Navy Region Hawaii announces 2010 Navy Community Service Awards

Brister Thomas

Contributing Writer

Navy Region Hawaii has announced the recipients of the 2010 Community Service Awards. The awards honored eight commands. They were presented in five flag-ship sponsored categories in the following areas: personal excellence, health, safety and fitness, project good neighbor, campaign drug free and environmental stewardship.

In evaluating the commands’ community service involvement, consideration is given to how effective their community service programs are, who benefited from the command effort, measurable results, and if multiple organizations were incorporated.

Rear Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander, Navy Region Hawaii, offered his kudos to the awardees. “Congratulations to all who participated in these noteworthy efforts. My sincere appreciation for celebrating the American spirit by volunteering in the community to make a difference in the lives of others. They are truly ambassadors of the Navy’s core values of honor, courage, and commitment,” Smith said.

Capt. Ricks Polk, commanding officer of Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific (ATG MIDPAC), spoke about how they work community service into their command strategic plan because they consider the community as their family. “We have to prioritize in order to be able to react in a larger capacity. We are serving our family and our community for the greater good,” Polk said. ATG MIDPAC swept the awards by earning recognition in all flagship categories for a small shore command.

“We have a great group of volunteers here. Everyone is involved and our command works together to implement a variety of projects and opportunities to volunteer so that everyone can find their niche,” Polk explained.

He also described his own involvement. “I got a chance to share what it’s like to be in the Navy with some students during one of our projects and it energizes you because they are all so young and vibrant,” he said.

ATG MIDPAC earned the award in the personal excellence and health, safety and fitness categories through their efforts in promoting youth health by providing leadership in a variety of community events that highlight physical activity, teamwork and self-worth. They support activities such as Special Olympics, Honolulu Triathlon, Naval Station’s Fitness and Wellness Fair, Honolulu Marathon Aid Station, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure. ATG MIDPAC personnel regularly serve as coaches for soccer, softball, volleyball and swimming.

Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Tedrick Horton, who sponsored the partnership with Iroquois Elementary school and assisted with Aiea Elementary School while the USS Reuben James (FFG 57) was deployed, spoke about why every service member should get involved in volunteering.

“There is a lot of negative influence in the world. I like to help out because I can put [something] positive in the kids’ lives that is filled with so much bad stuff,” Horton said.

Horton works with Special Olympics and other events, and said that he gets involved because he feels that he is “just here to do my part.”

Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC) earned the Project Good Neighbor for medium shore commands through its partnership with Navy Hale Keiki School.

FISC has sponsored events for the 200-plus students while also participating in physical property improvement efforts and supporting projects such as Fisher House, recycling and more.

“FISC Pearl Harbor and Navy Hale Keiki School have joined in a rewarding educational partnership that is highlighted by weekly visits to the school by military and civilian volunteers,” stated Cmdr. Luis Trevino from FISC.

“During these visits, FISC personnel can be found reading to students, tutoring, leading the youngsters in physical education classes, conducting drug-free assemblies, doing yard work, painting, and generally serving as models of citizenship and patriotism,” Trevino stated.

Shari Gulledge, director of Navy Hale Keiki School, discussed the positive influence of the partnership.

“FISC has made a substantial impact upon the school, its staff and students. The service members from FISC graciously donate their time and talents to the school and community. They have truly become part of our ‘ohana,'” Gulledge explained.

The following nine commands earned 13 awards this year.

Personal Excellence went to ATG MIDPAC, Naval Computer & Tele communications Area Master Station (NCTAMS), Pacific and Mobile Diving and Salvage Team One (MDSU-1). ATG MIDPAC and MDSU-1 also earned award for Health, Safety and Fitness. Campaign Drug Free was awarded to ATG MIDPAC and U.S. Pacific Command, Navy and Marine Corps Element (USPACOM NMCE). Project Good Neighbor went to ATG MICPAC, Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC) and USPACOM JIOC and HSL-37. The final flagship for environmental stewardship went to ATG MIDPAC and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH).

Ho’okele will feature the additional award winning commands in the next issue of the Ho’okele.

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Category: News