NAS PENSACOLA, FL -- Four hundred Marines from Aviation Maintenance Squadron One (AMS-1) conducted a cleanup of Pensacola Beach on Saturday, November 15, 1997. The cleanup project, dubbed "Operation Hit the Beach '97," was the inaugural event in what has become an ongoing community involvement effort by the Squadron. The Squadron conducts at least four major projects throughout the year under the banner: "CORPS COMMITMENT." Throughout the year, the Squadron is involved in its "Operation Marine Mentors" (providing mentors, tutors, and campus improvement in selected local schools and participation in programs like Big Brothers), "Operation Homefront" (participation in a Habitat for Humanity project), "Operation Hit the Beach," and "Operation Individual Initiative" (continuing individual efforts to improve neighborhoods and help young people: coaches, referees, neighborhood cleanup, rescue and emergency workers, for instance.)
The Marine Corps' Core Values are Honor, Courage, and Commitment. CORPS COMMITMENT focuses on the latter and recognizes that commitment to one's country begins in the community. AMS-1 has a long reach and intends to use that reach to prove its commitment to the Pensacola area.
In addition to the four CORPS COMMITMENT "operations," AMS-1 Marines played a significant role in the improvement of a number of local youth athletic programs in early 1998 by assisting the Escambia County Parks and Recreation Department with the construction and improvement of youth ballparks throughout Escambia County. AMS-1's involvement in these programs was pivotal in making these parks ready for the 1998 sports season.
The Squadron also assisted the Bellview Middle School with its "Clean and Green" day on Friday, April 3rd when the school grounds and facilities received their annual makeover. (Click HERE to view the GOSPORT article about the event.) On Saturday, April 18th, 25 AMS-1 Marine volunteers pitched in to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Pensacola. (Click HERE to view the GOSPORT article about the event.) On Saturday, April 25th 50 AMS-1 Marine volunteers ventured out to the Escambia County School District's Environmental Center to clear trails and rehabilitate buildings for its upcoming open house and the summer field trip schedule. (Click HERE to read more about the event.) The Squadron's final major organized event of the summer was AMS-1's Hit the Beach II, completed on May 16th. (Click HERE to read the details concerning HTB II.) HTB III is planned for the Fall.
AMS-1 anticipates that CORPS COMMITMENT will help improve the Pensacola community, but it also believes it can develop a self-fulfilling expectation of productive citizenship and commitment to the community among its Marines, many of whom are in the 18-21 age group, by showing them the appeal of being good neighbors. This is an ideal WIN-WIN scenario.
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