Marines compete for Commissary Ironman, discover store’s true value

11 Sep 2006 | Lance Cpl. Michael S. Cifuentes

The Combat Center’s Single Marine Program teamed up with the commissary to hold a Patriot’s Day Ironman and Commissary Awareness event at the commissary Sept. 11.

The event was held to promote the benefits of shopping at the commissary. Commissary employees welcomed more than 20 Marines and gave them a brief, but thorough, tour of the commissary.

“The whole purpose of the event was ‘outreach,’” said Andrea Largent, Commissary customer service manager.  “The overall savings on most products we sell here is 35 percent.  Not too many Marines know about that, especially the single Marines.  I wanted to try something fun that I know they do in Camp Pendleton – have an Ironman competition to give some small units some fun and exercise, and at the same time, learn about the benefits of shopping at the commissary.”

After the tour, the Marines formed into three groups of six.  They then competed in three events – a push up competition, a sit-up competition and a relay race with each runner carrying two 20-pound bags of rice.

A team from the Installation Personnel Administrative Center came out on top in the competition.  The team was given a $300 gift certificate for the commissary. 
After the competition, the Marines were treated to a grilled steak and chicken lunch, complimentary of the California Bar-B-Q Association.

“This was good competition, and I had a blast,” said Cpl. Caleb M. Little, a Bremen, Ga., native with Company G., 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.  “I am glad I learned about the value of shopping at the Commissary.  I didn’t know that much about it before.  But now I know it’s a whole lot better than shopping at any local grocery store.”

Cpl. John P. Williams, an Annandale, Va., native with Company A., Headquarters Battalion, is his company’s SMP representative.  He expressed that it is always cheaper to ride with SMP.

“I’m glad someone from the commissary coordinated with SMP to get an event like this,” said Williams.  “One of the main goals of SMP is to save single Marines money.  The commissary does exactly that.

“Today was a good break from work,” added Williams.  “We appreciate the commissary employees coming in to show us some good values.  I was not aware of how much I could save by shopping at the commissary.  Hopefully this will encourage others to come to the commissary and also more SMP events.”
Headquarters Marine Corps