MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms, Calif.- -- Before the students of Marine Corps Communication and Electronics School Delta Company graduate and collect their completion certificates, they collect a little trash.
The Trash Run is a semi-annual event and a fairly new tradition amongst instructor Gunnery Sgt. Michael Roybal, his team of instructors and students. The day before student graduation, several Delta Company classes are split up into groups of 10 and race to collect the most trash around the Combat Center's Mainside.
"After September 11th, we couldn't run up there," Roybal, instructor, Delta Company, MCCES, as he pointed to Bearmat Hill behind the MCCES barracks. "We needed something else to do for our fun run, and I came up with this."
At the preceding class's Trash Run, students picked up enough trash in one hour to fill each of the four dumpsters surrounding Victory Field. The last Trash Run on Jan. 29 had two-and-a-half times as many Marine participants.
"The students were given four trash bags each," said Roybal. "So we're looking at about 1,000 bags, and I bet they filled up most of them."
Students, PFC Jesse Collins and Lance Cpl. Thomas J. Rock, Delta Company, MCCES, found every type of trash from wrappers and rotting food to a hubcap and a single sandal around the Combat Center.
"It's a different kind of PT, and it's a way to give back to the Combat Center," said Collins. "Like a type of community service."
"When you're all done you can see the results and how you've cleaned up the base and made it a better place to live," said Rock.
"With all the deployments," said Roybal. "The students are motivated knowing that they're doing their part by cleaning up the base."
The winning group, Tactical Network Specialist Course 5-03, was chosen after a trash inspection held by the Delta Company Commanding Officer and 1st Sergeant.
"The base appreciates all of you picking up trash," said 1st Sgt. Starlene Hamilton, 1st Sergeant, Delta Company, MCCES. "It was fun, too-judging trash."