Spotlight: Special Events Employee

robert rudolph: special events manager

Aaron Pylinski | community writer

With high profile acts like Staind’s Aaron Lewis, Lecrae, and more recently Adam Devine, MCCS is bringing plenty of top quality entertainment to MCAS Iwakuni. As the Special Events Program Manager, Mr. Bob Rudolph provides a service like no other. He considers it a privilege to bring a little taste of home to Iwakuni.

Bob is a 22-year retired Marine and has continued his service by engaging our community and the local populace with world class performances and events. He helmed the bases annual air show, Friendship Day, one of the most dynamic events in Japan and arguably the largest single-day air show in the world, for the past three years. Iwakuni has become more his home than an overseas assignment. For Bob, serving those who serve is more of a way of life rather than just a job.

“Everybody’s stationed a long way away from home, so I get the privilege of bringing them little pieces of home every once in awhile.”


How does your job at MCCS directly affect those serving and living on base?

My job is entertainment. Everybody is stationed a long way away from home and I get the privilege of bringing them little pieces of home every once in awhile That’s what Special Events does, we organize something like a festival or a big concert.

Tell us about the team you work with.

I’ve always had a great team. There’s Misa Kinjo, she’s the backbone of the operation. She takes care of the administrative work. Koji Takeuchi is our sound all-around warehouse and logistics guy. I also have Andre Young who’s new to the team, but he’s jumping in and started to control a lot of logistic issues.

Give us a brief history of your military service.

I spent 22 years in the Marine Corps. I retired as a Gunnery Sergeant in December of 2013, as a crash fire rescue man. I was basically a firefighter. I spent a few years in California, a few years in Texas, and the rest of my career was all overseas. I’ve spent about 12 of my 22 years overseas. Most of my overseas time was spent in Iwakuni except for three years in Okinawa.

How do you think your service helped you prepare for working at MCCS?

I know a lot about the military community and MCAS Iwakuni, especially since I spent so much time stationed here. Doing entertainment work is a bit like firefighting. There are no flames or heat, but there are always a lot of fires to put out.

What are your biggest accomplishments at MCCS and how did they impact the community?

I’ve been involved with Friendship Day along with the rest of the planning team for four years. It was basically turned off in 2014. Because of the construction on the installation, we weren’t supposed to have a Friendship Day until 2020, however, we only ended up skipping one year. Friendship Day is the biggest accomplishment for me. It’s one of the largest commercial events in Japan. It affects those of us on the installation as well as the community off station. I think it does impact the community mostly in a positive way.

Where’s home for you back in the United States?

I am originally from Saint Joseph, Minnesota. It’s just a small town of about 3,000 people, about 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

What do you miss most about being back home?

I haven’t been to the states in awhile. Honestly, when I go back I realized why I left. Iwakuni is my home now.

What are your best memories from living here and interacting with the local populace?

A couple of years ago we had the Boy Scout Jamboree come to Iwakuni. I had the opportunity to translate the handouts for the Iwakuni Tourism Office. It was a wonderful opportunity to work with the community off. Other memorable events include being a part of all of Friendship Day since retiring from the Marine Corps as well as the opening up of the new Atago Sports Complex. My job gives me a lot of opportunities to interact with community, which is pretty cool.

Looking forward, what do you hope to accomplish at MCCS?

I hope to continue to make things better every day here in Iwakuni. I think we get a little bit better with Friendship Day every year. We have a lot of people that come and go from Iwakuni on military orders, so the team is always ebbing and flowing. I’d like to continue to be the continuity for Special Events and one of the cornerstones that keeps it together.

What are some exciting activities coming up for the community that you can talk about?

Coming up, we have Friendship Day on May 5. We’re planning a music concert and car show at the Atago Sports Complex for the fall, we and are already in the planning process for the Marine Corps Ball. Also, if Armed Forces Entertainment offers more entertainment shows like music and comedian acts, we will take as many as we possibly can.