Every year for more than a decade, Army leaders have taken time to thank civilians who have made a difference in the lives of Soldiers with a Civilian Hall of Fame. Air Force leadership joined the commemoration two years ago when the installation became Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Partnerships among military organizations, families and communities have enabled Airmen and Soldiers to deploy, accomplish missions and exert the nations will with courage, honor and dignity.
The military community officially acknowledged those partnerships in 2003 by establishing the CHoF to recognize civilians from the local community whose individual efforts positively impacted the lives of service members and their families. This tradition continued with the induction of the Hall of Fames 20th member in a ceremony for Carlene Joseph at the McChord Field Co-located Club Tuesday.
Joseph was submitted as a candidate to the Hall of Fame by 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division and 62nd Airlift Wing. Highlights of her service include president of the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, spearheading raising more than $100,000 for welcome home picnics for redeploying troops and their families, as well as Operation Turkey Drop and Operation Ham Grenade, which provided holiday meats for service families.
Major General Jeffrey S. Buchanan, I Corps deputy commanding general, paraphrased Army chief of staff Ray Odierno that the strength of our Nation is our Army, the strength of our Army is our Soldiers, and strength of our Soldiers is our Families, He further borrowed from the Army Family Covenant that the strength of our families is supported by the strength of our community.
Buchanan thanked Joseph for her selfless service, calling it powerful and central to the partnership between the community and JBLM. To me selfless service is critical, Buchanan said. Selfless service is one of the key Army values, ... putting the needs of others in front of your own, ... Selfless service is also something that can be seen in everyday actions by the difference an individual or an entire community makes. Carlene is the definition of selfless service, and if you look at what she does every day, its not about her, its all about the community, our troops and our families. Joseph said the military lifestyle was all she has ever known. Raised an Air Force brat, she met her Army brat husband while both families were stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and renewed friendships as teenagers while their parents served in this area. After they were married, her husband served in and retired from the Air Force Reserve. Her son is a Marine. Helping service members and their families is her passion. When anyone asks Joseph about her hobbies, she talks about finding ways to support Soldiers and Airmen at JBLM. She thanked Soldiers and Airmen for their sacrifices and acknowledged previous inductees, local politicians and business owners for their work in support of more than 45,000 service members stationed at JBLM. I love my Air Force. I love my Army, Joseph said. Her future work, she said, will continue to focus on service members.