Special to MiltonLocal.com
Commander Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE) once again recognized Naval Air Station Whiting Field’s commitment to community service and partnerships with local organizations through the 2016 Personal Excellence Partnership Flagship Award. The command earned the award in the Medium Ashore category and will now go on to compete at the Navy-wide level.
The Flagship award program honors commands across the Navy for their volunteer service and selfless giving to their communities. Awards are presented in five areas: Personal Excellence Partnership; Health, Safety, and Fitness; Campaign Drug Free; Project Good Neighbor; and Environmental Stewardship.
The Personal Excellence Partnership award specifically recognizes the command which best forms partnerships with schools and youth service organizations with an emphasis on education as determined by the Commander, Navy Installations Command.
Volunteers for NAS Whiting Field supported several youth focused organizations throughout 2016 including: Big Brother and Big Sister, the Civil Air Patrol, Men in Action of Milton, and the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Additionally, Sailors provided assistance for numerous schools and educational events such as: East Milton Book Fair, Child Development Center’s Educational Classes, Fire Department Open House during Fire Prevention Month, Florida’s Literacy Week, Avalon Middle School’s Career Day, and many others.
In all, installation volunteers accounted for more than 5,000 hours of community assistance for these programs affecting thousands of youths in Santa Rosa County and the surrounding communities.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Johnson served as the volunteer coordinator for NAS Whiting Field, and helped to connect local organizations with the Sailors. His efforts ensured Sailors were able to support the community where they were most needed.
“It’s a difficult job, but very rewarding,” he said. “A lot of the places we go, they genuinely don’t have enough people to support the event. It is great to be able to help out.”
NAS Whiting Field Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Bahlau noted that being a good neighbor to the community is one of his top priorities and the volunteer spirit of the Sailors is a key element to establishing that relationship.
“Our service members make a long-lasting impression on our local youth through their volunteer efforts,” he said. “They truly make a difference in the community and I couldn’t be prouder of my team.”