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Marine candidates participate in a tug-of-war event during a field meet at Officer Candidates School on Nov. 21, 2013. The field meet is one of the final events candidates participate in before graduation.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Ellis

Candidates build camaraderie at field meet

21 Nov 2013 | Lance Cpl. Samuel Ellis

Loud cheers and words of encouragement swept across the physical training field at Officer Candidates School aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on Nov. 21, 2013.

Marine candidates from the four platoons of Charlie Company motivated their peers as they competed against each other during a field meet.

“It’s a chance for the candidates to actually relax a little bit,” said Capt. Geoffrey Englund, Charlie Co., executive officer. “This is an event where they get a chance to compete in a friendlier environment.”

The traditional field meet, an event every OCS company participates in, is one of the final activities before graduation.

Paperwork and couple of other training events are the only things between this event and graduation, said Englund. In less than a week, they will be commissioned as lieutenants.

The meet is a series of seven events including a pull-up competition, Humvee push, tug-of-war, log races and obstacle courses.

“It’s the culmination of the long training cycle, so it’s a good time for us to build up a little team spirit in the form of physical activity,” said British Royal Marine Colour Sgt. Glyn Luke, training advisor at OCS. “Ten weeks ago they probably wouldn’t have been able to do the events they are going to go through today.”

As the trainees fought to earn the prized wooden shield, the trophy awarded to the victorious platoon, the OCS staff stood quietly to the side and watched their disciples implement the core values they were taught.

“At this point we are looking for somebody that can actually have self-discipline and initiative on their own,” said Englund. “They come to us for guidance, but we are trying to force them to function on their own as much as possible.”

At the conclusion of the event, Luke mounted the PT table and looked down at the students that surrounded him on three sides.

“Don’t go from hero to zero,” he said reminding them of his teaching concerning maintaining physical standards.

After awarding the 4th Platoon first place, his eyes glanced over the crowd at the lives he and the other OCS staff members had influenced over the past 9 week period.

“It brings them all together,” said Luke. “So that’s good to see.”

Correspondent: samuel.l.ellis@usmc.mil