MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif --
In a place where Marines strive to train the best they can for war, warriors of 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division took on a different challenge during Mojave Viper here Saturday.
The Highlander Games, a competition between each of 1st LAR’s companies, evoked a spirit of comradeship as Marines competed in light armored vehicle pulls, tug of war, 240-G machinegun assembly, volleyball, tire flipping, tanker bar tossing and grappling.
“This brings the battalion together so that Marines and sailors from each company can get a chance to know each other,” said 1st Sgt. Devon A. Lee, Headquarters and Support Company first sergeant. “It also allows the Highlanders to rest, re-arm and prepare for the next phase of Mojave Viper.”
Previously held by Company C, bragging rights and the coveted Claymore broadsword went to a recently added reserve company who showed their mettle, explained Lee.
“The Claymore symbolizes strength, power and authority. The company that best represents those traits has the privilege of carrying the sword until the next Highlander Games,” Lee said. “Company F best demonstrated the warrior spirit during the games and they deserve to represent 1st LAR.”
“It was pretty great to see us win it during our first ever Highlander Games,” said Sgt. Jason Collins, a intelligence specialist with Company F. “We are the only reservist company here, so a lot of this was a learning game too.”
As the games came to an end, Marines thoughts turned back to the training ahead of them in preparation for deployment to Iraq later this year.
“I hope the Marines understand the importance of teamwork and how it applies to their assigned mission,” said Lee, 34, from Alexandria, Va.
“When the next Highlander Games come, we’ll be ready to defend the sword,” said Collins. “We’ll let the big guys get bigger, and the skinny guys get faster.”