HQMC (MR), QUANTICO, Va. — Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family PolicyRobert L. Gordon IIImet with senior staff members of the Morale, Welfare, Recreation and Business Operations Division on April 19, 2011 to discuss Marine Corps programs.
During the meeting, Gordon was briefed on the status of the Marine Corps Exchange system, temporary lodging facilities, recreation and Semper Fit programs, Centralized Support Services, and plans to ensure that Marine and their families continue to have access to the best available programs.
After the meeting, Gordon presented coins and Certificates of Appreciation to Marine Corps personnel who assisted with development of DOD-wide initiatives benefiting all Services. The initiatives involved in development and fielding of the Morale Satellite Communication Package to forward-deployed troops in Afghanistan, development of the DoD Online Library Program, and the Tutor.com initiative. Those receiving certificates for their work on the Morale Satellite Communications Packages included Josh Montgomery, the program manager, Jose Burges, who designed and built the systems, and George Robertson, who coordinated the contracting actions. Those receiving certificates for the Online Library Program and the Tutor.com initiative included Cynthia Shipley, General Library Program Manager and Lucinda Lorei, Information and Referral Program Manager, and Nancy Knowles who coordinated the contracting actions.
The Morale Satellite Communication Packages, nicknamed "Cheetahs," are auto-locating portable satellite communications terminals equipped with up to six laptops, two VoIP phones and a router to provide free internet access. Cheetahs can be set up or taken down by the unit in about 20 minutes and can run off of a Humvee battery or generator. The Marine Corps started the program about two years ago to fill a communication gap for forward-deployed Marines. After the initial success of the program, the Office of Military Community and Family Policy funded an additional 35 units in 2009 for Marine Corps, Army and Air Force use. In 2010, U.S. Forces Afghanistan funded an additional 100 units bringing the total number of units in theater to 133.
The DoD Online Library provides Active Duty and family members 24/7/365 free download of audio and e-books, access to up-to-date electronic data bases for recreation, education and career support. The online tutoring program provided via a contract with Tutor.com, provides one-on-one academic assistance to military personnel and their families and has proven to be a critical deployment support program.
After the awards ceremony the group had lunch at the Clubs of Quantico, then toured the newly renovated MCB Quantico Marine Corps Exchange and visited other Quality of Life program facilities.
For more information about the Morale, Welfare, Recreation and Business Operations Division or Marine Corps Community Services go to www.usmc-mccs.org or call Bryan Driver at 703-432-2272.