SEATTLE – Marine Corps Security Force Battalion (MCSFBn)-Bangor passed the 12 flag to Navy Region Northwest (NRNW) as Sailors and Marines participated in the 5th annual USAA change of command ceremony at CenturyLink Field, Oct. 11.
Navy Region Northwest succeeded MCSFBn-Bangor as the 5th command to carry the Seahawks 12 Man flag into the coming year. The change-of-command occurred during a day of fanfare where service members were given the opportunity to spend time with players and display various aspects of their missions ranging from explosive ordinance and disposal to military working dog security.
“The goal of the 12th Man change of command ceremony is to bring Seahawks to the military community and the military community to the Seahawks and through partnering with USAA we’re able to go out and do that,” said Mike Sevy, a USAA military affairs representative.
During the main event, a ceremony resembling a classic military change-of-command, Marine Lt. Col. Scott M. Reed, MCSFBn-Bangor commanding officer, turned over the 12th Man flag to Rear Adm. Gary Mayes, commander, NRNW.
“I look forward to working with the Seahawks as the year progresses. We plan to take the flag all over the region, which makes up 11 states. We’re going to get it on carriers, we’re going to get it in the air, and we’re going to get it on subs and get it below the surface of the sea,” said Mayes before receiving the flag. “On behalf of the 37,000 Sailors and civilians that make up Navy Region Northwest, I accept the 12th Man flag.”
Through NRNW, the 12 flag will have the opportunity to be displayed on various platforms of the Navy’s mission in the Pacific Northwest.
“What each branch of service has done in previous years is they carry the 12th Man flag on different deployments and missions throughout the world to showcase their service,” said Mike Sevy, USAA military affairs representative. “The Coast Guard took it to Antarctica, the Army took it to Afghanistan. The admiral said that he’ll have it on submarines, on aircraft carriers and aircrafts, and fly it around the world. Along with all of that, the Sailors will have opportunities this year to participate in Seahawks events.”
Along with displaying the flag, the sponsored command is given a leading role in Seahawks military outreach.
“We had the opportunity to hang out with another pro organization. To see how they methodically come up with their plans to execute games is not much different to what we do, it’s just to a different degree,” said MCSFBn Command Sgt. Maj. David M. McKinley. “We had the chance to sit and watch their practices, go to their training facility and be invited to the NFL stadium, walk out on the field, hold the flag tight, and allow all the fans to see us in uniform. It gives us appreciation for all the work the Marines are doing, and the Sailors as well, just the recognition is great.”
Programs such as the 12th Man change-of-command sponsorship are designed to highlight the contributions service members make in their communities.
“Outreach programs like this allow the community to see our Navy and Marine Corps, to interact with them,” said Mayes. “We look for these kinds of opportunities so people can better understand what it is that we do on a day to day basis,” said Mayes. “The more events we do like this the more they gain an understanding of their Sailors and Marines. It’s a great honor to have an organization like the Seahawks do these events.”