VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
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.
This is the first year that a base-wide volunteer competition has been conducted at Vandenberg.
"Sergeant Desgrange did this in his own unit last year and they generated a couple thousand hours of volunteer time," said Master Sgt. Joseph Williams, 30th Space Wing inspections planner. "It was very impressive to capture what folks were doing in a given year, and I thought it would be a great idea if we took that to the base level."
The competition fosters esprit de corps among units, and also helps showcase the volunteer opportunities available for base personnel.
"A lot of Airmen come right out of high school and into the military, and they may not know how to get involved, or they might be shy," said Williams. "We have a lot of people doing a lot of great volunteer work, but you don't know about it."
In the past, maximum participation has been limited by not knowing about volunteer events until it is too late.
"One of the things I want to do is to create a list of what's available, and have people use their imagination and add to it," said Master Sgt. Jim Desgrange, 14th Air Force NCO in charge of the requirements branch. "What can you create? What can you change? It's all about innovation."
Aside from harnessing the competitive nature of base personnel, the competition helps set people up for success.
"We always talk about the ways of achieving success, and one of the rules for success is to always give something back, and that really drives me personally," said Desgrange. "You will never do anything more worthwhile than to help a kid achieve something that they weren't able to achieve before."
For more information on volunteer opportunities contact Master Sgt. Desgrange, at 805-605-4600 or check out the Top 3 SharePoint site at, https://eis.afspc.af.mil/unit/30sw/home/TOP3/default.aspx