Iwakuni MABS-12 Guard Duty 1982

Back in 1982, I was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan, assigned to H&MS-12 Group Supply ADP. Marines sometimes get pulled away from your regular job to do other tasks, like kitchen duty or “KP”. But this time, I got tapped for something different: a three-month assignment with MABS-12 Guard, a security detail. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I figured it would be a good change of pace.

The Guard Duty assignment involved security training including sessions at prisoner escort school, also known as Chaser School. We learned all kinds of techniques for handling situations on base, from escorting prisoners to patrolling sensitive areas. My primary job was to walk the flightline, keeping an eye on the aircraft and making sure nobody messed with the government property. It was a serious gig, but it also gave me a different perspective on base life.

One event stands out during my time on Guard Duty. It was “Friendship Day,” a special day when the base opened its doors to the local Japanese community. Families came from all over to see the Marines, check out the aircraft, and enjoy some time on base. There’s a long tradition of Marines building connections with the communities around their bases, and Friendship Day was a big part of that.

I was on duty, walking through the crowds, decked out in my guard uniform, complete with helmet, baton, radio, etc. The atmosphere was festive, with kids running around, families taking photos, and Marines mingling with the visitors. I must have ended up in hundreds of those photos, smiling and posing with the visitors. It was a surreal experience for this 18-year-old from Texas, standing there in my uniform, knowing that I’d be part of these families’ memories for years to come.

Guard Duty turned out to be more than just an assignment; it was a chance to be part of something bigger, to engage with the local community, and to learn skills that I never would have in my regular job. It was one of those experiences that stays with you, something I’m always grateful for. It wasn’t just about keeping things secure—it was about building connections and representing the Corps in a positive way. And that made it all worth it.

Semper Fi!

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Author: Cpl. Beddoe
Cpl, USMC 1981-1985 MCRDSD Plt 3042, Aug 28, 1981 Work hard. Be kind. Pay it forward. Twitter: @txdevildog
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