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Second Vandenberg volunteer competition

With the start of the fourth quarter, base leadership has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet in a community service challenge to all base personnel. As of Oct. 1, units are encouraged to generate as many community service hours as possible through Dec. 12, with the winning unit receiving base-wide recognition and bragging rights.
(U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/ Released)

With the start of the fourth quarter, base leadership has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet in a community service challenge to all base personnel. As of Oct. 1, units are encouraged to generate as many community service hours as possible through Dec. 14, with the winning unit receiving base-wide recognition and bragging rights. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/ Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- With the start of the fourth quarter, leadership has issued the challenge once again for base personnel to compete in the second iteration of the Vandenberg volunteer competition, Oct. 1 through Dec. 14. Units are encouraged to document their volunteer hours, with the winning unit receiving recognition and bragging rights.

This event is meant to bring units together and serve as a documenting tool to focus on the base's community and volunteer engagement.

"Last year was the first year we did the competition base wide and we had a lot of success," said Master Sgt. Jim Desgrange, Airman Leadership School commandant. "There were more than 4,000 hours of volunteer time accumulated and recorded during the event."

Now that the competition is on its way to becoming an annual event, Desgrange is seeking ways to streamline the process for all parties involved, as well as keep things balanced.

"This year we are going to have a team to help with collecting and keeping track of the hours," said Desgrange. "Most of the hours poured in toward the end. I was hard pressed to keep up with it all. Last year the Civil Engineer Squadron won the competition, beating Security Forces by almost 100 points, which wasn't a lot. During most of the competition it appeared as if Security Forces was winning because units were still becoming accustomed to turning in hours at the end of every week. It makes it a little more balanced when every unit can see how the other units are doing."

The competition fosters esprit de corps among units, and also helps showcase the volunteer opportunities available for base personnel.

"Team V and the tenant units have a very competitive spirit, and I know there are tons of people volunteering daily, we just don't hear about it," said Desgrange. "You see so many stories about negative events happening, and this is a way to highlight some positive events, as well as providing some motivation for units to document it." 

Aside from harnessing the competitive nature of base personnel, the competition helps set people up for success, and challenges them to be more than they think they can be.

"Initiatives like the annual Community Service Competition are great means for Airmen to get together for a worthy cause and give back to the local community," said Senior Master Sgt. Andre Wilson, 30th Space Communications Squadron superintendent. "Not only in a fun way, but also in a way that builds camaraderie among Airmen, by encouraging them to team up and challenge other squadrons. What better way to cultivate the bonds we have with each other than to embrace the whole person concept by means of volunteering together. Ultimately everyone benefits, the individual Airman through making a difference, the unit and installation by being visible in the local community, and the local community by receiving the support it requires."

For more information on volunteer opportunities contact Master Sgt. Desgrange, at 805-606-5595