In the blistering heat amidst the Camp Geiger woods, U.S. Marines with 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (LAR), 2d Marine Division (MARDIV) tested their mettle during a week-long competition dubbed the Isaak Competition from June 8-12.
The competition, named after fallen Marine Cpl. Garreth Isaak, is an evaluation of an LAR unit’s mastery of basic scout skills. It involves a series of both LAR scout knowledge and physical tests to ultimately grant a Marine the title of “Best 0311 Scout in 2d LAR.” Issak was a Marine scout who posthumously earned the Silver Star Medal for actions performed during Operation Just Cause in 1989.
“The competition is held annually in memory of one of our fallen, Cpl. Isaak,” said 1st Lt. Rico Rodriguez, the platoon commander with 2d Platoon, Alpha Company, 2d LAR. “It establishes not only who the best scout team is, but also highlights individuals within the competition.”
Rodriguez went on to say the Marines participated in a series of events that pushed their minds and bodies to their limits. The competition started with a six-mile hike, three mile obstacle course, combat endurance test, land navigation, and live fire drills.
“The first two days are a lot more physically challenging because we complete a hike and move right into an obstacle course,” said Cpl. Joe Sanchez, the Bravo Section leader with 2d Platoon, Bravo Company. “The last two days are testing your knowledge with calling for fire, and firing at an unknown distance.”
The competition is an opportunity to challenge the battalion’s unit cohesion while also improving overall mission readiness in a competitive format.
“The events offered us good training,” said Sgt. Chase Georgevich, a rifleman and squad leader with Alpha Company, 2d LAR. “Handling the elements and the nature of the competition was a challenge for everyone.”
A Marine’s score is based on both their individual and team effort. The Marine with the highest overall score received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal after a “warrior’s breakfast.”
Georgevich was selected as the winner of the competition with a score of 179 out of 200 total possible points.
“I feel very accomplished that all of my hard work and training has paid off,” said Georgevich. “It was a proud moment for me to see the Marines put themselves to the test and show what they learned. The Marines were always willing to put their best foot forward when times get tough.”