Navy Solicits "Spirit of Hope" Award Nominations

Story Number: NNS090226-05Release Date: 2/26/2009 4:21:00 PM
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From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy is looking for an individual or organization that embodies the core values of the men and women of the military: duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, and integrity for nomination for the Spirit of Hope awards.

Since 2005, the Navy has nominated one outstanding individual or support organization that epitomizes the values of the late Bob Hope to receive the distinguished Spirit of Hope Award.

"The individual or organization nominated must have contributed selflessly to the improvement of Sailors' quality of life for an extended period of time," said Millie King, program analyst, Personal Readiness and Community Support Branch, Chief of Naval Personnel who is coordinating Navy's nominations. "Nominations should describe extraordinary achievement and contributions during 2008."

Originally commissioned by the USO, the Spirit of Hope Award was inspired by Bob Hope's dedication to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Since 1997, the award has been formally presented by the Wiegand Foundation, Inc. in an annual ceremony held in the Washington area. The Spirit of Hope Award is open to active duty, Reserve, veteran and civilian Navy employees or organizations. Members of the civilian community or nongovernmental organizations supporting the Navy and embodying Navy core values are also eligible.

James H. Gaff, Jr., a World War II Normandy invasion Navy landing craft coxswain, was the Navy's first nominee and recipient of the award in 2005. Gaff spent a lifetime working with the Navy League in Florida to make it a model organization.

The Navy's most recent recipient for 2007 was Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Giovanni D. Balingit nominated by Fleet Readiness Center Southwest. He was recognized for his coordination of numerous volunteer efforts and the countless community service hours he has dedicated throughout his Navy career, significantly contributing to Sailor's quality of life.

"These individuals followed in the footsteps of Mr. Hope's service to the spiritual, social, welfare, education, and entertainment needs of our Sailors," said King.

Nomination packages for the 2008 award must be submitted by commands no later than April 30 to Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education) through OPNAV 135D. Detailed information can be found in NAVADMIN 032/09 or visiting
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