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Team Orlando: Support Beyond the Office Walls
TOPICS & CATEGORIES
By Dolly Rairigh Glass
Enjoying the evening with their wives at the 2014 Army Birthday Ball are Capt. Wes Naylor, (standing) Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) and Naval Support Activity, and his Executive Office, Capt. Erik Etz. Photo by Doug Schaub
It’s not unusual to see the Team Orlando lead Services supporting one another, working side-by-side with other partners to develop programs and products to benefit and strengthen the Warfighter.
But a few times out of the year, they take it away from the office and support each other outside of those walls, taking part in the rich traditions of birthday celebrations, the fun of golf tournaments, and the team building that comes from other social gatherings.
Some of these events, like the time-honored local Birthday celebrations of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, help celebrate the history that each has played in protecting our Nation. They also pay tribute to our veterans, and remember those we have lost in service, as well as recognize those Service members who continue to serve our Country every day.
“This year’s Navy Birthday Ball commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War,” said Michael J. Motko, president of the Central Florida Navy League. “We wanted to recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of those who fought and served in that conflict, and the families who waited for them at home.”
Happy Birthday Marine Corps! This year’s 239th Birthday Ball celebration is Nov. 8, and will welcome special guest Brig. Gen. Frank Kelly, who served as PM TRASYS from 2007-2009.
“In doing this, it was important that we shared this evening with our fellow Service members,” he said. “We were celebrating the Navy’s 239th birthday, but remembering the great sacrifices by all the men and women from every Service.”
The Association of the United States Army, Sunshine Chapter, hosted the Army’s Birthday Ball this past June. Chapter president, Wells Barlow, said that working as part of Team Orlando is really a unique experience among government organizations, academia and industry.
At the Navy Birthday Ball on Oct. 4, Major General Jon Maddux takes the opportunity to welcome and show his appreciation to Command Sargent Major Harry Shakes, U.S Army, 1943 to 1976. Ninety-three year old Shakes served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and worked in the U.S. Embassy with the Shah of Iran when the U.S. and Iran were allies. Photo by Doug Schaub
“From an industry perspective, the mission sets that are supported by the Government organizations in Team Orlando provide a level of focus that isn’t found anywhere else,” Barlow said. “Because industry is so focused on the modeling, simulation and training business, the traditional boundaries you often see between Services doesn’t exist, and we tend to view our work as supporting the Warfighter, irrespective of Service.”
Barlow added, “That’s why you find companies and professional organizations providing mutual support to include professional development opportunities as well as social functions like golf tournaments and Service Birthday Balls.”
In a few short weeks, the Central Florida Marines Corps Foundation is hosting the Marine Corps 239th Birthday Ball on Nov. 8 at the Rosen Centre Hotel. While they are celebrating the Marine Corps birthday, they are adding a layer of community support to their event through their collection of toys to donate to the Toys for Tots Foundation.
Program Executive Officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Major General Jon Maddux assists Army Lt. Col. (Retired) Earle Denton with the ceremonial cake cutting at this year’s 239th Army Birthday Ball celebration.
“Marine Corps Reserves is a long-time supporter of the national Toys for Tots program, and so as a Marine Corps organization, the Central Florida Marine Corps Foundation feels that Toys for Tots is an important cause to support at our community level as well,” said Jim Hawn, president of the Central Florida Marine Corps Foundation.
Each year, at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, the Foundation collects unwrapped, new toys to help ensure that less fortunate children across the area receive a gift for the holiday. “We historically have lots of toys donated for the younger children, so the Foundation also makes a monetary donation so that toys for older children can be purchased as well,” Hawn said.
So, in the spirit of military service pride and camaraderie, the Central Florida birthday celebrations that honor each Service have become celebrations for our Team Orlando family.
“The more support and coordination we have, the more successful we are,” Barlow added. Well said.
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