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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The 374th Airlift Wing here is looking for a few good samurai speakers.

Auditions for the next Samurai Briefing Team are Monday. Enlisted members of any service are eligible to try out for a team that briefs distinguished visitors on Yokota’s wing mission and history.

“We’re really looking for more of the junior troops to come out and do this,” said Master Sgt. Tracie Adams, team manager and coach. The 10-minute tryout consists of reading a script out loud, with no opportunity to look at it first, Adams said.

“You don’t have to be a gifted speaker, right off the bat,” Adams said. But “we want people who can communicate clearly, enunciate and project well.”

Appearance is important. “You need to look polished, you need to look sharp and you need to have confidence,” she added.

The team was formed about a year ago, the brainchild of Command Chief Master Sgt. Clarence Moore, the former wing command chief. Previously, public affairs representatives briefed distinguished visitors.

Moore asked Adams, the operations supervisor of American Forces Network, Tokyo, and colleague, Tech. Sgt. Tony Hughes, to coach and form a team, she said. The first squad featured eight, two-member teams, but only four remain. Members incur a one-year obligation.

The training, which is done off-duty, covers everything from hand gestures to presenting one’s self with confidence. Teams perform before Col. Mark Schissler, the 374th Airlift Wing commander, and Command Chief Master Sgt. Robert Wicks prior to their first briefing.

Teams can expect to conduct about two briefings per month. Their short presentations accompany a computer based slide show. “Who we are, where we are and what we do — that’s what the briefing is about,” Adams said.

Those who perform well for a year will be eligible for an achievement medal, Adams said.

“You get a lot of good training in public speaking that can only benefit you professionally and personally,” she said.

Auditions start at 4 p.m. Monday in Building 1585. To sign up, call Wing Executive Services at 225-5225. Appointments can be made as late as Monday.

Any enlisted member assigned to Yokota may audition. Candidates need to complete an application with their supervisor’s signature and bring a copy of their last evaluation. They must not have any disciplinary action pending against them.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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