Story by Cpl. Janessa Pon
The field meet provided Marines and airmen, enrolled in the sergeants course at the Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy aboard Camp Hansen, and airmen, enrolled in the Erwin Professional Military Education Center Noncommissioned Officer Academy on Kadena Air Base, with the opportunity to build camaraderie through various physical challenges and teambuilding activities.
“We are here to enjoy some friendly competition and improve teambuilding skills in a joint physical training session with the Air Force,” said Sgt. Jaran Jones, an ammunition technician with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler Japan. “We have some strength and speed exercises, such as tire flips and supply runs with ammunition cans.”
Sergeants course is a required professional military education course conducted within the Marine Corps to develop small unit leadership skills, warfighting techniques and is often open to service members from other branches, according to Jones, a Foley, Alabama, native.
Airmen participated in the sergeants course to supplement their leadership development and training, according to Staff Sgt. Kasey Kilby, with 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, 18th Operations Group, 18th Wing.
“I took this course mainly because I wanted to see how Marines train, how they perform and get some good physical training,” said Kilby, a Wilkesboro, North Carolina, native. “Most of all, I wanted to see how they professionally develop themselves.”
The Marines and airmen gathered on the Camp Hansen athletic field for dynamic warm-ups before dividing into teams consisting of members of both services.
“We put the Marines and airmen together to do various relay exercises and different competitions to demonstrate the teamwork and competitive capabilities amongst two different services, and ultimately see how they come together as one team,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kristina L. Rogers, commandant of the Erwin Professional Military Education Center, 18th Air Wing, Kadena Air Base.
When the teams were formed, the service members participated in the rigorous competitive exercises. Representatives from each team were chosen for the events, which were tallied up for points to determine the winners of the meet.
“The field meet was a great opportunity to show that, regardless of what branch of the military one serves, we are all in it for one purpose and the ability to be a part of one team and one fight,” said Rogers. “We could see the differences in mentality between the members of both branches, identify strengths and weaknesses, and see how they used those differences to work together. Everyone had a lot of fun and we are already looking forward to the next opportunity to do this training again.”
After the teams completed the last relay, the Marines and airmen joined for a formation run to the Camp Hansen United Services Organization center for closing speeches and a warriors’ breakfast.