JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
The Navy Operational Support Center Charleston was awarded the 2014 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness award during a ceremony held at the Pentagon Feb. 27, 2015.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Richard O. Wightman, Jr., presented the award to Cmdr. Steven Jones, NOSC Charleston commander in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.
The Reserve Family Readiness Award recognizes one National Guard unit and one Reserve unit from each service. The units nominated for the award are judged based on specific criteria, such as, innovative programs that support unit mission and family readiness, and efforts that build community support.
The NOSC Charleston recognized the need to provide further support for their Sailors returning from deployments and created the Warrior Club. The Warrior Club gathers on drill weekends and provides continued support and a safe environment where Sailors can openly discuss any and all issues. A qualified counselor is on hand for any needed professional assistance and guidance. This concept has now spread to NOSC Wilmington, N.C., through the transfer of a Warrior Club member to that NOSC. NOSC Wilmington now has its own thriving Warrior Club program.
NOSC Charleston has also found ways to contribute to the local community through outreach activities. Youth athletic coaching for Joint Base Charleston and the City of North Charleston public Schools, as well as participating in events put on by the Charleston Navy League are just two of many. NOSC Charleston members also volunteer their time and support annual homeless assistance programs.
"I am very proud of our Sailors at NOSC Charleston," said Rear Adm. Eric Coy Young, commander, Navy Reserve Command. "Their innovative family readiness efforts are at the forefront of direct support to Sailors, both away and at home. They continue to show that the care and handling of both Sailors and their families throughout the mobilization process is their number one priority. They are a true example of excellence, and an essential part of mission readiness."
Established in 2000, the DoD Reserve Family Readiness Awards Program recognizes the top unit-level family readiness program in each of the Reserve components. Family readiness programs are particularly important as the United States relies on significant numbers of Reserve members to serve in critical locations worldwide. Family readiness has proven to be a key component of mission readiness and these robust family readiness programs have enhanced the deployability of Guard and Reserve units. They represent a vital link in the support networks for our Reserve families.
During the ceremony, Wightman expressed his gratitude to the members of all the Reserve Components.
"To these unsung heroes, we owe much," Wightman said. "They have given their time, freely, without any guarantees of accolades or reimbursements, yet they sacrifice their evenings, weekends, and time with family in the selfless service of others."
The winning units will receive a commemorative plaque and a cash award to enhance the unit's family support programs.
Trisha Gallaway, 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs contributed to this article.