|04-20-2005, 12:51 PM||#1 (permalink)|
U.S. Marine ( FAST )
Join Date: Sep 2004
Engineers build on warrior spirit
Submitted by: MCAS Iwakuni
Story Identification #: 200542024239
Story by Lance Cpl. Mark Fayloga
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (April 12, 2005) -- A young Marine reports to the board of senior Marines and assumes the position of attention.
He never loses his bearing, but a bead of sweat runs down his forehead as the heinous crimes he has committed are listed. As the senior Marines confer to find a suitable punishment, the young Marine wonders if he will be forced to make a trip to the “grog” or sing karaoke.
No, this wasn’t a strange nonjudicial punishment hearing, but rather Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 engineer’s company’s field mess night at Penny Lake April 12.
“As an annual tradition we try to do some type of get-together,” said Gunnery Sgt. Scott E. Cooper, MWSS-171 engineers’ company first sergeant and mess night president. “This year, we decided to change up the theme and had a warriors’ night that was completely organized by the sergeants of engineers’ company.”
The entire event from conception to completion was a result of the sergeants’ work, according to Sgt. Darien E. McCarthy, MWSS-171 maintenance integrated management system noncommissioned officer in- harge,.
“We put the sergeants completely in charge of the mess night because we have sergeants who are pretty new and haven’t worked together much,” said Cooper. “They did an outstanding job with the whole event. I’m extremely appreciative of the sergeants of engineers’ company.”
The field mess environment added to the sense of warrior spirit throughout the night, with all the Marines camouflaged with face paint and an attitude to match the look.
“The night was a lot of fun, and I think it was because being out in the field environment was less restricting,” said Pvt. Elizabeth L. Fleming, MWSS-171 basic hygiene equipment operator. “It brought the Marines back to their roots.”
The event started with a social hour and followed with the president of the mess ensuring that the meat was fit for human consumption. After tasting the wasabi slathered roast beef, the president of the mess and the head table filled their plates and the other Marines followed suit. As soon as the last Marine was seated, the floor was open for fines.
The fines were notably the most enjoyed portion of the evening. Marines were punished for such devious acts as bringing in outside food, leaving the tent before the head table, the inability to drill and unruly behavior.
As punishment, the Marines entertained the head table with a karaoke performance or drank from the grog. The under-21 grog was a mixture of tomato juice, green tea, soy sauce, hot sauce and an assortment of other appetizing liquids. The 21 and over grog was a jambalaya of alcoholic beverages.
“The staff NCOs wanted to do something different with the fines so Captain Greg W. Lewis came up with the idea of karaoke as punishment, and we also had the grog as a secondary punishment,” said McCarthy.
The final fine given was by guest of honor Sgt. Maj. Danny D. Duvall, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212 sergeant major, for the crime of leading such a rowdy crowd of Marines. The staff NCOs were forced to sing a rendition of “Summer Loving.”
“The ‘Summer Loving’ rendition definitely caught me off guard, but it was the funniest part of the night,” said McCarthy.
Following the fines, Duvall roamed the room as he gave a speech that all Marines present could tell was from the heart. His speech was based around the traditions of the Corps, small unit leadership and the importance of the engineer’s field, as well as his time as a combat engineer.
“I have been invited to many mess nights and many dining ins, but this is the first time I’ve been invited by combat engineers,” said Duvall. “This is a homecoming for me, and there isn’t any better way to embrace who we truly are than by celebrating cami-clad with an emphasis on combat.”
According to Fleming, Duvall was a perfect choice for guest of honor and having someone experienced in the field giving a speech was greatly appreciated.
“After Duvall’s words I saw Marines who had never shown much motivation, lifted up and feel pride in their jobs,” said McCarthy. “He showed them why their job is important and you could tell his words came from the heart.”
The night reached a closing with a series of toasts and ended with the singing of the Marine Corps hymn.
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