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Fort Rucker hosts Right Arm Night

Maj. Matthew Baringhaus, 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group, joins the Mug Club at the Landing Zone during Fort Rucker’s first Right Arm Night Feb. 27. Right Arm Night will be held the last Thursday of every month. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Maj. Matthew Baringhaus, 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group, joins the Mug Club at the Landing Zone during Fort Rucker’s first Right Arm Night Feb. 27. Right Arm Night will be held the last Thursday of every month. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: March 6, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (March 6, 2014) -- Work and personal relationships are normally two entities people are encouraged to keep separate, but in the Army both relationships are melded to create a cohesive bond that helps Soldiers better serve their country.

Because of this bond, Fort Rucker hosted its first Right Arm Night at The Landing Zone Feb. 27 as a means of building camaraderie and esprit de corps across the Army Family.

“Right Arm Night is an opportunity for everybody to get together and socialize,” said Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander. “The Army is not just a job or an occupation – it’s a culture. This allows us to socialize and get to know each other. Every success comes from relationships.”

Those relationships are the key to success in the Army, said the garrison commander – especially in life-or-death situations.

“We rely on each other when times get tough in the foxhole,” said McRae. “You want to be able to trust the person next to you, and so you need to know who they are. This is a good chance for people to get to know each other, build good relationships and meet people they haven’t met before.”

Soldiers were able to enjoy beverages and free appetizers throughout the night, as well as join The Landing Zone’s new Mug Club, which gives people the chance to receive a custom, 22-ounce ceramic mug imprinted with their unit or organization’s crest. Club members receive a host of benefits, including $1 soft drinks anytime at The Landing Zone.

The night was also a time for Army leaders to show appreciation to Soldiers who serve as their “right arm,” said 1st Sgt. Tomika Williams, C Company 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment.

“To me, the night means a time that commanders, first sergeants, or whoever your right-hand person is can come out and show your appreciation,” she said. “You show your appreciation for what they do because it’s not often that we get enough time to tell the person that helps us out the most, ‘thank you.’”

First Sgt. Adam Schifflett, Headquarters Headquarters Company, 1st Aviation Brigade, said that building a personal relationship with your “battle buddy” helps to build a strong sense of trust – a necessary component in the Army.

“It’s important to be able to get to know each other a little better on a personal level,” he said. “I think it helps a lot in the work place because we get to learn about each other and take care of us as well as other people, which makes it easier for us to work together as a team.”

For some, like 1st Sgt. Terrence Reyes, A Co., 1st Bn., 13th Avn. Regt., the night was about being able to let loose and simply enjoy time with one another.

“It always feels good to be away from work and being able to let your hair down, so to speak,” said Reyes. “We can talk about business, we can talk about their Families, and we can just check on everybody to see how they’re doing without the interference from phone calls and emails from our normal days of work. We just get to talk to one another with no distraction.”

Right Arm Night will be held the last Thursday of every month. For more information, call 598-8025.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/121397/

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