Posted on Dec 12, 2013
SFC Center Commander
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I know that there are companies and/or battalions who will host large holiday parties for the season, but what about your particular unit/section? I've always found it very productive to do something extra and special for your team members, paying special attention to try and remove the military mistletoe that hangs above our heads. For example, I've made a group reservation at a local establishment for my office tomorrow, so it's before anyone goes on leave for the holidays. It's a place that serves food and drinks, has flat screen TVs with sports, pool tables, dart boards, the works. We set a price limit for a gift and we're going to play the infamous gift-swap game. Nobody is required to attend, and if you show you're not required to eat, drink, or do anything. It's completely optional, which takes the "mandatory fun" clause out of it. My situation is a little different because I'm in recruiting so I work with all NCOs, so I was just curious as to what ideas other units might have for a team building event for the holidays?
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MSG Platoon Sergeant
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I am in Korea so most of us are away from our families. Our company did the same thing for Thanksgiving that we are about to do for the Christmas holiday. We have a pot luck lunch that includes the Korean Civilians and Soldiers in our employ. We wear civilian close, do a hail and fare well, and awards. the CO and 1SG buy the big turkey and it is just a time to kinda get together as a family away from family. Thanksgiving had a grat turn out and we added so optional events for the Holiday party. We are doing it the half day before the Holiday weekend so it is like another free day off.

 

 

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SSG Medical Logistics Specialist
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I am currently on a holiday planning committee for my department and let me tell you......it is NOT easy.  But I can say that I am very proud of how much money I was able to raise towards funding this party.

Some of the ideas we came up with for the party are that we're having a DJ (free of charge), our meal is catered, a raffle for all who are attending, prizes and gifts for all of the children who are coming and a genuine good time.  Oh and civilian clothes too although if I bet myself, I know someone in my department leadership chain will come in their uniform.
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LTC Military Deputy And Senior Operations Officer
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Had to check and see where on Belvoir you were at, at INSCOM we are having our party at the new Embassy Sweets should be a good time. Having served on the planning committee when I was at the pentagon I concur with it not being easy. Specially when trying to get the DACs to fork over a few bucks. 
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SFC Fire Support Specialist
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I host a holiday dinner for my section the evening before the first person is to depart for the holiday leave period. I don't serve alcohol because I don't want to chance someone drinking and driving. Definitely family friendly. We all donate to buy the kids each a gift for the dinner and at times have "voted" to do a gift exchange for the adults too (this of course is spouse inclusive). I wouldn't say it's anything all that "special or exciting" but, I have found that my Soldiers and their Families enjoy the get together. Simply a time to be together as a section without "work" being the focal point. 

On a slightly off-topic side note: Often throughout the year (about once a quarter) I will ask them to decide what they want to do and treat them to an afternoon. An example would be treat them all to bowling with their Families at 1300 "Family Time" day and finish out the day having fun. The Soldiers love it and they are the ones that decide the activity. My Jr NCO's reached a point to where it became a NCO treat rather than just me but, again, the guys all loved doing it. You just have to tailor events to YOUR group of Soldiers and what will enable you to have safe fun.
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SFC Center Commander
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SFC Day that's a good idea to include it once a quarter instead of only doing team building for the holidays. It's never a bad day when you can show your team that you appreciate what they do. And also, letting them choose the activity, kudos!!
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SFC Center Commander
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SFC Day that's a good idea to include it once a quarter instead of only doing team building for the holidays. It's never a bad day when you can show your team that you appreciate what they do. And also, letting them choose the activity, kudos!!
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SFC Fire Support Specialist
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Thanks. I started doing that when I became a SSG and took over a Fire Support Team. I started inviting Soldiers in my PLT over on the holiday if they weren't going "home on leave" when I became an NCO. The accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers. Can't go wrong. Thanks again.
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