Sepetember 12, 2014 --
Daughters and their dads came away with lasting and big shared memories Sept. 6, thanks to the Marine Corps Systems Command Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch at Camp Pendleton, California. Through a community partnership with the YMCA, 48 daughters ages 5-11 and 37 fathers learned firsthand about Marine life.
“We were so pleased to be able to expose some of the dads and daughters involved with the YMCA Adventure Princess Program to the roles, missions, culture and overall professionalism of the Marines assigned to the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch,” said Lt. Col. Robert Bailey, AVTB director. “The vast majority of the families in this program are not military families, and being able to talk about who the Marines are; what they do and see what kind of character Marines have definitely puts a face and a name to a Marine Corps Base that is such a big part of this community.”
For more than 150 years, the YMCA has partnered with the U.S. military to provide service members and their families with a vast array of services—at home and abroad—including food, clothing, medical supplies, and rest and recreation facilities and programs.
The Marines of AVTB returned that goodwill, sponsoring the local YMCA program where fathers and daughters go on a journey of learning and growing together. The goal was to encourage fun, understanding and strong companionship with each other.
AVTB’s princess journey started from a YMCA camp-out held aboard Camp Pendleton at the Del Mar Beach recreation area. Taking a “Marine moment” from the camp-out and beach activities, AVTB hosted the fathers and daughters for lunch, an Assault Amphibious Vehicle familiarization ride, viewing of an amphibious capabilities demonstration, and static display tours and questions and answers with AVTB Marines.
Culminating the event, Sgt. Chadmichael Herman, an AAV crew chief, presented a Marine Corps Professional Military Education brief on Marine Corps leadership traits and core values.
“I'm confident that the girls now have a better understanding and appreciation for Marines,” Bailey said. “I also know it was meaningful for the Marines to have an opportunity to showcase their skills, in particular to lead a discussion on leadership using the Marine Corps leadership traits and core values. Leadership and character development are principal aims of this program for the girls, and our Marines were able to make a contribution toward that.”
The feedback AVTB received from both the dads and very excited daughters was outstanding, Bailey said.
“Most of the families live in the vicinity of Camp Pendleton, yet most had little to no experience or interaction with the Marines,” he said. “This event provided an excellent opportunity for the Marines to share their knowledge and experiences with young, female future leaders in the Southern California community.”