Marines

SMP reps give a voice to single Marines, sailors

23 Feb 2012 | Lance Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera

While accompanied Marines, their spouses and children have family readiness officers to watch out for their needs and coordinate programs on base where they can find family fun, single Marines and sailors can find similar resources through the Single Marine Program and their representatives.

Chosen by their command, SMP representatives are service members who act as a liaison between the program and the Marines and sailors they work with. There may be multiple representatives in a unit. The representatives check quality of life issues for single Marines and sailors, inform them about events taking place and help them find opportunities to have fun and become involved while at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

“They're the voice and the ears of the Marine Corps,” said Susan Goodrich, the branch head with SMP aboard MCB Camp Lejeune.

Taking care of quality of life issues can involve a representative speaking to a barracks manager to find out whether a broken heater will be fixed in a timely manner or simply speaking up during their meetings about the little things a Marine may want, like seeing a specific condiment at the convenience stores.

“I’ve seen issues that, when brought up through the proper channels, have been fixed immediately,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class David Ebel, the SMP representative with Wounded Warrior Battalion-East.

The representatives also help with SMP events, getting the opportunity to travel and have fun while providing information to share with their Marines.

“Often times having someone there telling them about (events), showing them that they are there participating may make them feel more comfortable (about becoming involved),” said Ebel.  

Being a representative may mean working with a unit family readiness command team.  Being a part of that involves informing leadership about the concerns single Marines have and can even involve planning events with Marine Corps Community Services coordinators and FRO’s that incorporate the interest of single Marines, according to MARADMIN 757/11.

“The Marine Corps dedicated extraordinary effort and resource in the last 10 years to married Marines and their families. It is vital to the health of the force that we dedicate a similar effort to single Marines and includes their voice in key advisory bodies,” states the MARADMIN.

Half of the Marine Corps is made up of single Marines, and their representatives are there to make sure they are taken care of.

For more information on the SMP, call 451-4642 or visit mccslejeune.com/smp.