USO Futenma Center Manager Celebrates 15 Years of Service with the USO

Camp Foster, OKINAWA, Japan. During his 15-year tenure with United Service Organizations (USO), William Stanley provided exemplary service to the organization. His dedication and commitment to serving military members are unmatched. Throughout this time, Will and his team were key figures in helping service members cope with the effects of being away from home, providing an inviting and comforting place to connect, relax, and recharge and organizing events that foster relationships and community. By celebrating Will’s 15th anniversary at the USO, we honor the staff and volunteers who continue to sustain and strengthen the USO mission for generations.

Will entered the Marine Corps in August 2000 by attending boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, graduating in November 2000. Upon graduation from Marine Combat Training and Traffic Management School, Ft. Eustis, Virginia, he transferred to the 3rd Force Service Support Group (now called 3 Marine Logistics Group) in Okinawa, Japan. After several commands and one combat tour in Al Asad, Iraq, Will separated from the Marine Corps and started working for USO Okinawa. “The transition from being an active-duty Marine, and having utilized the USO as a service member, to working for the USO and supporting my brothers, sisters, and their families was like a dream come true,” says William Stanley, USO Futenma Center Manager. “I still got to be a part of the Military community and give back. I love being part of the USO Okinawa Team, working with such a dynamic team, and learning from a great group of leaders!”

Will began his USO journey in 2007 as the Duty Manager for USO Kadena and promoted to Programs Coordinator for USO Okinawa in June 2008. A few years later, Will stepped into the Center Manager position for USO Schwab, and in 2017, he became the Center Director for USO Futenma and Kinser. Under his leadership, USO Kinser increased brand awareness and customer loyalty, establishing two full-time positions. In 2019, Will managed the center renovation at USO Futenma and continued to be the Senior Center Manager for our service members at MCAS Futenma and Fort Buckner. “William Stanley, aka Paddy, is a great human being and USO leader,” says J. Phil VanEtten, USO Okinawa Area Director. Throughout his career with the USO, Stanley has demonstrated enthusiasm, passion, and commitment to helping our service members deployed overseas. His ability to connect deployed troops with their families is extraordinary, and he has gone out of his way to ensure those visiting our USO centers feel at home. “He leads with his heart and wears it on his sleeve. His focus on our service members and their families is quite impressive. I never have to worry about him doing the right thing for them. He leads from the front, and if any staff needs to stay longer to complete our mission, he is the first to volunteer to remain at work. For the last 15 years, he always places the needs of others ahead of his own. He’s just that kind of man. We are so lucky to have him at the helm of USO MCAS Futenma.”

Will is an invaluable asset and selfless leader at USO Futenma. He leads with distinction and passion, creating dynamic teams and inspiring USO staff and volunteers to reach their fullest potential. Their ability to connect and strengthen service members through mission delivery is unparalleled. “I love expressing my gratitude and support towards the service members and acknowledging them as individuals other than the rank they wear and the branch of service they are connected to,” says Christi Brent, USO Futenma Field Programs Manager. “I love to hear when patrons say they come into the center because they feel welcomed, and it feels like their second home. Collaborating with Will has been nothing less than amazing! His knowledge, guidance, patience, and warm demeanor are matchless compared former work experiences. He allows my creativity to be expressed freely and is supportive not only of my programs but of my professional development too.” Will and USO Futenma have set a tremendous example of leadership and service through their commitment to the USO mission. “I come from a military family, and it wasn’t easy changing schools and making new friends,” says Alicia Nichols, USO Futenma Center Operations Specialist. “I think because of my personal experience, I know how to engage with military spouses and children and how I can help make their stay here on Okinawa more welcoming. Will has jumped through hoops for the service members to support them in any way; sometimes, we stayed all night to provide the Marines a place to stay and a hot, homecooked meal. I can say that Will is the greatest manager I have worked with, and he will do anything to support the Marines and Soldiers no matter our situation.”

Will has genuinely impacted the USO and all those involved in it. He is known for his excellent work ethic, outstanding teamwork, and, most notably, the friendship he provided so many of us over the years. “Back when I first started working at the USO in Okinawa, Will was one of the first staff members to welcome me on board during my first big event at the USO Carnival and Flea Market,” says Henry Hughes, USO Okinawa Area Operations Manager. “While I was overwhelmed with the tremendous responsibility of organizing and running this significant event, William Stanley stepped in to help. He shared his experience, offered advice, and even rolled up his sleeves to provide a helping hand during the after-action clean-up when others had left. Will continues to be that type of person. You can depend on him to be there, providing support no matter how difficult the task is.”

Will and the USO Futenma have provided model service to military families for years. Staff and volunteers tirelessly have strengthened these connections and supported every individual’s needs, regardless of their circumstances. “This year marks 20 years that I’ve been in the Marine Corps, and in that entire time, I have never seen any USO support the Marines the way that Will and the Futenma USO do it,” says Sergeant Major Justin Park of Headquarters and Tactical Air Command Center of Marine Air Control Group-18. “Any event that (Stanley) put on, word got out quickly that it would be worthwhile. His personal touch, working overtime to ensure the meal was just proper, smoking brisket and barbeque, and helping to prepare chow the night before all contributed to that. He was quick to praise and always pointed to his volunteers as the reason for success each time.” Sergeant Major Park explains, “My billet has many opportunities for Professional Military Education and morale-building events. Mr. Stanley was always quick to produce something to add or a twist on an idea he could bring to make it memorable. This is important in a place like Okinawa, where Marines are often away from home for the first time in a place across the world from their family. I cannot imagine what it would be like on this base without the Futenma USO. In 20 years, I have never even given much thought to all that the USO does and offers because of the demands of Marine Corps life. I would never have thought that out in Okinawa at this stage of my career that I would have seen how one person as the Center Manager could make such a difference for the first time. Many others can attest to the same, and it has been our pleasure to know him. We appreciate his work ethic and for remaining Semper Fidelis.”

Seeing someone demonstrate such dedication over such a long time is truly inspirational. Will describes his favorite memory of supporting service members and their families all over Okinawa as designing new facilities to provide first-class service and hospitality to our military community. “It is hard to pinpoint one,” says Stanley. “But If I had to, it would probably be when I had the honor to work on the new USO Schwab project, designing a brand-new Center that thousands of service members will utilize and the refresh/remodel of USO Futenma! To have had the opportunity and honor to work on both projects to benefit and support the service members and their families for years to come.”

The beacon of hope for those who have served our country, Will continues to offer compassion, understanding, and support to service members, families, staff, and volunteers. He reminds us of the connection to something larger than ourselves – community. His work continues to embody the mission of the USO and helps make our world a better place. We are fortunate to have Will on our side and honored to celebrate this remarkable milestone with him.

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