MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Air Logistics Squadron 12 celebrated the Marine Corps Birthday with individual one-mile runs and a three-mile unit run culminating in 231 total miles Monday and Tuesday.
The participants endured bitter winds and late-night hours as they carried the squadron’s guidon around the track at Northside football field, exemplifying the endurance and teamwork that have molded the Corps for the past 231 years.
The 4th annual run commenced Monday morning with Squadron Commanding Officer and Clarksville, Tenn., native Lt. Col. Nicholas L. Knight, who was followed by the squadron’s oldest member, 48-year-old Master Gunnery Sgt. Richard G. Redick Sr., MALS-12 avionics maintenance chief and Topeka, Kan. native. The youngest member, 18-year-old Lance Cpl. Brent A. Dugan, MALS-12 flight equipment technician and San Luis Obispo, Calif. native, finished the individual runs Tuesday afternoon.
The event is a MALS-12 tradition the Marines and sailors are proud to keep alive, and Dugan was proud he could be involved.
“It was good to participate,” Dugan said. “It’s one of the many traditions the Marines Corps celebrates on its birthday, and I’m just glad I could play my small part.”
Sgt. Maj. James C. Kirkland, squadron sergeant major and Des Moines, Iowa native, was impressed with the squadron’s participation.
“They (the Marines) come out here on their time, pick up the guidon and keep it going,” Kirkland said. “I think it (the run) affects the morale greatly … it brings home the importance of our customs and courtesies.”
MALS-12 members enjoy the motivation and camaraderie the Marine Corps Birthday and its run instill in the squadron.
“It shows the Marines coming together,” said Staff Sgt. Alonzo E. Whitehead, MALS-12 advanced automatic test equipment technician from Chicago. “We start it individually, but the end effort is as a team.”