As I mentioned in this column last month, I had a chance to talk to ADCS (AW) Jeff Reeder, Command Senior Chief at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach and Navy Munitions Command CONUS West Division regarding various matters. In the course of the conversation Jeff mentioned that there are two other commands on the Base that select SOQs but there are no programs in place to honor those sailors. No program! They receive a certificate from the command and a copy goes into their jacket. Senior Chief Reeder asked me whether we could add these other four sailors to our program. I said that I would bring it to the staff for consideration. This would add four SOQs to every quarter but no additional SOYs.
Our staff considered this option at our meeting on 5 June. Right now we give the SOQs memberships in AUSN, ANA or USNI; a Recognition Certificate; and gift certificates, plaques (USAA), coupons and gift bags from Fresh N Easy Grocery Stores.
What was proposed is that we continue to give Recognition Certificates, plaques and one year memberships without change to every SOQ. As for the coupons, gift certificates, and gift bags, we cut back and distribute what we get from the restaurants and F&E equitably to the sailors. Obviously each of the sailors would get a little less than what others have received in the past but they would still do OK.
The names of the “new” commands are as follows: Navy Operations Support Command (NOSC) Los Angeles and Coastal Riverine Squadron (CORIVRON) 11. Both of these units have a reservist base. They have both full time support (FTS) and selective reservists (SELRES) onboard. Coincidentally, I bought a coffee for one of the reservists yesterday. I did not get to talk to him but he looked odd in those camouflage colored fatigues.
The staff voted to add the extra commands and approved the resulting increased SOQs. So, from now on, at our luncheons in February, May, August and November we will be making awards to 8 Sailors, rather than 4. In closing I want to remind you of two things: the increase is based on your continued monetary support through the “Great Guys” contributions and the support of local restaurants and stores such as Crab Cooker, O’Malley’s, Hennessey’s, Beachwood BBQ, The Hangout, Yucatan Grill, Athens West and Fresh N Easy. Please continue your gifting and when you are having a drink or a meal at one of our supporting restaurants, mention the SOQ program and recognize their support by saying “thanks”!
Thank you from your staff and from the personnel at NWSSB.