Marine Corps bids farewell to Okinawa retirees
CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines and sailors gathered for a retirement ceremony and luncheon June 4 at the Butler Officers’ Club on Camp Foster to bid farewell to their Okinawa master labor contractor counterparts.
Of the 18 retiring employees, 12 attended a ceremony in which they were recognized for their many years of service and were given certificates of appreciation by Maj. Gen. Charles L. Hudson, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations Pacific and Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler.
“I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude for your tireless efforts over these years and lasting impact to the United States Marine Corps,” said Hudson. “I am proud to commemorate this significant milestone in your lives.”
The 18 retirees share more than 350 years of combined service spent alongside Marines and sailors stationed throughout Okinawa. They represent sections of G-3/5, operations and training; G-4, supply and logistics; G-6, communications, G-F, facilities; Marine Corps Community Services; and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
“As we celebrate your retirement, each one of you truly deserves to be recognized for the faithful and dedicated service that you have performed for the United States Marine Corps, United States of America and certainly for the government of Japan throughout your career,” said Hudson.
The daily workload shared between MLCs and Marines is more important than just completing tasks, according to Hudson. It is vital to the alliance and good-standing friendship between Japan and the U.S.
“The security framework based on the Japan-U.S. security treaty is indispensable not only for the defense of our country, but also for the peace and stability of this region,” said Ryoji Fukagawa, the labor management officer with the Okinawa Defense Bureau, Japan Ministry of Defense. “You assume an extremely important role to maintain our alliance, and I hope you will continue to promote the friendship between Japan and United States in the future.”
Master labor contractor employees work very closely with Marines, so it is no surprise that many of them have built lasting friendships over the years.
“I’ve been working with Marines for 23 years, and they have always treated me with respect, just like I was one of them,” said Masaharu Nakamura, a translator with the Provost Marshal’s Office North District, MCB Camp Butler, MCIPAC. “I hope the Marines and Japanese people continue their good relationship, and I hope future MLCs’ experiences with Marines are as memorable as mine.”