CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines and sailors from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in a “run, shoot, run” physical training exercise throughout the base, March 15. During the evolution, eight teams of four competed in the endurance-based exercise, aimed at breaking the monotony of a standard PT session.
“The purpose of doing this is to try and display different ways of PT, so you as developing leaders--(noncommissioned officers) and officers--have other options to figure out how to make PT more enjoyable, more tactical and something different,” said Col. Frank Donovan, the 24th MEU commanding officer, while speaking to the unit.
Prior to the start of the event, participants received refresher instructions on weapons handling, weapons safety and the sequence of events. First-time shooters and those wishing to receive additional training were given a more in-depth period of instruction with the M9 pistol and a chance to dry fire the weapon before the live-fire portion began.
The timed event required each team, beginning in three-minute intervals, to perform a “boots and utes” run from the Pistol Range to II Marine Expeditionary Unit headquarters and back. Once the team returned, each shooter was given a magazine of 10 rounds and under the supervision of a primary safety officer, an M9 to fire.
“The shooting will be judged in three ways,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Yetsko, the range safety officer. “A hit, a paper miss and a full miss.”
A hit was defined as anything inside the circle, with a paper miss being anything on paper, but outside the circle and a full miss being missing the target completely, explained Yetsko.
To add to the competition, a paper miss would incur a 10 second overall time addition, while a full miss would add a 15 second overall time addition.
Once the entire team completed firing, they ran to the 10th Marine Regiment building before heading back to the 24th MEU headquarters. In addition to the approximately six miles of running and shooting, each team had to complete a combined total of 120 pull-ups at some point throughout the event.
“I liked the PT a lot,” said Sgt. Uriel Ramirez, an administrative specialist. “It breaks up the routine of just running because it’s something different. I’d like to do this again, just maybe next time with rifles.”
While the purpose of the PT session may have been to break-up the normal PT routine, Donovan hoped the training would leave the unit with a more valuable lesson.
“Is there any better way to know your men and women than to be out here with them shoulder-to-shoulder, knee-to-knee running or working out,” asked Donovan while talking to the unit. “That’s how you get to know your people. You don’t get to know your people by shuffling between meetings. Stop, take time and fit in PT.”