Military News

Friday, November 20, 2015

Face of Defense: Marine Plays Football for Love of Game

By Marine Corps Cpl. William Perkins 1st Marine Division Public Affairs

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., November 20, 2015 — U.S. Marines are renowned for fighting their nation’s battles with unwavering devotion. Their commitment to the Corps has been apparent since the legendary campaigns in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and in current operations worldwide.

The Marine Corps’ most-precious commodity is the approximately 183,000 Marines who make up its ranks and who help keep the nation safe. Marine Corps Cpl. Brian Williams, the driver for Maj. Gen. Daniel J. O’Donohue, the 1st Marine Division’s commanding general here, finds his own unique way to express his dedication to the Corps.

Playing football is “definitely an outlet,” Williams said. “It makes [physical training] fun and more enjoyable than running three miles every day.”

Football Requires Focus

Williams is a wide receiver on the Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division’s tackle football team, the Wolverines. He said his love for the game keeps him engaged in practice and during games.

Playing football requires focus and attention to detail, Williams said. Football players must be aware of formations, designated receiver routes and their overall role on the team.

Williams said he is dedicated to his team, but his duties as a Marine always come first. The Atlanta native ties his life of wearing shoulder pads to his desire to wear his eagle, globe and anchor insignia.

“It makes me a better Marine from a discipline aspect,” Williams said. “When playing football, you’re always moving and required to think on your feet. Just like Marines -- move fast, think fast.”

Earning a place on a football team takes dedication and commitment, Williams said. The team is dependent on the “one team, one fight” concept that Marines live by every day.

Teamwork, Mentorship

“Being out there with your boys, you don’t want to let them down by not showing up or saying that you’re too tired to play,” Williams said. “You have these guys looking to you to be there and help the team out.”

Part of what contributes to the success of most Marines is proper mentorship. Growing up, Williams said he always looked up to his father who helped him build the skills and mentality needed to be a successful Marine and football player.

“My Dad … has always motivated me,” Williams said with a smile. “He motivated me as I grew up -- like when he told me to do push-ups all the time. He just motivated me to be better and be the best I can.”

Williams said he always gives 100 percent when motivating the Marines around him.

“I think that you have to have a lot of discipline to play sports,” he said. “It relates to being a Marine. Not to jump the gun and mess up. It’s the same on the battlefield, because you have to know your role and have discipline while you do it.”

Through the shared pains, grass stains and patching of scrapes and bruises, Williams and his gridiron gang have established a way to become sturdier, sharper group of Marines and come together as a capable team.

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