CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- The 9th Communication Battalion held Spartan Spouse Day, aboard Camp Pendleton on April 25, to provide Marine spouses an opportunity to see what their significant others encounter as Marines.
Spouses participated in various events meant to show them what Marines encounter in years of training and work experience. Events included the obstacle course, drill instructor challenge, and firing M4 assault rifles on a firing range.
Spartan Spouse Day is meant to improve family relations by bringing a sense of understanding to the spouses of Marines, said Capt. Mary Parker, an assistant operations officer with 9th Comm. Bn.
“They don’t understand what their spouse went through to earn the title Marine. This gives them a taste of it and I think it motivates them,” said Parker.
The participants began with a modified version of the senior drill instructor brief all recruits receive at the beginning of recruit training. Spouses were then escorted by two prior drill instructors to take on the obstacle course.
Staff. Sgt. Nicholas Robinson, a wire chief from 9th Comm. Bn., and prior drill instructors, said he was there to help the spouses better understand what their spouses encountered throughout recruit training and to learn from the experience.
“I think they take away a sense of reality on what their spouses are going through when they joined the military and what they might be going through at work on a normal workday.”
After the obstacle course and getting an understanding of the whole drill instructor experience, participants and members of 9th Comm. Bn., hosted a cookout before heading to range 223 to fire M4 assault rifles.
The spouses fired approximately 40-50 rounds from a 25 yard range and competed for best shooter.
The point of bringing the spouses to the range was not to make them marksmen but just to familiarize them with handling a rifle. Actually doing and seeing these things will hopefully make family life better, said Robinson.
Spartan Spouse Day is not a new idea and has been around for a while. It was commonly called “Jane Wayne” day. Parker says the name Spartan Spouse honors one of the most respected fighting forces in history.
“We decided the Spartan Spouse title because the Spartans are one of the most feared military forces in history,” said Parker. “It wasn’t just the Spartans, their wives were known for being very physically fit and active in military life.”
The 9th Communication Battalion intends to host the newly-dubbed Spartan Spouse Day yearly for any spouses or family members that would like to participate.