MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 Marines competed in a field meet here at the IronWorks Gym June 29, 2012.
The field event was held in order to build better unit camaraderie as well as allow the Marines to build trust with the other companies in MWSS- 171.
“Sports day was put together by the Marines for the Marines,” said Staff Sgt. Waner Bazile, MWSS-171 engineer equipment mechanic. “Every event is done in teams. We wanted to incorporate a junior Marine, non-commissioned officer, Staff NCO and an officer in every event and team, that way the junior Marines can see their leaders are participating just as much as they are.”
Twelve events were utilized in the meet that relied on teamwork to build an overall score to determine the winner of the event.
“We came up with 12 events to challenge the Marines,” said Bazile. “Basketball, volleyball, ammo can lifts, bench press, 100 meter swim and several others. The last event the Marines wanted something to do with Marine Corps martial arts, so we called it the Thunder Dome and they have no clue as to what it is going to be, all they knew was it is something to do with MCMAP.”
The Marines said they enjoyed the friendly competition, cheering each other on and trying to psych out their opponents the best they could.
“I competed in the bench press competition. I had a lot of fun. I'm not even sure if we won the event, but it doesn’t seem to matter,” said Pfc. Justin A. Buford, MWSS-171 motor transportation operator. “It’s been a wonderful day, I love participating with my team, I love the guys in motor-t and this definitely helps relieve the stresses that inevitably come from working with everyone on a daily basis. We all work together and sometimes get mad at each other like pretty much every one else in the world. But when we have events like this it definitely helps relieve that stress. We come together for a common goal which is stomping the competition into the dirt, in a friendly manner of course.”
Each company had its own team color that was determined by their most junior Marine.
“We have four companies in our squadron,” said Bazile. “I went to the most junior Marine in that company to ask them what color they wanted to be. Engineers ended up with red because a motivated private first class said it was for the blood we shed. Headquarters said they wanted to be green because their mean like the hulk and a lot of them saw the movie ‘The Avengers’ together. Motor transportation said they’re gray because all you see is the smoke coming out of their vehicles. Air operations said everything is black because they work in the night a lot on the flight line.”
As the day drew to a close, the Marines were ready not only to know who was going to win the event but also when the next one was going to be.
“I have had several Marines come up to me saying they are loving it and hoping to continue this again in the future,” said Bazile. “I just want this to continue. If you take care of your junior Marines they will always take care of you.”
The scores were announced by the new MWSS- 171 commanding officer with Engineers coming in first, Motor Transportation second, Headquarters in third and Air Operations in fourth. Throughout the event, every Marine cheered and yelled for teammates to do the best they could. Everyone left the gym with a better respect for their fellow Marines and looked to the future with hopes of another field meet like this one.