week as the Charleston area saw Sailors everywhere they looked. Although the highlight of Navy week was the Blue Angels, Sailors from all commands took part
events designed to showcase the U.S. Navy to the American public. In the case of Charleston's Navy week, the activities allowed Sailors to show their hometown folks what we do everyday and it
Sailors visited local schools where students were able to hitch a ride in the Navy's Flight Simulator and were treated to the Navy Region Southeast rock band "Pride". Other Sailors read to children and helped them dec- orate gifted white hats while a team of Sailors participated in a Habitat for Humanity project.
The city returned the hospital- ity as Sailors were able to attend matches at the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament and were
But, it was the Blue Angels that captured the attention of every television and radio station as they roared into town on Wednesday. By Thursday, when the Blues took to the sky for their first practice run, the excitement started to build and by Friday afternoon's
onlookers were already in place to catch an early glimpse of the show.
Above: NC1(SW/EXW) Michael Butterfield, from Naval Recruiting Station North Charleston, helps six-year old Mekhi Johnson dunk a basketball at the Family Circle Cup Citizens of the World Event. Left: The Blue Angels scream past USS Yorktown last Saturday.
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er, Charleston's Navy Week was a resounding success. Although all eyes were on the Blue Angels' per- formances during the weekend, there were many other events all around the Lowcountry that didn't gamer as much attention, but were nevertheless, huge in the public perception of who we are.
Warrior team stepped up to the plate and made things happen. By putting on our your best uniforms and stepping outside the confines of our base, we worked construc- tion with Habitat for Humanity, visited with children at numerous schools,
ball games, painted white hats and numerous other projects that allowed our neighbors to truly see what we are all about; "A local force for good."
Navy civilians live Navy week everyday, it is incumbent upon all of us to get out into the communi- ty and show the American public what we are all about. In that sense, we are all ambassadors for the Navy. Whether you like it or not, carrying your military I.D. card and wearing your uniform automatically makes you a role model for the younger generation and you become held to a higher standard by the American public who consider us the best of the best. I believe we all put our best foot forward last week and that went a long way towards main- taining the wonderful relationship
I touched briefly last time about summertime safety and I'm going to talk about it again this week. Although
it's been said many times over, you will here it again and again during your Navy career. Safety must be "job one" in everything we do. We play with some pretty big and expensive toys in the Navy. As stewards for all this expensive equipment for the American taxpayer, we owe it to them to take care oftheir invest- ment. And although we spend bil- lions on ships,
the biggest taxpayer investment is you, the individual Sailor,
yourselves first and foremost. This means eating right, staying hydrat- ed and getting enough rest so we can do the work of defending the American people safely and pro- fessionally.
It means living up to the high standards we set for ourselves, not drinking
to excess and being unable to do your job in the morn- ing. It means doing the right thing and taking a motorcycle safety course before getting on a bike. It means looking out for your ship- mate who might be depressed or lonely. It means not getting in a car on a Friday afternoon
knock-off, driving seven or eight hours to get home and turning around and rushing back Sunday night to get to work by Monday. I can speak from experience on this, as I too thought I was invincible when I was just starting my career, but, after losing too many ship- mates
through often needless tragedies, I have come to learn that there is nothing more important than each and every one of you. You are all valued members of our team and we need you here every day, healthy, rested and ready to work. We don't have room for mistakes.
JOINT BASE CHARLESTON,s.c. - Brig. Gen. Thomas R. Mikolajcik, former commander of the 437th Airlift Wing, passed away April 17, 2010, at home in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., at the age of 63after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. General Mikolajcik was commander of the 437thAirlift Wing here from July1991 to June1994.
General Mikolajcik, born Aug. 17, 1946, in Norwich, Conn., graduated from the U.S. Air ForceAcademy in 1969. He complet- ed pilot training in 1970, and eventually became a command pilot with over 4,000 hours in C-141, C-9, C-130 and C-17 aircraft. He served as an instructor pilot, aircraft commander, war plans offi- cer, current operations officer, mobility project officer, and advis- er to the chief of staff for airlift and logistics policy. He held sev- eral staff positions, and served as squadron commander, wing vice commander and commander of two wings.
