July 12, 2012

MAWTS-1 hosts hot, sweaty softball game

Lance Cpl. Sean Dennison
Desert Warrior Staff
Photos by Lance Cpl. Sean Dennison
Marines with Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 compete in a softball game at the station softball field, July 2.

Rough and tough as they’re known to be, the average Marine would not condone a game of softball in one hundred degree weather with 30 percent humidity.

But that’s exactly what the noncommissioned officers and staff noncommissioned officers of Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 did at the station’s softball field, July 2.

MAWTS-1’s inverted pyramid hierarchy–officers far outnumber enlisted Marines–separates the unit from other entities in the Marine Corps. This results in responsibility being thrust upon junior Marines that most would not envy.

“When our instructor staff go on (permissive temporary additional duty) our younger kids are staying behind,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael Parks, the MAWTS-1 sergeant major and a native of El Paso, Texas.

Approximately 40 sergeants and below are keeping MAWTS alive, added Parks.

The game, played by noncomissioned officers against staff noncomissioned officers, was put on to build camraderie and teamwork at MAWTS-1.

Factor in MAWTS-1 boasts the Weapons & Tactics Instructor course twice a year and the fact 14-hour work days are a common reality, the Marines of MAWTS-1 can hardly be considered average.

The softball game, a spirited competition between NCOs and Staff NCOs, let the enlisted bodies of MAWTS-1 know their hard work is appreciated and always considered.

“This is all about cohesion,” said Parks. “It’s all about being a family.”

The game, the first of its kind put on by MAWTS-1, formed as a result of Parks walking in on Marines practicing softball.

“I decided to get all NCOs and below to get together and play softball because there’s just enough to do it,” said Cpl. Jordan Treichler, a MAWTS-1 SIGNIT intelligence analyst and a native of Luling, La.

After Parks came out, Treichler joked, “We were having tryouts to beat the Staff NCOs at the game. He (Parks) took it seriously.”

“And now we’re here,” he added.

The SNCOs dubbed themselves Hip Replacement, with the NCOs going with the moniker Team Winning (“Even if we lose, we’ll always be Winning,” noted Treichler). Despite proficiency and conduct marks may reflect, Treichler still said he was looking forward to playing against the SNCOs.

Before the game began, Col. Bradford Gering, the MAWTS-1 commanding officer, recommended the NCOs hydrate and the SNCOs stretch.

Participants also grilled and set up picnic-style refreshment as the Marines sweated towards victory. Arizona Adventures provided most of the equipment.

Thankfully, no hip replacements were needed, though there was humiliation aplenty as the SNCOs walked away with a 39-2 victory. Team Winning took it in good humor.

“This was done to show our appreciation to them,” said Parks.

“Too bad we had to beat ‘em so bad,” he added.

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