Army, Navy annual flag football game creates great camaraderie
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Dec. 18, 2015) -- Camp Zama's Army team played the Naval Air Facility, or NAF, Atsugi's team during the annual Army vs. Navy flag football game at Reid Memorial Stadium field on NAF Atsugi installation, Dec. 12.
Col. William B. Johnson, commander of U.S. Army Garrison, or USAG, Japan, said the event is about "friendly rivalry between two neighboring posts; Camp Zama represents Army and NAF Atsugi represents Navy."
Jonson said that it's really about the spirit of service that is common between the Army and the Navy and it's one day a year that we set aside what's common about us.
"We just intensely compete with each other," Johnson said, "bitterest of foes but best of friends, too."
Johnson said that Camp Zama's Army team played very well.
Staff Sgt. John Pantaleon, assigned to 78th Signal Battalion, said that there are about 20 players in Camp Zama's Army team including Soldiers and civilians from different units and organizations on the Camp Zama installation.
After the game, Pantaleon, who played as receiver and running back, said he felt that his team did pretty well.
"Both teams executed very well, but at the end of a day Navy got victory," Pantaleon said.
Camp Zama's Army team started off strongly in the first half but lost to the NAF Atsugi's team 13-6 in the second half.
"I was really proud how they fought, fought and fought up to the very last play," said Johnson, adding that the winner gets bragging rights for the next year.
Pantaleon said that the spirit of Army-Navy football game is a great tradition by allowing both sectors to actually get together to share comradery and fellowship.
"We struggled at first in the beginning but we hung in there - I'm proud of my team," said Dennis Dzurikanin, a player on the NAF Atsugi team.
Command Sgt. Maj. Rosalba Dumont-Carrion, command Sgt. Maj. of USAG Japan, said that the game was fantastic "I'm so proud of how they represented us today."
It takes all the services to come together to win any war, said Dumont-Carrion, and at the end of a day, we are one team.