General Mikolajcik was the U.S. Air Force component com- mander in Somalia from December 1992 to March 1993during Operation Restore Hope while he served as the 437th Airlift Wing Commander. He helped activate the first squadron of C-17s, the Air Force's newest generation of aircraft, while in command here. The first operational C-17 was delivered in June 1993. He was the recipient of numerous military awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters. The general retired from the Air Force in 1996 after serving 27 years.
the military and became a key community leader and advisor. He was military advisor to the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerceuntil he was diagnosedwithALS in 2003. Followinghis diagnosis,he became an advocate of victims of the disease - espe- cially veteranswho show greater risk of contractingthe disease.
He tirelessly pushed for ALS research and testified before a congressional committeein July 2007. His effortswere instrumen- tal in the U.S. Department of VeteransAffairs decision to grant service-counected disability benefits to all veterans with ALS. He also played a key role in establishing the South Carolina ALS Foundation and ALS clinic at the Medical University of South Carolina.
"Throughout his life in the Air Force and in the community, he was a leader who others looked up to and the strength and courage he showed at the end of his life deeply touched everyone around him," said Col. Martha Meeker, commander of Joint Base Charleston.
The General Thomas R. Mikolajcik Day Care Center was ded- icated in his name in Aug., 2007, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held Feb. 13,2009, to start construction of the $9.8 million center.
"While he is no longer with us, every time one of our Airmen takes their child to the General Mikolajcik Day Care Center, he will be remembered," said Colonel Meeker. "And every time a Veteran sufferingfrom ALS receivesVAcare, he will be thanked."
General Mikolajcik will forever be remembered by Air Mobility Command, the Air Force and the nation as a great Airman, warrior and leader. His extraordinary legacy will
Funeral Home, Mt. Pleasant, S.C. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday,April 24, 201O.
One Sailor at Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) Charleston, aboard Naval Weapons Station Charleston, stood out from the pack and established himself as an up and coming leader by tackling one of the Navy's largest chal- lenges: closeout of Enlisted Service Records (ESRs).
"We knew we had someone special once he arrived near- ly a year ago. He was ambitious and kept asking for more challenging work," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class (AW) Chadwick Estel, leading petty officer at PSD Charleston. "It's like this guy came out of nowhere."
Like many other Sailors in the fleet, Electrician's Mate 3rd Class, Jeffrey Greener, from Phoenix, Arizona, joined the Navy to see the world and reap the benefits of the Gl Bill.
"1 chose the Navy to see what the world has to offer, to see foreign and exotic ports and sights my mind can't even envision. I'm really excited for what the future holds," said Greener.
"It's really interesting, because 1 almost joined the Navy in 2005, but went to a community college instead since my job at American Express was reimbursing me for tuition and books. The money didn't cover all of the costs of going to school, so 1 decided to join the Navy for the Gl Bill."
Communication Specialist rate, but the nuclear detailer at the military enlisted processing center convinced him to take on a more challenging job and request the nuclear power field instead.
happy to take the challenge of the harder curriculum and job, but now that I'm out of the 'nuke' pipeline, I'm looking into changing jobs," said Greener. "I'm considering going back to Mass Communication Specialist or Legalman, either one looks promising and a lot of fun."
"I've always enjoyed the arts. I've done numerous abstract oil paintings for friends and family," said Greener. "This past summer 1purchased my first digital SLR [profes- sional camera], a Canon Digital Rebel and it enabled me to creatively soar."
One of the works of art Greener is most proud of incor- porates glow in the dark paint, which makes the painting come alive at night.
"1 got the glow in the dark idea from a movie, so 1 looked online and purchased some special dust that glows in the dark and mixed it with my oil paints."
Greener continues, "I'm working on a piece right now where the sun and its rays will glow in the dark. In the day time it will look normal, throughout the day sunlight charges it, and at night it comes alive."
Greener led his staff of four junior Sailors to take on the seemingly insurmountable task of closing out more than 2,400 service records.
"It changes from day-to-day as people transfer and sepa- rate in and out of the area, making this process even more critical," said Greener. "I'm glad 1 was given the opportuni- ty to step up and show 1 could do it."
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