by Emily Crisman and Nina Fletcher
The Military Affairs Committee meets the second Thursday of month at 7:30 AM to discuss ways to build a community that ties together Oceanside and Camp Pendleton. As well as hear an update on what is happening in the Marine Corps from Colonel Craft.
This past Thursday we discussed new ideas for honoring a Military Member of the Month, brainstormed on how as a community we can better assist Marines transition to civilian life, and started planning for the Enlisted Recognition Reception in February 2016. The Chamber of Commerce is coordinating with Colonel Craft on Camp Pendleton to honor a deserving active duty Marine or Sailor as Military Member of the Month, starting in January. They will be awarded at a City Council meeting, and the intended goal is to demonstrate the community’s appreciation of hard work and sacrifice these men and women make.
There was continued brainstorming on how businesses in Oceanside can aid marines and sailors when they start transitioning out of the military into civilian life. Every week aboard Camp Pendleton approximately 200 Marines are leaving the military and roughly 1/3 of those intend to stay in Southern California. Last month, we had the privilege of having guest Speaker Christopher Merris, Camp Pendleton’s Marine Corps chaplain; speak about a transitional readiness program Zero8hundred. The program places focus on employment and education, but address a variety of other areas, such as healthcare, too. Service members are encouraged to sign up for this program, at no cost, and in doing so are assigned a mentor who helps them navigate what is sometimes an extremely challenging and unnerving point in their lives.
This month Colonel Craft recommended one way for businesses to participate in transition is to attend career fairs offered for the military on Camp Pendleton. You can find these events on www.mccscp.com. There will be more discussion in the future about ways we can help marines and sailors transition and hopefully a person to contact from the zero8hundred program.
Lastly, attendees were briefed on the Enlisted Recognition Reception, which is coming up February 25, 2016. You can register online at www.ElistedRecognition.com . If you are interested in joining together with the Chamber of Commerce to help bridge the gap between Oceanside and Camp Pendleton please come to the next Military Affairs Committee meeting!
Emily Crisman and Nina Fletcher
Dell Computers Military Outreach