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This page is devoted to the management of volunteer programs at the military level, including information for all branches of the armed services.

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~ August 2005~ Topics
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Honorary Commanders Program

A unique volunteer program that those of you living near a military installation might be interested in is the Honorary Commanders program. Though not all installations have one, many bases have long had such organizations that pair civilian community leaders with military commanders assigned to an adjacent installation.

The program is designed to encourage an exchange of ideas, experiences and friendship between key members of the local civilian community and the military community. The joint effort tends to enhance an already-supportive relationship between the base and the community, increase military involvement in civic endeavors and organizations and make the members of our local communities feel like a real part of the team.

Typically a program like this will grow as word spreads about the fun these Honorary Commanders are having with their commanders and units. The Honorary Commanders support their assigned commanders by attending official and social activities, but also by serving as a personal link between the unit and the local community. They're treated to base visits, simulator rides, and VIP treatment at dinners and ceremonies. In turn they include military members in their own activities, many of which include volunteering for community projects. Honorary Commanders come from throughout the community - they're doctors, company presidents, restaurant owners, retired military, school principals, and sheriff deputies.

Commanders treat this program as a very, very small way to say thanks for the support - for these very special volunteers the "Support Our Troops" ribbon magnets should start with "We."

Judy Morrow is an analyst and writer, employed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. She has more than 25 years of volunteer experience and 5 years experience as Installation Volunteer Coordinator and Relocation Assistance Manager. She also does consulting, writing and workshop presentations. To contact Judy, email her at: Judy.Morrow@edwards.af.mil.

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