Marines sustain warrior spirit while underway

11 Jan 2007 | Staff Sgt. Trent Kinsey

Since the activation of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in June 2006, the Marines and Sailors of the unit have been preparing for their current voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and into U.S. European and Central Commands' areas of responsibility.

Marines from Battalion Landing Team 2/2, 26th MEU, are staying busy during the extended at-sea period, maintaining their fighting edge with a little hand-to-hand combat.

More than 20 Marines from Golf Company, BLT 2/2, took time today to build their warrior spirit while sustaining their Marine Corps Martial Arts Training.

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, or MCMAP, began in the late '90's and has since evolved into required curriculum for all Marines, especially those seeking promotion.

The Marines of Golf Co. view the training as something more important than monotonous instruction.

"It builds the fighting spirit," said Sgt. Adam M. Fountain, a squad leader with Golf Co.  "It gets everyone in a combat mindset."

Achieving the mindset began when the Marines donned padded head gear, gloves and groin protectors before boxing each other.

"It's a fun way of doing [MCMAP]," said Staff Sgt. Marcus Gold, 2nd Platoon Sergeant, Golf Co.  "Everyone wants to get out their and do it."

The Marines paired up based on size and weight and entered a makeshift ring where they exchanged torso shots for two, two-minute rounds.

Gold said the training is important because it continues to build the Marines' morale, motivation and endurance while they are underway.

Fountain said he felt the training is also important because, "The enemy's not going to lay down his arms.  He's going to try to attack you."

The 26th MEU is one week into its deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

For more information on the 26th MEU, including news, photos, video and radio, please visit www.usmc.mil/26thmeu.