Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii -- The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii sponsored a Military Appreciation Month virtual ceremony in which U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Brandon Brown, an administrative specialist with Headquarters and Service Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, was recognized along with members of each of the services, 6 May. Brown’s nomination came as a result of his contributions to the community through his volunteer work.
Brown, a native of Tacoma, Washington, joined the Marine Corps in 2018. “I needed a challenge in my life,” said Brown. “There were people who didn’t think I could do it and I wanted to prove them wrong.” Following training, Brown received orders to Installation Personnel Administration Center, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, for duty as an administration specialist. Two years later, he received orders to Headquarters and Service Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific.
Since joining in the Marine Corps, Brown has made volunteering in the community a priority of his. "I enjoy helping people," said Brown. "I feel that through volunteer work, you not only impact lives on a personal level, but you help make the world a better place." Through his volunteer work, Brown supported the missions of the Water4Life nonprofit and Marine Corps Community Services, working diligently to improve the quality of life for those in need or far from home.
In 2021, Brown also volunteered to be a Single Marine Program representative, a program intended to support single Marines and Sailors by designing and planning recreational activities and events and increasing community involvement.
The purpose of the virtual ceremony was to show appreciation for the sacrifices and contributions of past and present service members. Attendees included Hawaii’s governor, the Honorable David Y. Ige, and Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. "It`s an absolute honor," said Brown. "I don`t volunteer for the recognition; I do it because I want to, but to be recognized for something so important means the world to me."
Other recognitions Brown received over the last few years include the President`s Volunteer Service Award, an award presented in bronze, silver, gold, and lifetime achievement, recognizing the important roles of volunteers in America. Brown received a bronze award in 2020 for volunteering a total of 166 hours, and a gold award in 2021 for volunteering 306 hours. Additionally, Cpl. Brown was awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal on 5 May, for volunteer service over a sustained period of time.
Brown states he will continue to volunteer in his local community, wherever that may be once he departs Hawaii. “It does not matter where you are,” said Brown. “It`s about giving back what you can, and you can do that anywhere.”