15th Engineer Battalion gets crafty for school play
May 10, 2013
VILSECK, Germany -- "There is nothing better than putting the knowledge and skills of your Military Occupation Specialty to use for a good cause," said Warrant Officer Carlene S. Davis, 902nd Vertical Construction Company, 15th Engineer Battalion. "It started with a hunt for volunteer opportunities for Soldiers to stay proficient in MOS fields. What we got was a rewarding and fun way to give back to our community."
In the beginning of May, the Vilseck High School will perform a theatrical version of "The Little Mermaid" called, "The Little Mermaid, Jr."
In order to help the students prepare for the production, the 902nd Vertical Construction Company, 15th Engineer Battalion, provided time for four of its Soldiers. Sgt. Allen Clapper, Spc. Brandon Barrett, Spc. Deandre Gavin, and Pvt. Diallo Young used their carpentry skills to help the school.
Through all of April they used their creativity and carpentry skills to provide the school with stage props. Davis, the Officer in Charge of the project, said the Soldiers were responsible for creating "eight different props: King Triton's throne, a little love boat, a ship, sea floor rocks, sea floor waves, Ariel's grotto (hideout), Ursula's Cauldron, and coral reefs."
Clapper, the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the project, directed the Soldiers to attain their training goals, while ensuring that the vision of Malia Jakus, the school drama teacher, was reflected in the design and construction of the props.
Gavin often drew the designs of the props which Barrett would then saw out of plywood. Young, who originally trained as an electrician, cross-trained as a carpenter, drawing, cutting and nailing together stage props.
"The project was estimated to cost well over $1,200," said Davis. The Soldiers however, "worked with old, recyclable materials, bringing the cost down to only $508."
In the end, the project was both "an exciting and rewarding way to get our Soldiers engaged in their MOS-related skills and in the community," said Davis.