The Seventh Annual Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Awards were presented today during an awards ceremony at the Pentagon to representatives of each of the winning commands.
The annual awards are presented in recognition of outstanding command efforts to educate military members, their families and the broader communities in which they serve, to the dangers of drug abuse and to an appreciation of the benefits of a drug-free lifestyle.
This year's award winners are:
The Youth Demand Reduction Program, 63rd Regional Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve, Los Alamitos, Calif.
The Community Substance Abuse Outreach Program, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
The Campaign Drug Free, Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center, New Orleans, La.
The Saint Clair County Youth Mentoring Program, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
The High School Classroom Drug Awareness Program, Florida National Guard, State of Florida.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Jan Lodal, who praised the recipients for their spirit of service and dedication to their communities. The award winners, he added, are representative of the true values of military service in the giving of one's self for the benefit of younger citizens and for the broader Defense Department communities.
A brief description of each of the winning commands' program is attached.
YOUTH DEMAND REDUCTION PROGRAM
63RD REGIONAL SUPPORT COMMAND, U.S. ARMY RESERVE
LOS ALAMITOS, CALIF.
Begun in 1994 as a Defense Department Pilot Outreach Program, the Youth Drug Demand Reduction Program continues as a voluntary undertaking of the 63rd Regional Support Command. The program involves a wide variety of activities in support of schools and other community groups, all with the focus of encouraging drug free lifestyles among the youth of reserve members and the broader community. The thousands of young people reached by the program over the years continues to prompt the strong support from parents and professionals alike, of the program's value and need.
COMMUNITY SUBSTANCE ABUSE OUTREACH PROGRAM
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CALIF.
The Community Substance Abuse Outreach Program brings together the military community, Defense Department civilian employees and local community resources in an attempt to reduce drug abuse both in Camp Pendleton and in its neighboring communities. As an active participant in community drug abuse prevention efforts, and as a catalyst in leading the effort to keep Camp Pendleton drug free, the program's comprehensive approach had a significant impact on Camp Pendleton and its surroundings. The program regularly influences the behavior of thousands of Camp Pendleton area youth and young adults.
CAMPAIGN DRUG FREE
NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE CENTER
NEW ORLEANS, LA.
Campaign Drug Free is a voluntary community education program designed to emphasize the dangers of drug abuse by youth and the need for a drug free society. Working with area schools and youth groups, Navy and Marine Corps volunteers present themselves as examples of a drug free lifestyle, and offer information and insight to encourage young people to remain drug free. Since its inception in 1996, over 11,000 youth have been the beneficiaries of this outstanding program.
ST. CLAIR COUNTY YOUTH MENTORING PROGRAM
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILL.
The St. Clair County Youth Mentoring Program is a collaborative effort between the Drug Demand Reduction Program at Scott Air Force Base and the St. Clair County area schools Drug Education Project. The program aims to enhance the personal growth of youth by encouraging them to maintain a drug free lifestyle. The program matches youth with volunteer mentors based on the youth's particular needs. To date, more than 100 mentors have been selected and trained and their enthusiasm has contributed to the desire of many more active duty members to become involved.
HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM DRUG AWARENESS PROGRAM
FLORIDA NATIONAL GUARD, STATE OF FLORIDA
The Florida National Guard High School Classroom Drug Awareness Program directly supports the number one goal of the President's 1997 National Drug Control Strategy, to "...educate and enable America's youth to reject illegal drugs..." Begun in 10 Florida schools in 1993, the five-hour curriculum taught in the schools by Florida National Guard members currently reaches 30,000 students annually in 170 schools throughout the state. The Florida National Guard keeps the curriculum timely and relevant through a careful consideration of the comments of teachers and student participants, and has entertained numerous requests to assist other states to develop similar approaches.