MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Responding to requests from noncommissioned officers from aboard Camp Lejeune, Sgt. Maj. Charles E. Tucker, Marine Corps Base sergeant major, opened a NCO club Oct. 5 inside Vittles, the staff noncommissioned officers club.
The NCO club is located in the Daily Room upstairs from the SNCO club main lounge. It is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., featuring a full service bar and snacks.
"Several sergeants major wanted this to happen, and it had been on the agenda since before I got here," said Tucker. "I am just glad that I could help make this happen."
In addition to the bar, the club has a large screen plasma TV, DVD/compact disc players, videocassette recorder, jukebox and a pool table.
The only thing the club doesn't have is access to the restaurant, but that should be changed soon, according to Tucker.
"We hope in the near future to have the lunch from Vittles downstairs served as a blue plate special during the evening upstairs," said Tucker.
The grand opening announcement was quickly spread throughout base commands by word-of-mouth, and about 80 Marines and sailors showed up the first night.
"If we can keep up the positive response from the NCOs, we might switch the NCO and SNCO clubs. It's basic business, if the NCO club is doing better, than we will move it to the main bar area," said Tucker.
The current SNCO club used to be the NCO club on base, but sometime during the last 50 years things were switched around.
"The old SNCO club was over by the bus terminal and the NCO club was where Vittles is now. Why they got rid of the NCO club, I don't know, but it's about time we fixed that problem," said Tucker. "This is for the NCOs and it's long overdue. The NCOs are deserving of a place they can call their own. It's not a lot, but they need to know we are supportive of them."