News: 'Serving single but not alone' – Miramar hosts SMP Conference
Story by Pfc. Raquel Barraza
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – The 13th annual Single Marines Program Conference was hosted by Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Aug. 20 through 25.
The Single Marine Program, which began in 1995, focuses mainly on three objectives: the quality of life for Marines living in the barracks, recreational events for Marines and community involvement.
“Each year we come together to see what all installations are doing in their Single Marine Programs,” said Michael Brown, Headquarters Marine Corps SMP manger.
This year’s theme, Serving Single but Not Alone, is concentrating on Marines coming together to make a different in the community or installation. Council members of the SMP from Marine Corps installations across the country and from Japan expressed issues with senior enlisted advisers and how they plan to resolve them.
“We are listening to these Marines and taking care of these Marines,” said Brown. “That is one of the goals of this program that these Marines voices are being heard.”
Special guests, including the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, came out to speak at the conference and share their appreciation of all the work the SMP coordinators and single Marines do.
“We are put on this earth to make a different,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps. “You, this program, the single marine program, you are an instrument of positive change. Don’t stop.”
The conference has many events including recreational events, a community service project and presentations that the SMP plans to do in the upcoming year.
“It’s fun but it is also a learning experience for the Marines,” said Brown.
Marines from all the different installations enjoyed all the involvement of the Marines and SMP coordinators of Miramar who hosted this event.
“It is great to come out here and see that the Single Marine Program is so big out here,” said Lance Cpl. Estephania De Leon, SMP vice president for Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, and a Dallas native.
To close out the conference the Marines and SMP coordinators ate at a free cook out held at the Officer’s Club. SMP coordinators and Marines from the other installations thanked Miramar for all the work they did to put on this conference.