Once the task force reached the end of their three-mile run, NCOs led them in conducting cool-down exercises such as side-straddle hops, squats and stretches.

“I hope we do more of these,” said Master Sgt. Jeremy A. Coppola, operations chief, Weapons Company, GCEITF. “The Marines had a lot of fun and they were motivated. I think the more (sessions) like this we do, the tighter we will be as a unit.”

According to St. Clair, task force-wide PT proved to be an appropriate way to unveil the colors, and will be a recurring practice in the unit’s future.

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.