News: Cherry Point SMP flourishes through command participation
Story by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom
MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — The leaders of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14 are among many supporters who encourage their Marines to take advantage of the Single Marine Program.
Each squadron aboard Cherry Point has SMP representatives whose job is to be the voice of the single members of that unit. The Marines and sailors designated to be representatives attend monthly meetings and inform the SMP council of what their units would like to see offered.
MALS-14 representative Sgt. Simon Price said the SMP has gained its strength from the support of the command groups aboard the air station. He feels the SMP benefits the single Marines on a day-to-day basis by introducing fun events and volunteer opportunities.
Price said the SMP is an escape for single Marines with his squadron and aboard Cherry Point and is important in getting them out of their barracks rooms and into the community.
Lt. Col. Ryan G. Goulette, the commanding officer of MALS-14, believes involvement in the program is important and feels it helps prevent disciplinary issues in the unit.
"The single Marines are a very important demographic of the Marine Corps and they should get recognition for their hard work," said Goulette. "I tell all my sections if we have a Marine who wants to go to an event then they will be allowed to go. I'd rather have a large group of my Marines out at a free concert in Raleigh for a work day, than run the risk of losing these Marines to poor decisions."
Over the last six months, the involvement of Marines and Sailors in the SMP has tripled and Jen Krivohlavy, the SMP coordinator for Cherry Point, credits a lot of that to the support from the command groups all over the air station.
"I just started attending these events through the SMP and it has been more than I could have asked for," said Lance Cpl. Todd Lamb, an aviation electrician with MALS-14. "The SMP coordinator pushes to get us Marines and Sailors the opportunities we want. They have something for everyone throughout the program."
The SMP offers many events every week to include, Texas Hold'em Poker tournaments, pool tournaments, weekly volunteer opportunities with Bangert Elementary School and the New Port, N.C. animal shelter.
For its next event, the SMP will return to Morehead City, July 17, to attend a Morehead City Marlins game.