Marines "Steak" their claim in Single Marine Program
By Lance Cpl. Adam Johnston
| | December 07, 2005
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - --
Approximately 100 Marines, sailors and coast guardsmen attended the Single Marine Program’s inaugural “Steak” Your Claim dinner at the Central Area Recreation Center Dec. 7.The Single Marine Program created the event to offer single and unaccompanied service members the opportunity to enjoy an evening of camaraderie with their peers, learn how the program could make a difference in their quality of life and understand how they could make a difference through the program.Established in 1995, the purpose of the program is to provide a forum in which Marines can identify quality of life ideas and issues and recommend solutions.“The biggest change to the program is the move from a single, centralized council to four separate ones,” said Susan D. Goodrich, the community recreation program manager for Marine Corps Community Services and coordinator of the Camp Lejeune SMP.The program councils are made up of single Marines who are appointed by their command as unit representatives. They meet once a month to discuss what activities and events they wish to participate in.Activities typically fall under one of five program components: recreation, life skills, career progression, health and wellness and community involvement.“We’re game for anything,” said Goodrich. “The sky is the limit on what Marines can look forward to in the future of this program.”The four councils will be based out of four separate recreation centers, which are strategically located across the area: Central Area Rec. Center, French Creek Rec. Center, Courthouse Bay Rec. Center and Camp Johnson Rec. Center.“We want this to be a place where Marines can come to after work and relax, almost like a home away from home,” said Goodrich. “Forty seven percent of the Marine Corps is Lance Corporal and below, 57 percent of the Marine Corps is single, and 60 percent of enlisted Marines are single,” said Goodrich. “These figures tell me that if just a small number of single Marines make their voices heard, they can make a big difference.”“The next great idea is yours,” said Sgt. Juan S. Vargas, the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade Embark Chief and the Camp Lejeune SMP president. “We want to build a bigger and better Single Marine Program, but we can’t do it without your help.”For more information on the Camp Lejeune Single Marine program, including how to participate, e-mail Sgt. Juan S. Vargas, at firstname.lastname@example.org.