Sun. May 28th, 2023

Capt. Nathan Degen, second from correct, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Enterprise, U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan, and Employees Sgt. Dwayne W. Parker, correct, also assigned to USAABJ, pose for a photo with other volunteers from the 2023 Globe Baseball Classic March 16 at the Tokyo Dome. (Courtesy Photo)
(Photo Credit: (Courtesy Photo))


CAMP ZAMA, Japan – In the course of baseball’s largest international tournament, which this year involves teams from 20 nations and is possessing games played in 3 nations, ten Camp Zama Soldiers helped in a crucial behind-the-scenes function.

The Soldiers, assigned to U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan and U.S. Army Japan, acted as chaperones for players in the Globe Baseball Classic for the duration of the tightly controlled drug-testing procedure for the round of games played at the Tokyo Dome March 9 via 16.

Capt. Nathan Degen, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Enterprise, USAABJ, who organized the group of Soldier volunteers, stated the chance to be portion of the WBC came via a likelihood meeting final year. He was attending a mentorship system in July when he met a person who worked in New York at the headquarters for Significant League Baseball, which has hosted the WBC considering that it started in 2006.

Degen pointed out he was stationed in Japan and stated he and other Soldiers there would be eager to volunteer for any MLB activities in Tokyo. The employee connected Degen to the MLB regional workplace, which lined the Soldiers up with their gig at this year’s tournament.

The Soldiers worked anyplace from a single to six games for the duration of the week of play at the Tokyo Dome. At every single game, the Soldiers had been randomly assigned to chaperone a player for the duration of their drug testing. Degen explained the process, which involved notifying every single player of his turn for testing, keeping observational manage as the players had been escorted to the testing location, and escorting them back to the clubhouse afterward.

Degen named the volunteering knowledge outstanding, saying it supplied him and his group with insight into international, civilian organization operations and how they each paralleled and differed from the military.

Receiving a firsthand appear at the facilities’ management, safety and drug-testing coordination also shed light onto other approaches he and the other Soldiers can correctly and effectively organize their personal firm- and battalion-level events, Degen continued.

Much more importantly, he stated, volunteering at the games gave him and his group the likelihood to knowledge a massive-scale sporting occasion though nevertheless acquiring a one of a kind function knowledge that permitted them to construct relationships with their host nation and other organizations.

“As a commander, the greatest portion was hearing some of our Soldiers [being] complete of gratitude for the chance to be portion of an international occasion,” Degen stated. “It is incredibly rewarding to give Soldiers with possibilities they may well not otherwise be afforded.”

Degen stated that for the duration of the occasion, he also enjoyed functioning with other Japanese volunteers who taught him about their culture as they got to know every single other.

“We had been seriously capable to construct relationships with several of the volunteers that will carry beyond the tournament,” Degen stated.

Employees Sgt. Dwayne W. Parker, assigned to USAABJ, volunteered for two days for the duration of the WBC, and stated it was a good knowledge functioning with the employees, players and coaches. He stated he specially enjoyed functioning with the Japanese volunteers, and the memories he produced laughing and speaking about every single other’s cultures will final effectively right after he leaves Japan.

“Any good interactions with your host nation like this enable to strengthen our bond, specially amongst Japan and the U.S. Army in Japan,” Parker stated. “If an additional chance comes along, I would gladly volunteer once again.”

A single of the missions of U.S. Soldiers in Japan is to construct and foster bilateral relationships, Degen stated. In order to do that, they have to show an genuine sense of care, interest and dedication to the people today about them—and sports and communal events like the WBC are a good way to initiate that, he stated.

“I assume our Soldiers did a phenomenal job representing USARJ at the occasion,” Degen stated. “I think my group and I had been capable to make private and human connections to enable construct trust—not only with Japan, but also with all the national teams, players and employees members involved in the WBC.”

The Globe Baseball Classic is an international qualified baseball tournament that has been played just about every couple of years considering that 2006. This year’s WBC had games becoming played in the United States, Taiwan and Japan, with the championship game amongst Japan and the United States taking location March 21 in Miami. The games attracted a lot more than 360,000 in-particular person spectators to the Tokyo Dome, the biggest in the tournament’s history.

By Editor

Leave a Reply