(Pictured left to right) Fort Detrick U.S. Army Garrison Commander Col. Robert A. O’Brien, Taylor Donoghue representing Congressman John Delaney’s office, Brigitte King from Barquist Army Health Clinic, Julianna Albowicz representing Senator Chris VanHollen’s office and Fort Detrick U.S. Army Garrison Command Sergeant Major Franklin Jordan present King with the Volunteer of the Year award during the Volunteer Recognition Ceremony April 27 at the Fort Detrick Community Activities Center. Photo by Jenni Benson, USAG Public Affairs
“Words alone cannot express how thankful we are for your selfless service to Fort Detrick and the Frederick community,” said Fort Detrick Garrison commander Col. Robert O’Brien.
In 2016, over 142 active volunteers from Fort Detrick logged in 12,385.80 hours into the Volunteer Management Information System, an online database housed at www.myarmyonesource.com. Of those more than 6,000 were in the local community.
"Our volunteers extended the Army's budget by $291,809.45 as a result of their volunteer contributions,” said Daphnie Freeman, Army Community Service employment manager.
The first volunteers honored were those receiving the President's Volunteer Service awards. There are three levels to this award: bronze, for those who volunteer 100 to 249 hours during the year; silver, 250-499 hours; and gold, 500 hours or more. A total of 58 Fort Detrick volunteers earned this award this year.
The President’s award grew out of President George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address when the President issued a challenge to all Americans to volunteer their time to “help their neighbors, communities, and Nation through service”. Presidential Lifetime Award recipients dedicate at least 4,000 hours – the equivalent of two fulltime years of work – over the course of their lives.
Every April the Army observes Volunteer Appreciation Week to recognize Soldiers, family members, retirees and civilians who selflessly volunteer their time to the Army community.
The first U.S. Volunteer Appreciation Week was established via Presidential Proclamation 4288, signed by President Richard Nixon in 1974. In 1985, Army Community Service implemented the Installation Volunteer Coordinator Program and later started the Army Volunteer Corps in 2002.