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Rookie Club Visits MacDill Air Force Base

Posted Jun 2, 2017

The Buccaneers Rookie Club toured MacDill Air Force Base on Friday to spend time with military members.

On Friday, the Buccaneers newest additions toured MacDill Air Force Base as part of the organization’s Rookie Club. The Buccaneers Rookie Club is an inclusive program accelerating community outreach for incoming rookie players while also preparing them for professional life off the field.

Buccaneers including O.J. Howard, Justin Evans, Chris Godwin, Kendell Beckwith, Jeremy McNichols, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, among other rookies were joined by Buccaneers Cheerleaders and Captain Fear to spend time with military service men and women and receive a rare opportunity to explore the inner workings of the headquarters for two of the U.S. military’s joint command centers.

"Our military protects our country and allow us to play the game we love," said Godwin. "So anything we can do to build a relationship them and show our appreication is awesome."

The team's first stop included a meet and greet with over 100 awaiting fans; where the players signed autographs, posed for pictures, and visited with service members and their families.

Players then teamed up with SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) Specialists to test their survival skills with techniques on land and water from our nations experts.

“Just like you prepare for different teams,” Master Sergeant Mike Slaton says. “We prepare for different missions.” before giving a 60-second equipment drill to anxious players eager to test their skills.

Next, the players also got a chance to meet the jump team that will join Buccaneers fans from the skies on gamedays. Players learned how to pack parachutes and engaged in a virtual reality system that is used to train and simulate diverse situations from the air.

"The simulator went pretty well," says Godwin. "I was aiming for the stadium and it worked out for me. I kind of landed mid field in the stands."  

Today’s visit ends a successful week for the rookie players making an impact both on and off the field.

The Buccaneers Rookie Club is part of Bucs for a Better Bay, the Buccaneers far reaching commitment to improving Tampa communities. The organization remains committed to assisting, honoring and celebrating the men and women who proudly serve our country.

To learn more about Buccaneers military initiatives, please visit HERE