MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- U.S. Marines with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 participated in a field meet hosted by USO Iwakuni at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, July 21, 2017.
The USO hosted the event to recognize MALS-12 as winners of USO Iwakuni's Most Informed Unit Competition.
The competition was for the units to inform their personnel of the various resources available to them around the base. The USO then tracked every service or family member that dropped by the USO to learn more about what they provide to the community and utilize their services. The victor was determined by the highest amount of visitors from an individual unit.
"There's nothing like a little friendly competition,” said Aaron Gray, the center manager for USO Iwakuni. “As a service member, it is in our nature to be competitive. Having the USO competition be a base-wide event helped raise more awareness of not only the USO but also all of the other invaluable resources we have around the base. As for MALS-12, the event brought them together to accomplish a unified goal of winning the competition, which enabled them to indulge in a day of some much-needed down time.”
The field meet consisted of various events where Marines competed for bragging rights such as: grappling, a Humvee pull, a pull-up competition and tug of war.
“The events that took place today were geared toward building morale and camaraderie inside the squadron,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Dejay Lew, a reconfigurable transportable consolidated automated support system technician with MALS-12. “To kick the field meet off, we started with a grappling competition where the Marines got in each other’s faces and showed that they were grappling Kung Fu masters.”
Along with the Marines having an opportunity to create new friendships and build bonds within the unit, it also gave Marines a different view of their leaders.
“For the pull-up competition, the Marine Aircraft Group 12 commanding officer came out to compete and pretty much destroyed all the other Marines,” said Lew. “It was a great morale booster for him to come out and lead from the front.”
Through fun and competition, MALS-12 service members worked toward unit cohesion and increased camaraderie.
“The main takeaway was that as a service member you have a mission to complete, but once it is done you should focus on what truly matters, family and friends,” said Gray. “During this event, military specialty was thrown out the window and individuals had to rely on their military family and those that are also close friends to get them through the day. In the end, I think those that attended or participated in this event learned a day of fun in the sun can do wonders for the soul. They also learned the MAG-12 commanding officer doesn't tire quickly on the pull-up bar.”