By Justin Creech, Belvoir EagleFebruary 28, 2013
USO Metro welcomed servicemembers from the National Capital Region and outside the local area to the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir for a gaming tournament, Saturday.
Operation Game On! is a USO sponsored single-elimination gaming tournament that was created in response to the popularity of video gaming at the USO of Metropolitan Washington Center. This tournament featured the newly-released Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
"It's a popular thing amongst the military and it gets them engaged outside of online gaming," said Shannon Rush, USO Program Specialist. "We opened it up this year to single individuals who did not come with a team so they could mingle with other servicemembers and meet people who have similar interests."
Servicemembers from Joint Base Andrews, Marine Corp Base, Quantico, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall and Fort Belvoir gathered to compete in the 16-team, five person per team tournament.
Some groups came as teams, and teams were formed from individuals joining a group that needed additional players.
The teams competed in three different games, Capture the Flag, Search and Destroy and Hardship. The objective in Search and Destroy and Hardship was to get as many kills as possible during the duration of each game. The objective in Capture the Flag was to steal the opposing team's flag and return it to your base.
Each member of the winning team took home an HP-AMD laptop.
Servicmembers enjoyed getting to compete with one another and learn about life in a different branch.
"You get to see how other servicemembers live and enjoy life," said Marine Lance Cpl. Josh Smith, Marine Corp Base, Quantico.
1st Sgt. Paul Agnon, Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Bravo Fast Company drove to Belvoir Saturday morning, and enjoyed getting to compete and meet with fellow servicemembers.
"We talked to the team we beat during our second match," Agnon said. "We talked about good game stuff, a little ripping on each other and good luck for the next game."
Teams competed hard and displayed emotion during games, but afterward were gracious in giving the winning team praise, according to Smith, a development the participants appreciated.
"The teams were good about giving one another credit where credit was due," Smith said. "There were a few guys you could tell were poor losers, but mostly everyone was cool."
The tournament brought servicemembers from different installations and locations together in an environment that fostered good competition and friendly conversation which is the purpose of the facility, according to Rush.
"We want this place to be a community," said Rush. "So, it's a great location, it's new, exciting and it has a lot of potential. There's so much you can do in this building."