MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Service members and civilians aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii regularly volunteer their time with organizations and events throughout the year and are honored annually for their efforts.
This year’s Volunteer Recognition Ceremony was held in the Lanai Ballroom of the Officers’ Club, April 4, 2014.
The ceremony began with a continental breakfast as the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band played songs. Attendees chatted briefly, then the Master of Ceremonies, Jocelyn Pratt, introduced the MarForPac Band to play the national anthem and officially start the ceremony.
After the invocation by the base chaplain, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Don Rogers, Pratt introduced the guest of honor and keynote speaker, Col. Brian P. Annichiarico, commanding officer of MCB Hawaii, who gave his opening remarks to the crowd.
“If we had to pay MCB Hawaii volunteers a normal wage for their hard work, it would equal $2.8 million for 127,633 donated hours,” Annichiarico said. “Thank you for what you do, it is definitely noticed and appreciated. It means a lot to the community, Marines, sailors and families, and to me.”
After opening remarks were finished, the presentation of certificates of appreciation began, recognizing the 23 units and programs that volunteered during the past year. There were approximately 2,000 MCB Hawaii volunteers in 2013.
The nominees for Volunteer Unit of the Year were the Spin and Fitness Program instructor team aboard Camp H.M. Smith, the MarForPac Headquarters and Service Battalion, the Chaplain Joseph W. Estabrook Chapel, Combat Logistics Battalion 3 and 3rd Radio Battalion.
The 2014 Volunteer Unit of the Year was CLB-3, providing support to more than 90 organizations in more than 6,400 hours. The unit received a plaque, $250 in unit funds and a commanding officer’s Certificate of Commendation.
There were 17 nominees for Volunteer of the Year. The second runner-up was Cpl. Thomas Tracy, nominated by Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367. The first runner-up was Lance Cpl. Vincent Snell, nominated by Marine Aircraft Group 24.
The 2014 Volunteer of the Year was Petty Officer 3rd Class Jinshen Yap, a logistics specialist with CLB-3. He performed more than 360 hours of volunteer service for various agencies and organizations, like the Make-A-Wish Foundation and MCB Hawaii Education Center.
He received a plaque, $75 dinner certificate and a commanding officer’s Certificate of Commendation.
Yap’s leading petty officer, Petty Officer 1st Class Dennis Gonzales, said he wanted to nominate Yap because of his hard work as a volunteer.
“He has such a great range of volunteerism,” Gonzales said. “When it was announced that he was Volunteer of the Year, I was very happy for him. He deserves it, and his hard work really did pay off today.”
Yap said he decided to volunteer his free time to give back to others.
“During my downtime at the barracks, I realized I could get out and help,” said Yap, a native of Queens, N.Y. “I was surprised when I heard about being nominated. I didn’t know this was going to happen. I’m proud, happy and nervous, a mix of different emotions. But I love Hawaii, the people and culture, and I have so much respect for Marines. I definitely will continue to volunteer.”