Guam Navy Commands sweep Project Good Neighbor Award Overseas

by Alana Chargualaf
Joint Region Marianas

ASAN, Guam (Jan. 16, 2019) – Fueled by the spirit of inafa’måolek, which means “to make good,” the members of three Guam-based U.S. Navy commands were recently recognized by the Navy Community Service Program for their outstanding volunteer efforts within the island community.


Winning the 2018 Navy Project Good Neighbor Community Service Flag Award in the overseas command category were the service members and civilians of U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, U.S. Naval Base Guam and Commander, Submarine Squadron 15.


Garnering the award for the large overseas command category were the 202 volunteers of the naval hospital, who provided a total of 2,229 hours of community service engaging with their two sister villages and four sister schools.


“When our Sailors are out volunteering they’re interacting with the local community,” said USNH Guam Commanding Officer Capt. Maria Young. “This interaction forms bonds, builds trust and strengthens partnerships as they work together as a team.”


Young added that volunteer opportunities help Sailors understand the Navy’s mission and provides them leadership skills, growth and development.


“Sailors become role models and understand the value of working together to make the island a better place every day,” she said.


With 200 volunteers providing up to 2,000 community service hours, NBG took the medium overseas command category award. Because of their unique relationship with the local community, the base hosts several community events specifically tied to the island’s liberation and the history of the base, formerly known as Sumay village.


“The program helps to establish year-long projects and programs that celebrate military and local traditions and events,” said NBG Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Grimes. “This two-way sharing of culture and community service brings the local residents and military personnel together. I am proud of all the dedicated Sailors and civilians of this command who played a vital role in being good neighbors.”


The 51 volunteers of CSS-15 received the small overseas command category award with their contribution of 1,670 community service hours.


Command Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Christian Rivera expressed the volunteer work is beneficial to both the Sailors and the local population.


“The volunteer work completed by Commander, Submarine Squadron 15 builds and strengthens partnerships with our sister village of Inarajan, as well as the rest of the island,” he said. “Volunteering provides our Sailors with a sense of belonging and fellowship with the local population, which ultimately helps foster a thriving One Guam.”


Rivera added that volunteering also helps Sailors strengthen their interpersonal relationships at work and has an impact on their work ethic.

Each command’s volunteers, some alongside their family their members, devoted time to activities hosted by Guam’s village mayors offices, to include that of their designated sister village, such as parades and cultural celebrations including Liberation Day festivities; multiple school events, such as beautification projects, career days and science fairs; environmental initiatives, such as the International Coastal Cleanup and tree plantings; and goodwill activities in hand with organizations like Feds Feed Families, Habitat for Humanity, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Sugar Plum Tree, Inc.


Service members in Guam strive to continuously engage with the local community and improve the quality of life through such activities, as each opportunity to do so is valuable to fortifying partnerships and encouraging unity in support of the One Guam mission.


The Project Good Neighbor Award distinguishes the best year-round volunteer programs or special projects on shore, at sea, and overseas, that promote outreach activities that seek to bring hope to the community through humanitarian assistance.

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