August 21, 2014 --
Marines and civilian-Marines serving around Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany may take pride and passion in volunteering to better the surrounding community.
Pamela Jackson is one of the civilian-Marines who actively volunteers. Her current position as the community plans and liaison officer gives her the privilege of being the center of strengthening the relationship between the base and its nearby towns and cities.
“This position gives me the opportunity to introduce the community to base personnel and leadership, and at the same time enhance the base’s relationship with the community,” Jackson said.
Kent Morrison, executive director, MCLB Albany, highlighted the importance of the CPLO position.
“The CPLO is critical at all installations across our Marine Corps to ensure that we continue to build and maintain relationships with the communities that our bases and stations are located in,” he said. “She does this by managing a liaison network with all levels of federal, state and local government agencies as well as establishing and maintaining community outreach, engagement and partnerships.”
MCLB Albany’s leaders expressed the need for off-base service and the impact it will have on the community.
“We are in the military/civilian service, and as such, we come to serve, not to be served,” Col. Don Davis, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, said. “If we take our roles as servants outside of the base perimeter, we will make the world a better place. We have a tremendous amount of people with skills and talents to share through volunteerism. Our three C’s of country, corps and community reflect this commitment. As Marines we help and protect those who can’t do it themselves. Volunteers make a difference not only in the present, but also tomorrow and into the future.”
Although the CPLO leads in building relationships with the community, Marines and civilian-Marines have a major role in maintaining the relationships by volunteering.
Jackson talked about the importance of Marines volunteering.
“Marines volunteering helps strengthen the bond between the community and the military,” she said. “Part of the Marines’ mission is to go into war zones to defend their country; when they are home, their mission is to be a part of the community and taking care of the community they are a part of. Interacting with the community and making an impact is critical to the sustainability of the base.”
Volunteering is not only beneficial for the base’s mission, but also supportive for the community as Jackson explained the benefits of it.
“Volunteering gives Marines responsibility, a level of opportunity to teach kids and to learn about the role of being a leader,” she said. “It helps them to do their jobs better and pay a little more attention to detail while having care and concern for others. It teaches them leadership skills that are not taught in the classroom, a hands-on type of leadership.
“Not only do Marines benefit from the skills obtained from volunteering, but they can also accumulate volunteer hours and letters of appreciation that will make them eligible to earn the volunteer service badge attribution,” she added.
She advised Marines and civilian-Marines who want to get involved in the community to contact her for the rules and regulations of volunteering.
Jackson listed different volunteer programs that MCLB Albany participates in.
These programs include, Read Across America, Mentors in Action, youth sports coaching, Senior Citizen Prom escorts, Boy Scouts and JROTC mentorships.
Jackson has volunteered with some of the community events, and said as the CPLO it has given her the opportunity to fulfill her own personal desire of giving back to the community.
“Ever since I took this position, I decided whatever knowledge I receive, I will share it,” she said. “I’m passionate about giving back to my community to make it a better place to live, not just for me and my family, but for my family here on base.”
Jackson has received numerous nominations and civilian awards for her activities in the community. These awards include the Women’s History Award for the Department of Defense in 2010 and the National Image Award for DoD 2011. She has also been recognized by President Barack Obama and CNN for her own nonprofit organization, Youth Becoming Healthy, which was inspired by the loss of her only brother.
“Besides her immense knowledge of government and community programs and agencies, she has the personality to work with the diverse organizations that make up our community,” Morrison said. “She is also very well-liked and respected across the installation as well as in the community.”