October 29, 2015 --
Skeet shoots, great food, games and other activities were in plentiful supply as Marine Corps Systems Command personnel aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany took a break from traditional work assignments and office tasks to celebrate their “hard work and accomplishments” at an “Octoberfest,” here, Oct. 28.
Sounds of loud voices and laughter echoed at Boyett Park as SYSCOM Marines, civilian-Marines, contract personnel as well as invited guests gathered around Covella Pond for an afternoon of fun and comradery with co-workers and colleagues.
The command’s leadership team, Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader, commander, and Sgt. Maj. Fletcher Pearson, SYSCOM, Quantico, Virginia, joined several local SYSCOM Marines at Bosma Skeet Range and Pistol Range at MCLB Albany in an early morning, friendly-competition skeet shoot to kick off the day’s events.
Shrader commented on the overall activities and discussed how the function worked to connect Albany and Quantico SYSCOM’s workforce into one team.
“I think it’s all about everybody working for the same organization – the Marine Corps,” the commander said. “It’s all about teambuilding. We don’t get down here (from Quantico) enough and we’re working on getting down here more often.
“When I took over last year, the Marines and the civilian-Marines at Systems Command felt they were out on a windy corner by themselves,” he recalled. “I promised them last year that we would follow through on this and bring them back into the fold, if you will. I think that we have gone a long way to do just that.
“Just being here today and watching them, (I can see that) everybody interacts and it’s really heartening,” the general added. “We are definitely a team. The one thing that I will take away from here with me today is an understanding that everybody here really feels as though they belong to Marine Corps Systems Command – a sense of belonging; and, that is what I was looking for.”
In a side note, Shrader shared information about his prior history in the Albany area.
“Albany is more of a home for me than many people realize,” he said. “My father was a Marine stationed aboard the base from 1959 to 1964. I was born here at Phoebe Putney (Memorial Hospital) when he was stationed here.”
Jeffrey Wilson, operations manager, SYSCOM, gave an overview and purpose for the activity.
“This is an “Octoberfest,” Wilson said. “It is an opportunity for our organization to stand down, bring everybody together and celebrate the hard work and the great things SYSCOM has done over the years to support the warfighter.
“This year has been a busy year and we really didn’t take a minute to stop and bring everybody together in one setting,” he continued. “So, out here, what you see is a total representation of Marine Corps Systems Command – of the program offices and several members of our leadership from Quantico.”
“We come in day-in and day-out doing the work of Marine Corps Systems Command,” Wilson pointed out. “As civilians, military and contractors, this is our opportunity to take a moment, a pause and really just celebrate the good things we’ve done over the past year.
“We’re giving everybody a chance just to wind down a little and get away from their desk, an opportunity to fellowship and to have a good time,” Wilson added.
Phillip Shirey, contractor/task manager, Consultants to Government and Industry, Albany, Georgia, was invited to the event along with several in a group of CGI contractors who provide support to SYSCOM.
“We are a contract team that supports the software for some of the older logistics systems for the Marine Corps,” Shirey said. “We support systems that are within SYSCOM; today provided an opportunity for us to come out and talk to some government folks we don’t see as often as we did when we were actually working on the base two years ago.”
During a portion of the festivities, members of MCLB Albany’s Fire Department, Fire and Rescue team, demonstrated the proper use of one of several automated external defibrillator systems, which are strategically mounted in work areas around the installation.
Other events personnel participated in as part of the celebration included a workforce town hall meeting; the SYSCOM personnel picnic; drawings for a number of door prizes, Bingo and other board games.