Written by Christy Hinko: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00
On Saturday, June 16 more than 600 United States Marines and candidates from 14 regional recruiting stations filled Zach’s Bay at Jones Beach for the annual Sergeant Majors Cup competition. Candidates waiting to deploy to boot camp, called “poolees,” arrived from across the New York City region, including Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens for the Long Island-hosted competition. The competition has been held for more than 10 years, each station taking turns hosting.
Some of the boot camp-style events that the Marine candidates participated in included: pull-ups, the water jug relay, ammo can relay, stretcher relay, and tug-of-war.
Some of the less conventional events included the “Dizzy Izzy” where candidates ran across a field to a waiting baseball bat on the ground. The poolee bends forward with their head balanced on the upright bat and spins around 10 times, skewing their balance and direction, then running back to tag the next waiting poolee in the relay line. Two of the final events of the day, and also probably the most difficult ones, included a Humvee pull where 10 poolees from each team took turns pulling the vehicle down the pavement in record time and a “caterpillar walk” where five poolees walked on their hands, while balancing their feet on the person doing the same behind them.
Thirty-five candidates who are assigned to Recruiting Station (RSS) Hicksville participated in the day’s events, residents from northern Nassau County including Glen Cove, Great Neck, Farmingdale, Levittown, Hicksville and more. The Hicksville team placed first in the pull-ups competition, tied for second place in the tug-of-war event, and placed 11th overall.
Also among the Nassau County residents was the RSS Hempstead team, from Floral Park, Elmont, New Hyde Park, Hempstead, Roosevelt, East Meadow and most of the Island’s south shore. About 50 poolees participated for the Hempstead team, taking second place in the “Dizzy Izzy” contest, and eighth place overall in the day’s events.
Marine staffers were also on hand to give weapon demonstrations to the candidates. The daylong event was a physical competition, giving candidates a preview of some of the grueling demands of boot camp once they arrive at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, SC. Several boot camp drill instructors were on hand to deliver a sample of the discipline, structure, and overall boot camp experience to these young poolees, waiting to deploy to South Carolina. Some of the candidates were scheduled to deploy to boot camp as early as Monday, June 18, others over the course of the next seven months.
Locally, there are about 300 recruit candidates waiting to enter the Marine Corps on Long Island.The event was also a family day and barbecue for the poolees and their families.