Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, GA --
Long before the morning sun rose, Marines assigned to Headquarters and Support Company, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, checked out their weapons and donned their packs to take part in a 14-mile hike around the base’s perimeter, Friday. Capt. John Scholl, company commander, H&S Co., said the hike was a culmination of other hikes that have taken place since June 2011. “The previous hikes occurred in increments of three, six and nine miles each and were designed to develop combat conditioning, warrior mindset and a combat spirit for Marines,” he said. “The hikes also built esprit de corps as the Marines participating were engaged in individual and team actions along the route, which also built camaraderie.”
Scholl said the great thing about this type of event was, at the company level, the sergeants and other noncommissioned officers planned and coordinated the entire hike from start to finish. “Planning this type of training teaches NCOs the nuances of staff coordination, operational risk management and everything having to do with military exercises,” he said. “They are also learning how to take care of the Marines and coordinate with various entities to get all of the support requirements in place.” Scholl noted the Marines worked as a team to overcome obstacles during the hike. “The hike was quite strenuous, but created an environment to test mental toughness and combat fitness by carrying a 40-pound pack,” he said. “We stopped every hour to hydrate, re-energize and ensure the Marines were taking care of their feet and each other.” Sgt. Shavonda Williams, company physical training representative, MCLB Albany, echoed Scholl’s comments. “Mentally the hike was hard because of the distance and carrying the pack, but once we got past the first stop, the rest was much easier,” she said. “It’s like lifting weights - each time you get a little stronger, and we talked and laughed along the way to keep our minds off the distance. This was a very strong group.” The 14-mile hike was a great team-strengthening opportunity and morale builder among the Marines, according to Cpl. Jason Womelsdorf, noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Adjutant, MCLB Albany. “We pulled together to ensure everyone stayed safe and had plenty to eat and drink to stay energized throughout the event,” he said. “The hike reminded every Marine there is more to our careers as Marines than our desk jobs. While by no means easy for me personally, reflecting on the fact that we all finished hiking 14 miles, was very motivating.” Scholl said he was extremely pleased with the outcome of the hike, which was a testament to the preparedness of the Marines, who did an outstanding job.