GROTON, Conn. – Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London received honorable mention for the Personal Excellence Partnership Flagship Award of 2019 for its Sailors’ efforts in community service, Feb. 4.
Each year, the Navy recognizes commands engaged in exemplary volunteer community service activities that promote academics, life skills and civic education for youth through presentation of the Personal Excellence Partnership Flagship Award.
“It’s a really big deal to be seen on that kind of global level,” said Miranda Chapman, school liaison officer assigned SUBASE New London. “For us to go above and beyond and to be recognized for all the great things we do in the community, the way we give back, support our local community and the way they support us.”
SUBASE New London always encourages their Sailors to volunteer and participate in the community in which they live and work.
“One of the big things that we’re trying to work on is how we can better access some of our younger Sailors and get them out of their barracks rooms and into the community to volunteer,” said Chapman.
SUBASE New London gives Sailors the opportunity to volunteer at multiple events such as park clean ups, running for a cause, parades, feeding kids before they start school and participating in different school events.
One school event Sailors participated in was the Catherine Kolnaski Magnet School’s (CKMS) annual Invention Convention in which students created devices to solve real-world problems. Sailors volunteered as judges to evaluate the student’s science projects.
"I thought it was an excellent way to take young people and encourage them to not only invent but to improve upon things that we take for granted," said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Cameron Weber, assigned to Naval Submarine Support Center Medical onboard SUBASE New London. "The children were eager to speak on what they created. One of the inventions that stuck out to me was a contraption that devised an interesting way to feed dogs that ensured that they wouldn't over eat. It was a fun time and I would volunteer for something like this anytime.”
Another school event Sailors participated in was Groton Rocks, a program spearheaded by a powerful collaboration of community members that recognizes elementary school students who excel in areas of behavior, attitude, kindness, helpfulness and support toward others.
"It was something to recognize kids who went above and beyond what the rest of the kids, doing the right thing for the right reason, when nobody is looking,” said Derek Robertson, Groton Police Investigator. “The Navy has been a big help with the pride they bring as well, especially for the Navy kids.”
The Navy Community Service Program encourages and expands involvement of Navy volunteers in the communities in which they live and work. Its goal is to promote volunteerism and community service between Navy personnel and local communities.
“Community service is so important,” said SUBASE New London Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Moore. “It's what helps feed and house the less fortunate, keeps our blood banks stocked, cares for the elderly, provides recreation and beautification in our neighboring towns, and helps improve youth fitness and education.”
Anyone who would like to volunteer for similar community events can learn more by talking to their chain of command or departmental community service coordinator.