Columbia recognized as a ‘Great American Defense Community’ award

Columbia recognized as a ‘Great American Defense Community’ award
Columbia, the capital of South Carolina and the state’s second largest city, is the home of Fort Jackson, the largest Army installation for basic combat training. The Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the city have a 100-year partnership with Fort Jackson that remains strong to this day. The community takes pride in walking the talk of “being the most military friendly community in America,” with a plethora of spousal support, educational and veterans support programs in the region.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Columbia region has been recognized as one of five communities across the county to receive the honor of a 2019 Great American Defense Community designation.

The announcement was made by the Columbia Chamber on April 11.

“Receiving the designation as a Great American Defense Community is a fitting tribute to the many business and community partners who work diligently to embrace the military men and women serving in the greater Columbia area,” said President and CEO of the Columbia Chamber Carl Blackstone. “The large military presence in our community, namely Fort Jackson the largest initial training base in the US Army, the SC National Guard, and McEntire JNGB, provide unique opportunities for organizations and individuals to offer support to our service members, their families and the veterans who live and serve in our community.”

The Great American Defense Communities program is designed to recognize the overall support that communities and regions in the U.S. provide to service members and military families.

In its announcement, the Great American Defense Communities program identified the following factors in its decision to honor the Columbia area: Five programs were recognized as helping the Greater Columbia Region earn the distinguished 2019 Great American Defense Community Award. They are the Columbia Chamber’s Military Outreach Group (MOG), WIS-TV’s Year of the Veteran series, Fort Jackson Education Student Ambassador Program in conjunction with Richland School District Two, Fort Jackson Spousal Employment Program, and the University of South Carolina Veterans Outreach program.

The 2019 class also includes Bay County, Florida, the home to Tyndall AFB; Clovis, New Mexico, the community near Cannon AFB; Middle Georgia region around Robins AFB; and The North Country, New York (Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties), the home to Fort Drum.

This year’s selected communities will be honored throughout the year, including at the Defense Communities National Summit in Washington, D.C., in June 2019.

The Chamber will host a Celebration Breakfast on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Additional details can be found by clicking here.

According to its website, the Great American Defense Communities initiative was launched in 2015 in association with the Defense Communities Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

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