MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Station and unit commanding officers and sergeants major served the Marine Corps Birthday lunch Wednesday at the enlisted dining facility here.
Each of the station’s leaders took shifts serving shrimp, lobster and steak(specify) to station personnel, while thanking them for their hard work and dedication.
“There you go, Marine,” said Col. Ben Hancock station commanding officer as he handed a plate to one of the many Marines, young and old, he served.
“It creates a sense of camaraderie amongst the service members,” said Cpl. David Gonzales, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron ID clerk. “It is a good tradition and they should keep doing it.”
“This event gives the commanding officers and sergeants major the opportunity to serve their Marines during the Marine Corps Birthday celebration, while also maintaining the tradition of serving civilians during the festivities,” said Ly Fecteau, Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron Installation & Logistics deputy director and coordinator of the senior enlisted and officers serving chow.
The event spawned from traditions of another unit thousands of miles away.
“The idea for an event like this started when I was with Combat Assault Battalion 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Master Sgt. Thomas was there as well and it was a big success there so I knew it would be a big success here as well,” said Fecteau, a Dover, Del., native.
Master Sgt. Joey Thomas, station food services chief, said each senior enlisted or officer ended up serving about 200 patrons.
“I think this was a great idea, I do not know why we hadn’t done this before. Being able to serve a great meal makes the commanding officers and sergeants major motivated, and I think the junior Marines are motivated because they get to see us, which they don’t normally get to do on a day-to-day basis. Even the civilians got a kick out of seeing us dressed in our mess hall gear,” said Sgt. Maj. Manuel Garibay Jr., station sergeant major.
“I was honored to have the colonel serve me my lunch,” commented Lance Cpl. Raymond Castro Jr., Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron financial technition. “There are a lot of other things he could have been doing but he was looking out for his junior Marines.”