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Middle School teens from the Department of Defense bases around South Maryland and Virginia participated in L.I.N.K.S. for Teens at the Naval Surface Facility Indian Head, Md., June 30, 2016. The event was hosted by Chemical, Biological, Incident Response Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The Teens participated in seven different stations related to the physical and mental preparation a Marine goes under on a daily basis. The teens learned various different skills to build teamwork and camaraderie between peers, as well as the core values of the Marines and goals for the future. CBIRF is an active duty Marine Corps unit that, when directed, forward-deploys and/or responds with minimal warning to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) threat or event in order to assist local, state, or federal agencies and the geographic combatant commanders in the conduct of CBRNE response or consequence management operations, providing capabilities for command and control; agent detection and identification; search, rescue, and decontamination; and emergency medical care for contaminated personnel. (Official USMC Photo by Lance Cpl. Maverick S. Mejia/RELEASED)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Maverick S. Mejia

CBIRF and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall hosts L.I.N.K.S. for Teens

2 Jul 2016 | Lance Cpl. Maverick S. Mejia Chemical Biological Incident Response Force

Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, CBIRF, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills or, L.I.N.K.S., hosted the first-of-its-kind Teens event June 30, 2016 at Naval Support Facility Indian Head, Md.

L.I.N.K.S., an official Marine Corps program designed to help military family members connect to the Corps, extended its reach to teens by introducing them to a day in the life of a Marine. The intent of the event was to teach the students not only the Marines core values but also other aspects of their training from physical to mental.

The event welcomed roughly 120 middle school students from Indian Head, Dahlgren, Annapolis, Joint Base Anacostia Bowling and Patuxent River middle schools, said Sarah Hagensick, event coordinator and youth director for Morale Welfare and Recreation Indian Head. The event was organized with the help of the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall L.I.N.K.S. youth director as well as volunteers from CBIRF and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

 “This event signifies the family values that the Marine Corps instills in Marines. It is going to give these middle school students a day-in-the-life experience of what is like to be a Marine in CBIRF and the rest of the Marines in the United States,” said Hagensick.

Another goal of this event was to give the students teach teens about building teamwork, values and setting goals.

“I hope they get a better understanding of the importance of Marines’ service," said Hagensick.

The students were divided into seven different groups to match the seven different stations set up for them. Once the students were divided into their sections they received a kind but firm welcome by the First Sgt. Jonathan J. Ragland, Reaction Force first sergeant, who greeted them and described the first steps of becoming a Marine, from stepping on the yellow footprints recruit training initial processing, to the first welcoming speech by the Senior Drill Instructor.

Following Ragland, Staff Sgt. Wilfredo Arellano acted as a Senior Drill Instructor captivating everybody’s attention and giving the students a small sample of what they would face at the recruit training. Arellano, a maintenance management specialist with CBIRF, used his experience of being a drill instructor to give the students a taste of what every Marine has to go through before earning the title United States Marine.

After the welcoming speech, the teens learned about camouflaging in the field by employing the different techniques of face paint like striping, blotching and a combination of both. The teens tried Meals Ready to Eat, or MREs which are meals given to Marines while they train in the field or on deployment.

After, the teens were introduced to Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, MCMAP, where Staff Sgt. Justin R. Gates and Sgt. John H. Shelton demonstrated to the teens basic techniques for self-defense. The teens were then taken to the physical training field to begin teamwork exercises. The students also participate in Combat Fitness Test activities including sprints and ammo can lifts.

The teens were directed to a teamwork exercise with ropes and logs. The students had to learn how to communicate as a team and move the log to the finish line. They were also introduced to a self-contained breathing apparatus, SCBA. An SCBA is used when dealing with air contamination or unknown quality of air.

The students were able to try on the SCBA and were taught the basics of a decontamination suit and its uses. Finally the teens were introduced medical, where the CBIRF’s Navy corpsmen explained and demonstrated various lifesaving skills.

After completion of the event each teen received a United States Marine Dog Tag for completing the course and received lunch after a strenuous day of training.

“For the most part it was good,” said Davon Hamilton a volunteer with Dahlgren Base MWR. “The kids really liked it.”



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