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Hammer Jammer University July August Planning

Updated on August 1, 2009

This is part of a series of articles about Morale Welfare and Recreation Operations (MWR) in a contingency environment. A series of lessons learned based on 4 ½ years of experience in Iraq from 2004-2008. I dedicate this series to the Men and Women of FOB Hammer MWR aka The Hammer Jammers, “The Best MWR Team on the Planet”; so to Amir, Dejan, Sabina, Sadina, Mirsad, Patrick, Mark, and Chris, and special thanks to Shiabu, and all the SCW crew. A particular thanks to LTC Kelly Lawler “The Governor”, MSG Roy Brown, “MWR 07”, and Camp Manager Joey Wilson, for the exceptional care and focus on all things MWR, and who led the building effort of the FOB from the dust on up; and finally I would be remiss not to mention the best MWR Functional Area Manger (FAM) anywhere, Ms Pennie Bannister, who has the toughest job in MWR and provided the best in insight and support of the Hammer Jammers. Finally, I am totally responsible for the content of these articles and they represent my views on the operation of MWR programs in a contingency environment and no endorsement of these thoughts have been sought after or given by either the US Government or any contracting agency or company.

MWR Cup Winners FOB Hammer 2007
MWR Cup Winners FOB Hammer 2007

This installment is part of the HammerJammerUniversity ‘Extension’ Program. It is not meant to be all inclusive but a periodical reminder of some of the things I would do that are seasonally based to make the programs better and to ensure the continuity of services. While it is written from a Supervisor prospective, MWR Coordinators might want to use this insight to help your boss stay ahead of the game.


Sports It may seem obvious, but Heat Stress Safety is the first consideration for all your outdoor activities this time of year. Keep your runs short (5K or less) and make sure you have lots of water throughout the course, schedule it early in the day.

If you’re running a softball league extra towels and water need to be on the field and do your field maintenance early in the day or after 1700. Monitor the serviceability of your equipment, as the dry air is particularly hard on softball gloves have some of the MWR staff apply glove oil every two weeks, minimum.

Schedule Team Pictures, you’ll want to have one of the Championship Team to post in the Fitness Center, and extra copies are generally well received if they are posted in common areas throughout the camp, (DFAC, PX, etc,). The teams will appreciate it as well and once taken and edited you can send the Team Captain a .jpg file that can be passed along to team, unit, and families electronically. Make sure you’ve got a good team roster for certificates as well.

It's also time to look into having your FOB/Camp participate in the Army Ten Miler Shadow Run this fall. Use the Contact us button to get graphics and informational support for your ATM Shadow Run it should be held as near the 4th of October 2009 as mission allows. Now is the time though to survey your course for the event.

Inventory your Flag Football Supplies, to include but not limited to, Field Chalk, End Zone markers/cones, Footballs, Flag Belts. Start the planning process in August with a flyer for team captains/coaches meeting. Check with your Military LNO to start lining up ref’s and use these POC’s as a rules committee, to develop the local rules for the season.

Rec Center and Entertainment Now is the time to get in to the planning loop for Operation Rising Star, This contest is Army wide and the earlier you can get your FOB/Camp into the program the better, you will need to get your LNO involved but here is the link for the promotion

The more of these contests you get the chance to support the better it is for your troops. This is a recurring yearly event and the prizes that can be won are significant so give your guys a chance to win.

This is the time of year you should be inventorying fall and winter decorations, It’s time to get that Requisition in for Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years decorations, if you haven’t done so already.

Do your maintenance! Make sure you put some canned air to all the points of entry for dust on your sound gear. Make sure you blow out every knob, slide or connector point for mic, and instrument cables. Unscrew the microphone windscreens and gently blow the dust off the mic pickup, and blow out the windscreen from the inside out with canned air. During all electronic maintenance make sure the system/equipment is turned off and disconnected from any power source before you undertake these tasks to avoid electrical shock hazards and damage to the equipment due to static discharge from the dust removal.

Supervisor reminder – now is the time to be putting together your 90 day support plan for this coming fall. Remember that some of the most significant memories for your troops are generated during the holiday period from Veterans Day through New Years. Close coordination with your Military LNO and the Chaplains will enhance your holiday programs if you work it as a team, the results will be great for all involved. In the mean time keep your folks safe, check for hydration regularly, and work hard, Have fun and above all Be Koo-el…


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