22nd MEU, Bataan Sing Their Way to Ship Stardom
By Sgt. Amber L. Blannchard
| | November 19, 2011
GULF OF ADEN --
Marines and Sailors, with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), gathered on the ship’s mess decks, Nov. 19, to find out who would be the first Bataan Idol.
The singing competition is modeled after the popular talent competition and television show "American Idol." The competition replaces Bataan’s weekly talent show Saturday Night Alive.
For the first round, participants sang songs from their favorite movies.
“I think it's a good way for the crew to relax from the daily routine,” said Lance Cpl. Brandon Reason, an aviation technician with Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced), 22nd MEU, and a Wilmington, Del., native. Reason, one of two Marine participants, received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the audience following his performance.
Service members seemed to enjoy the show and are currently casting votes hoping their favorite performer will be the first Bataan Idol.
Performances on the ship give Marines and Sailors a break from the stress of deployment.
“I like to perform in front of people,” said Lance Cpl. Matt Floyd, an aviation ordnance technician with VMM-263 (Rein), and a Charlotte, N.C. native. Floyd’s performance also received favorable reviews from the audience. “I think it’s great, it takes my mind off of home for a minute. I could have done better with my performance, but I’m happy with it.”
In the second round, the remaining vocalists will sing pop music.
The 22nd MEU is currently deployed as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG) as the U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, also providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.