News>Chiefs, first sergeants throw down gauntlet in volleyball match
Iceman chiefs and first sergeants compete in a friendly volleyball match at the Baker Field House March 11, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Members of each team donated an entry fee to the Air Force Assistance Fund as part of this year’s campaign kick-off. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Perras)
A walker emblazoned with chief master sergeant rank insignias sits outside of the volleyball court during a match between Eielson chiefs and first sergeants March 11, 2013, Baker Field House, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The first sergeants made the walker to poke fun at the chiefs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Perras)
Eielson chiefs and first sergeants compete during a volleyball match at the Baker Field House March 11, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The chiefs won two out of three matches, but each team donated money to support the Air Force Assistance Fund kick-off this week. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Perras)
by Airman 1st Class Zachary Perras
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
3/15/2013 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Icemen chiefs dominated the floor in a competitive volleyball game against Eielson's first sergeants as part of an Air Force Assistance Fund campaign fundraiser March 11, 2013.
Because the two groups play together as one team when facing Airman Leadership School graduating classes, Icemen first sergeants issued the call to Eielson's chiefs in a head-on volleyball match in order to find the weak links in the team.
"The first sergeants didn't believe the chiefs were keeping their end of the bargain when it came to the volleyball matches against the ALS classes," said Chief Master Sgt. Jeffery Brown, 354th Fighter Wing command chief. "They wanted to see which part of the team was maybe a little weaker. They found out that they need to look in their own mirror."
After three matches, the chiefs' group finished with two wins, the final game ending in a landslide victory. The whole experience was to demonstrate teamwork while having fun as well as supporting a good cause, Brown said.
"It's not about beating each other - even though that is a benefit. It's about building that teamwork and communication," he explained. "The friendly rivalry we had builds teamwork and has lasting positive effects beyond the winning or losing piece of it."
Despite the friendly competition, the challenge eventually formed into an opportunity Master Sgt. Jeremy Davis, 354th Operations Group first sergeant, saw to support the AFAF campaign kick-off. Each team contributed money, with the first sergeants challenging the chiefs to double the amount the shirts put in.
"One thing led to the next, and a suggestion was made to make it a little more competitive to do an entry fee or a donation and put it forth to the different [AFAF] organizations," Davis said. "It became a nice challenge [competing and raising money]."
The donation was the icing on the cake for the volleyball game, Davis said.
"The fact that we were able to take a little bit of money out of our pockets and give back was great," he said. "We've seen the effects of the different assistance funds and how our Airmen have been helped out in a time of need ... so it's what we're here to support."
Brown and Davis both agree that a rematch might be on the horizon, but for them, the most important part was the bigger picture: helping a cause while building camaraderie.
For more information on the AFAF campaign, contact Senior Master Sgt. David Rice at 377-1311 or Master Sgt. Gary Lutz at 377-1027.