Royal Marines running the gauntlet in America

259 Royal Marine Commandos from across the UK are travelling to the USA to compete against the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in seven sports events for Exercise VIRGINIA GAUNTLET 2 (VGII).

The Royal Marines will be taking a total of 19 sports teams, seven of which will count towards the coveted Virginia Gauntlet Trophy.  These will include: Football, Basketball, Rugby, Golf, Clay Shooting and Triathlon. The competition culminates with the blue-ribbon Boxing event.

Maj Scotty Mills (52) Royal Marines (RM) said: “We won the first Virginia Gauntlet and brought home the trophy,” he added: “We have taken the trophy out of the cabinet and dusted it off, we are going to take it over there let them have a quick look at it and then bring it back.”

VGI took place in 2012, when 250 serving Royal Marines representing 17 sports went head to head with the USMC.  This time there are two additional sports including for the first time a female field hockey team from the Royal Marines Band.

 

We have taken the trophy out of the cabinet and dusted it off, we are going to take it over there let them have a quick look at it and then bring it back.

Major Scotty Mills RM

The Commandos have been training for months and will compete and train all along the Eastern sea board from Baltimore to Boston and everywhere in between.  The teams who are not competing against the USMC as part of VGll will be testing themselves against top civilian teams instead.

Having won VGl The UK team are confident in their ability to retain the Trophy, however the USMC will not be going down without a fight and have been in training for months in an effort to rip the title away from the British Marines.

Having witnessed a Social Media campaign from the Royal Marines the USMC are fully up for the challenge.  The British campaign throws the down gauntlet to their US rivals, letting them know they are coming for them #TheBritsAreComing #Corps Wars.

Staff Sergeant Joe Mecham (31) USMC said: “The US Marines will be ready, the Basketball is ours and we have some really good Boxers and Soccer players in the Corps now, so it will be close.”

The Royal Marines and the USMC have a long history of working together during exercises and operations, VGll offers the opportunity to play and socialise together, building even stronger relations with the UK’s and the Royal Marines’ closest ally.

The Exercise has been organised By Maj Scotty Mills along with WO1 Scott Ferguson and is uniquely funded by the Royal Marines Charity, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Sports Lottery and the Royal British Legion, along with personal contributions from the sportsmen and women.

The Royal Marines Charity is an integral part of all Royal Marines sport, providing funding for 31 sports associations annually, an outstanding support for both and veterans serving personnel.

For more information or to support the UK Marines during Ex VG ll, got to www.royalnavy.mod.uk/corpswars or Search @royalmarines on Insagram, Twitter or Facebook.