Maj. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg
Fort Bliss Commanding General
Volunteering has long been the cornerstone of the Army family. Since the days of Molly Pitcher and the first Soldiers, volunteering has been a means for sustaining our Army.
There are many reasons why people volunteer, but the most valuable experience is to help someone in need. Recognizing all that is going on in our nation, the fact that we are engaged across the full spectrum, from civil operations to combat operations, has required the Army to increase functionality to be more effective and neighbors helping neighbors has become a standard for our nation.
The Army Volunteer Corps is a new way of thinking about volunteering and volunteers within the Army. This program encompasses all volunteers and the organizations that use volunteers. The great thing is that everyone has the same goal. They are people who want to contribute to the Army, to Soldiers and their family members.
The intent of the AVC is to make a positive impact in our world by promoting and strengthening volunteer efforts throughout the community.
At Fort Bliss we have a very active relationship with the local partners and the AVC program works with agencies on and off post in support of a better community through education, mentoring, disaster preparedness and morale building.
There are many benefits to being a volunteer. First and foremost, it just feels good to help someone who is in need. Secondly, it’s an opportunity to gain new skills and job specific training. It also allows for improved mental and physical health; meeting new people and building confidence.
Another great benefit to Soldiers is a program recently implemented by the Army where Soldiers who receive the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal can also obtain 15 promotion points.
The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal was established in 1993 to recognize members of the Armed Forces who perform outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained direct and consequential nature.
To qualify for the MOVSM a service members volunteer service must meet the following requirements: Be to the civilian community, to include the military family community; Be significant in nature and produce tangible results; Reflect favorably on the military service and the Department of Defense; and, Be of a sustained and direct nature.
The MOVSM is intended to recognize exceptional community support over time and not a single act or achievement. Further, it is intended to honor direct support of community activities.
Becoming a volunteer is as easy as signing up. There are many options for volunteering to include Child and Youth Services sports programs, Army Family Team Building trainers and private organizations on the installation such as Red Cross and USO. Additionally, there are non-profit organizations in the city that need the assistance of caring Soldiers and family members.
The AVC office located at 2494 Ricker Road is a one stop shop for recruitment, referral, recognition and professional development. You can get a list of opportunities, manage your volunteer records, and sign up for opportunities on or off post. The Fort Bliss AVC also provides professional development classes for those who utilize volunteers in their organization or agencies, and for those who want to know about volunteer management.
As an Army and an installation, I urge you all to get involved.
This weekend is a good time to get started. Saturday marks the 19th annual Make a Difference Day. It’s the one day out of the year when the entire nation joins forces to contribute to those who are less fortunate.
Fort Bliss is recognizing Make a Difference Day with the Fort Bliss Army Ready Rally from 9 a.m. to noon on Slater Road. Some of the projects will benefit the Junior Enlisted Family Center, the American Red Cross, Operation Santa Clause and the Thrift Store. For more information, call 568-1132.
I’ll leave you with this thought:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead. Serving the Nation!