JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston area has been designated as one of eight "Great American Defense Communities" for its support to service members and families.
The honor was issued by the Association of Defense Communities on Jan. 17, according to Joint Base Charleston spokesman Marvin Krause.
The commander of Joint Base Charleston, Col. Rob Lyman, said the motto, "Famulus Omnis - Serving All," takes on special significance at Joint Base Charleston.
"It symbolizes the spirit of cooperation between our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, national security professionals, and service families," he said. "It reminds us every day of our joint commitment to our common mission-providing for the national security of our Republic. Here in the South Carolina Lowcountry that 'all' includes our local communities. Without the support of the Greater Charleston community, we could not accomplish our vital national security missions."
Some of the program criteria evaluated included community building and integration, support and collaboration, educational and employment opportunities and family support, Krause said. The Charleston RiverDogs baseball team's support of service members and their loved ones was one of the reasons listed for the Charleston region's recognition.
The team's efforts exemplify the strong bond the community has developed with the military families who call the region home. Additionally, community partners across the region regularly support installation award ceremonies, as well as many programs operated by Joint Base Charleston's Airman and Family Readiness Center and Fleet and Family Support Center.
The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce nominated the Joint Base Charleston community for the award.
"We are proud that the Lowcountry community has been honored and recognized as a Great American Defense Community this year by the Association of Defense Communities," Mary Graham, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce chief advancement officer, said. "This designation validates the many organizations and individuals who contribute their unwavering support to our service members, veterans and military families who live and serve in the Lowcountry."
The seven other communities honored as part of the Class of 2017 are: The Alamo - San Antonio Region, Texas; Christian County, Kentucky; Fort Hood - Central Texas region; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Maricopa County, Arizona; Sierra Vista, Arizona; and the Governments of Southeastern Connecticut.
Over the next six months, each community will host a local event recognizing its selection and celebrating the hard work and creativity of the individuals and organizations making their communities great places for service members and their families to live, Krause said.
These events will culminate in a special reception and a congressional breakfast during the Defense Communities National Summit in Washington, DC, from June 19 to June 21.