An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Commentaries : Display
NEWS | May 19, 2014

Heritage and communications

By Master Chief Petty Officer Joseph Gardner Naval Support Activity command master chief

The heritage of the military in Charleston is amazing; from the "H. L. Hunley" preservation project, Patriots Point and Riverfront Park, to the history of Joint Base Charleston and its mission partners, there is a never ending list of things to see and learn about what makes, and has made Charleston a great military town for many years.

I was stationed at the old Navy base 20 years ago and to drive down there now and see some of the buildings that are still there just amazes me.

One of the things I like best about living in the LowCountry is the involvement of and the communication with the local community to ensure the rich history of Charleston is captured and maintained for the future.

All this wouldn't be possible unless several people had the willingness to talk and communicate. Sometimes it seems this is one of the biggest obstacles for folks these days. The natural reluctance to change and the differences in communicating can wreak havoc on all the great history of the area and the future of the Joint Base.

After being stationed at here for almost a year now, I think the majority of the folks here see the opportunity to add to the history of Charleston and make this a great chapter for the book.

One definition of heritage according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is "something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor or something possessed as a result of one's natural situation." According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of communication is "to act or process of using words sounds, signs or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc. to someone else."

As we all know there a deep sense of history and heritage among all the various services around the Joint Base, and that sense of heritage is based on helping others and communicating to doing the right thing.

With the ever-growing use of smart phones, tablets and other "smart" devices, the trend of people not talking to others and instead texting, even in the same room, is taking over a key function of society. While I think there is a place for the electronic communication, I also believe folks should have to talk to each other.

I went to out to dinner over the weekend and it was interesting to watch the families that don't talk as they wait for their food. Most pull out a smart device of some sort and start looking at the various sites they normally look at. The kids are on I-pads or their own smart phones as well. If you are a people watcher you will understand what I am talking about. Some of this may be the fact that some folks don't like confrontation and are pretty reserved and hesitant to start a discussion that can lead to possible conflict.

Sometimes it seems there just needs to be a person willing and wanting to talk to break this mold that is being formed. There also needs to be understanding on both sides of the issue and figure out a happy medium for everyone so the next chapter of the history book called Charleston can be written.

Granted in my 26 years of service, I have seen and been privileged to witness a lot of heritage and have talked with folks that have a deep sense of heritage and were great communicators and understood their position and the importance to maintain the heritage and communicate for the greater good of the service and military as a whole. One of the most interesting parts of the future will be watching all the young service members that will be around in 20 years taking over and carrying on the traditions and heritage that we communicate to them today.