Kadena dorm residents win $2,000 best dorm prize

by Airman 1st Class Lynette M. Rolen, 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Inspection; It's the one word that causes so much despair among dorm residents.

Recently, all of the dorms on Kadena were subject to inspection by wing leadership, competing for a prize of $2,000 for quality of life improvement.

This year, Dorm 700 won the competition.

In addition to cleanliness, one of the reasons the dorm won was because of its creative layout. It has a PAC-MAN theme throughout. The premise is based on video game levels. On the first floor, E-1s reside, on the second floor, E-2s, and so on.

"I believe this dorm competition encourages advancement because of the high standards that we are held to," said Airman 1st Class Drew Smith, 18th Medical Support Squadron medical logistics apprentice and Dorm 700 resident. "It leaves room for Airmen to give their ideas on how we can make things better in the dorms and what we as individuals can do to improve the standards."

What led the dorm to preparation for this competition was the teamwork; the Airmen Dorm Leader (ADL), first sergeant, dorm council members and the residents.

"This dorm competition had more involvement from our residents," said Staff Sgt. Richard Colon, 718th Civil Engineer Squadron Dorm 700 ADL. "We allowed them to get their ideas out. Not many people can say they've painted a PAC-MAN on the walls of their house."

This inspiration for creativity among the residents was the main reason why this dorm won the competition. The leadership in the dorm encouraged them to be resourceful and innovative.

"We have many residents that help us with everything that we do," said U.S. Army Specialist Katilyne Simpson, Public Health Command District Japan Veteran Services and Dorm 700 dorm council president. "We encourage them to help in all projects that we take on in the dorms and can give them a leadership position of a certain task."

The dorm competition further brought out the residents' resourcefulness and leadership because of who was going to be inspecting their dorm. During the competition, Kadena's Command Chief Master Sergeant, Chief Master Sgt. Charles Hoffman, was one of the inspectors.

"They have more pride in what they are doing because of the people they know are judging their work," said Simpson. "They help us as a council in many ways not only physically but they are always supportive in all we do. They know that their jobs are important to our mission but showing pride in their home helped emphasize this."

This sense of pride in their work, willingness to help their dorm council, and their teamwork further helped this dorm win the competition.

"Every dorm competition inspires leadership in the Airmen," said Colon. "They see that they can earn something for being the best. Dorm competition isn't an individual award, it's a team award for people from different races, backgrounds, cities, countries and AFSCs finding a way to be the best."

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