The Merlion Star June 10, 2016 - Volume 25 - Issue 12

Table of Contents

  • Local Sailors recognized for hard work, dedication during command awards presentations
  • Memorial Day Celebration Carnival: A Photo Essay
  • Chaplain's Corner
  • COMLOG WESTPAC YouTube Clips

Local Sailors recognized for hard work, dedication during command awards presentations

Story and photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Madailein Abbott

In an awards ceremony held June 6, Sailors stationed in commands across Navy Region Singapore were recognized for their achievements and contributions to the Navy and their command mission.

Rear Adm. Charles Williams, Commander, Navy Region Singapore, told Sailors at the awards presentations that these distinctions demonstrate the hard work and dedication of regional Sailors for their service to the nation, the Navy, and for their commands.

Seven Sailors were recognized during the ceremony. One Sailor received a Meritorious Service Medal while two others received Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals. Three Sailors received Flag Letters of Commendation for outstanding service to the command, and one Sailor was frocked from second class petty officer to first class petty officer. The ceremony was open to all hands to attend and support their fellow shipmates.

Click on the photos for a larger view.

“We’ve spent three years here in Singapore and my family and I will miss it dearly,” said Cmdr. Robert Brodie, who received a Meritorious Service Medal for his end of tour award. “It’s been such an honor to work with everyone here and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.”

Yeoman 1st Class Elijah Ford, the only Sailor to be frocked at the ceremony, described how thankful he was to everyone who helped in his achievement.

“My chain of command had a lot to do with my advancement,” said Ford. “Without their support and encouragement, my advancement wouldn't have been possible, and for that I am very grateful.”

After the ceremony, attending service members congratulated the awardees on their accomplishments. Events to recognize command Sailor achievements are held regularly to encourage going above and beyond the normal call of duty. COMLOG WESTPAC Command Master Chief Richard O’Rawe defines the importance of these morale-boosting events.

Rear Adm. Charles Williams addresses Sailors during an Awards Ceremony held Jun. 6.

“It’s not every day we get to recognize our Sailors for doing an outstanding job,” said O’Rawe. “Without these great Sailors, we wouldn’t be successful, and it’s important to show them how much our command appreciates them. It’s an honor to be a part of rewarding them for all of their hard work.”

Each Sailor to receive recognition did so after long hours of service and dedication both for their command and for the Navy. The ceremony to present their awards applauds them for a job well done and to showcase their hard work before their peers, and will continue to do so in the years to come.

Memorial Day Celebration Carnival: A Photo Essay

Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Micah Blechner

Navy Region Center Singapore Morale, Welfare and Recreation personnel hosted a Memorial Day Carnival at the Terror Club May 28. Carnival games, inflatable slides and bouncy-houses, and typical carnival foods were enjoyed by all the attendees. Please click on the photos below for a larger view.

Click on the photos for a larger view.


This is a month of transition and new beginnings. Since my last writing in this space, we have seen a number of our young adults graduate from both college and high school. That is an exciting time in the life not only of a family, but the community that has helped encourage and support those heading into a new chapter of life. It is a time filled with excitement, wonder, nervous energy, and a few tears (both of joy and sadness).

Often at graduations we are regaled with stories of how we can find ourselves in this vast world. There are frequent references to Dr. Seuss, specifically Oh, The Places You’ll Go or how the most important thing we can do is to make our bed every day. It seems that most speakers are trying to emphasize that the individual has all the choices in the world available to them and that the world is their oyster so go out and conquer it on your own.

But, do we really discover ourselves alone? Do we really conquer the world and succeed as a lone wolf? Possibly, but most of us need a community surrounding us. A community that not only encourages and supports us along the way, but one that also helps us figure out the path upon which we should trod.

Fred Rogers, yes the one and only Mister Rogers, had a habit of giving a different kind of commencement speech that speaks to everyone and acknowledged the importance we all have in the lives of those we encounter each and every day. According to Mister Rogers, we naturally support others “because deep down we know that what matters in this life is much more than winning for ourselves. What really matters is helping others win, too, even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then.”

By helping others to win at life, we also discover a great deal about ourselves, sometimes in a surprising way. Again, back to Mister Rogers, “there's a part of all of us that longs to know that even what's weakest about us can ultimately count for something good. It's a miracle when we finally discover whom we're best equipped to serve, when we can best appreciate the unique life we've been given.” Discovering our true path isn’t something that one can fully discover individually. We need to help others and have others help us to discover where we are best equipped to serve and fully embrace the unique life we are given.

In honor of this, I leave you this month the way Mister Rogers ended a great many of his public appearances:

Anyone who has ever been able to sustain a good work has had at least one person - and often many - who believed in him or her. We just don't get to be competent human beings without many different investments from others.

I'd like to give you all an invisible gift; a gift of silence to think about those who nourish you at the deepest part of your being - anyone who has ever loved you and wanted what was best for you in life. Some of those people may be right here today. Some may be far away, some may even be in heaven; but if they've encouraged you to come closer to what you know to be essential about life, I'd like you to have a silent minute to think of them.

Whomever you've been thinking about: just imagine how grateful they must be that at this extra special moment in your life, you're remembering them with such thanksgiving.

One minute. I’ll watch the time.

Blessings - Chaps

The Navy Region Singapore Public Affairs team has been hard at work over the past couple of months building a slate of videos not only documenting all the great things going on in our community, but also making sure newcomers know what to expect once they arrive in the Lion City. Check out our Youtube page to see it all.

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Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific Public Affairs

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