USS Constitution Receives PVSA

USS Constitution won the gold level 2012 President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) for community service at the ship’s berth in Charlestown, Mass., June 26.

The PVSA is divided into three levels: bronze, silver and gold. Groups must volunteer a minimum of 1,000 hours of community service to qualify for the gold level.

This crew, despite the busy schedule, is so generous in giving their time to help the community,” said Cmdr. Matthew Bonner, Constitution’s 72nd commanding officer. “This year eight Sailors earned the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal [MOVSM], and this award is yet another example of their tremendous volunteer spirit. By giving back to the community, we are able to continue to strengthen the bond between the command and the city that we call home. I am so proud of the Sailors that man Constitution and am glad to see their effforts recognized.”

The ship also won the 2009, 2010 and 2011 PVSA for gold level.

“I’m honored to help contribute to our commands constant role in helping the community,” said Sonar Technician (Submarine) 2nd Class (SS) Thomas Rooney, Constitution’s volunteer program coordinator. “This is the fourth year that we have qualified for this award. Our Sailors have participated in 37 command organized projects, contributing approximately 2,265 hours of community service so far this year. This doesn’t include the 360 plus hours that the Sailors contributed on their own through outside sources, like Arrive Alive, Boy Scouts of America, coaching for local sports teams and other mentorship programs.”

Established in 2003, the PVSA is available on an annual basis to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering.

The PVSA is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the president of the United States to recognize the best in the American spirit, and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service and civic participation.

“Through acts of volunteerism, both large and small, the Navy brings hope to so many of the world’s disadvantaged,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class (SW/EXW) Marina Chavez, who volunteered 108 hours in 2012 and earned the MOVSM. “And I enjoy volunteering; it gives me a chance to connect with people in the community. Setting aside a few hours each month can be one of the most valuable ways to make a difference.”

Constitution also won the Commander, Navy Region (COMNAVREG) Middle Atlantic (MIDLANT) Good Neighbor Flagship award for small shore commands in 2010 and 2011. COMNAVREG MIDLANT gives the award to commands that have the best year-round community service program or special project that encourages activities to provide humanitarian assistance to the less fortunate.

Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors per year. She defended the sea lanes against threat from 1797 to 1855, much like the mission of today’s Navy. America’s Navy: Keeping the sea free for more than 200 years.

Constitution’s mission today is to offer community outreach and education about the ship’s history. Currently, her crew is planning to commemorate bicentennial of the War of 1812 through public demonstrations and educational activities at eight Navy weeks across the U.S. in 2012.

Naval Today Staff , June 28, 2012