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Great Lakes Recreation Programs Earn Gold Medal

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2012 – Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill., is the first military installation to earn top honors in the National Gold Medal Grand Plaque Award of Excellence in Park and Recreation Management competition conducted by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association.

Officials announced the annual awards yesterday during the NRPA’s annual conference in Anaheim, Calif.

"We are very pleased that the Armed Forces Recreation Gold Medal Award is being presented by the prestigious American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. This national award is the top award in the park and recreation industry," said Charles E. Milam, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy. "We've known for many years that service members and families value and depend on installation recreation services. The award further demonstrates that our recreation programs are top-rated, relevant, and of great benefit to our service members and their families."

This is the first year the awards have included an Armed Forces Recreation Award category for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. Great Lakes was one of four Grand Plaque finalists in the military category, along with MWR programs at Fort Knox, Ky., and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Naval Base San Diego in California.

The military category recognizes recreation programs for service members, their families, retirees, reservists, and civilian employees. Military installations around the world submitted applications demonstrating their recreation programs’ excellence and innovation in long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship and other categories, officials said.

NRPA officials also recognized three other Defense Department recipients in its National Awards categories:

-- Armed Forces Recreation Achievement: Jeffrey B. Sias, Naval Station Rota, Spain;

-- Excellence in Military Recreation: Fort Knox Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Community Recreation Division; and

-- Excellence in Water Safety: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.


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Charles E. Milam

Related Sites:
National Recreation and Park Association

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