Guam Commands Win 2015 Flagship Awards

Story Number: NNS160406-02Release Date: 4/6/2016 10:04:00 AM
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By Tanya M. Champaco Mendiola, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

ASAN, Guam (NNS) -- Three U.S. Navy commands in Guam were recognized for their volunteerism by winning Navy Community Service Program (NCSP) Flagship Awards for 2015.

The winning commands were U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, which competed in the large overseas command category, Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1 Det. Guam, in the small sea command category, and USS Frank Cable (AS 40), in the large sea command category.

U.S. Naval Hospital Guam won three of the flagships: Environmental Stewardship; Health, Safety and Fitness; and Campaign Drug Free. From July 2014 to June 2015, the competition period, hospital personnel committed more than 16,000 volunteer hours assisting non-profit organizations focused on youth and the homeless.

USNH Guam Commanding Officer Capt. Jeannie B. Comlish said in addition to patient and family care that Sailors perform in their duties, they continue to go above and beyond in engaging and sharing their time with the communities of the island.

"The fact that we have won so many awards shows that our Sailors are truly all in and understand the significance of 'One Guam,'" she said. "It makes me very proud to know that just getting the job done isn't enough for our Sailors. They want to do everything they can to truly be a part of the island."

Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/AW) Alwin S. Bunying, who heads the hospital's volunteer program, added that while it is an honor to be recognized, giving back to the community was the most rewarding result.

Hospital volunteers assisted with several community service organizations. Some of the most memorable were working with the Guam Juvenile Drug Court, the Adopt-A-Road program beautification project and on the annual Liberation Day Parade float with their sister village, Agana Heights, he said.

"It allows for our Sailors to help the community and the local youths who will be the future of the island as well have a chance to learn our hosts' culture," Bunying said. "Winning the three flagships speaks volumes of the command's volunteerism. Collectively, it has been a team effort and in the end it is not about winning the awards. What matters most is that we have touched and enhanced someone's life as well as the community."

CRG-1 Det. Guam garnered first-place recognition in the Health, Safety and Fitness and Personal Excellence Partnership flagships. The group volunteered more than 2,400 hours during the competition period and was also awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award.

"It reflects really well on our Sailors' desire to be better citizens and neighbors and to be the best Navy ambassadors that they can be," said Cmdr. Brent Embry, CRG-1 Det. Guam's officer in charge. "I couldn't be more proud of my Sailors. They really worked hard and helped show how much we appreciate the people of Guam."

There are about 140 Sailors assigned to CRG-1 who participated in volunteer activities in Guam, including the local component of the National KidCare Photo ID Program, which has been held for the last two decades on island, as part of the national child safety and standardized photo identification initiative.

Chief Master-at-Arms (EXW/SW) Christopher Tyner who oversees the command's volunteer program said the awards show the Sailors' dedication and devotion to the community where they not only work, but also live.

"The people of Guam really make you feel like family," he said. "Every event we did this year we worked with local community. We didn't serve Guam, we served as a part of Guam."

Frank Cable won the large sea command category for the Personal Excellence Partnership Flagship program, dedicating more than 800 volunteer hours in the program that focused on educational partnerships between Navy commands and schools or youth service organizations.

The command's volunteers spent time mentoring students during school hours and in after-school programs and also participated in Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Guam.
Lt. Cmdr. Louis Lee, ship chaplain and head of the volunteer program, said while it is an honor to be recognized throughout the entire Navy in their respective category for their volunteerism, it is also a testament of their commitment to Navy core values.

"We did it because of our commitment to make a difference in our community," Lee said. "Winning this award is an affirmation of all the hard work our shipmates gave in the past year."

Each year, since the early 1990s, Navy commands worldwide have competed in the awards program, which promotes community engagement between Navy personnel and local communities where they serve and to develop naval leaders through the experience, according to the Commander, Navy Installations Command website.

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