Armed Forces Recreation Society Invades Twin Cities

By Voight, Sally E. | Parks & Recreation, January 1995 | Go to article overview

Armed Forces Recreation Society Invades Twin Cities


Voight, Sally E., Parks & Recreation


Minneapolis, Minnesota, "Land of Ten Thousand Lakes" was the host city for the Armed Forces Recreation Society (AFRS) Professional Training Institute (PTI), an ideal training and educational opportunity which drew nearly 400 Morale Welfare and Recreation professionals. This mini convention, held within the NRPA Congress for Recreation and Parks, is a two-day event which includes the AFRS Meritorious Awards Breakfast, AFRS Table-Top Exhibits, AFRS General Session, six military-focused education training sessions, and the AFRS President's Reception.

Award Winners

On Thursday, October 13, 1994, the PTI commenced with the AFRS Meritorious Awards Breakfast sponsored by GameTime, Inc. AFRS members and delegates alike gathered to honor award recipients in five prestigious categories: Practitioner, Fellow, Executive Fellow, Lifetime Service, and Special Citation.

The Practitioner Award is awarded to individuals who work in Armed Forces Recreation at the operational level. Recipients in this category were: Stacy Conner, Fleet Recreation Coordinator, Naval Ship Yard Puget Sound, Washington; Charles Large, Director of Community Activities, US Army Signal Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia; Mike Bond, Assistant Youth Coordinator, Recreation Department, Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.

Awarded to installation level professional personnel (military or civilian) actively engaged in working with participants and implementing the recreation program at the operating level is the Fellow Award. The 1994 recipients were: Harry Johnson, Recreation Assistant, Outdoor Recreation, Fort Wainwright, Alaska; William Von Ohlen, Chief, Outdoor Recreation, Fort Eustis, Virginia; Janet Wehmeyer, Director, Schilling Community Activities Center, Kadena Air Base, Japan.

To be a recipient of the Executive Fellow Award one must be military or civilian personnel engaged in Armed Forces Recreation at the departmental major command, sub-command, or in a top-level installation recreation management position. This year's recipients were: Charlotte Dodson, Services Director, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California; Bruce Grenier, Quality of Life/MWR Director, Dahlgren, Virginia, and Stephen Pauli, General Manager, MWR, Camp Hasen, Japan.

The following retired individuals received the Lifetime Service Award for their admirable contributions to the field of MWR throughout their tenure: Byron Gibson, Chief Community Activities Division, Fort Monroe, Virginia; Ed Hawkins, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, Manassas, Virginia; Thomas Tronsdal, Civil Service Retired, Japan.

The Special Citation Award is given to military or civilian personnel, not necessarily a professional recreator, who has made significant contribution in the areas of leadership, pioneering, public relations, and research to Armed Forces Recreation. This special award went to Rear Admiral Kevin F. Delaney, USN, Director, Shore Installation Management Division Office of Chief of Naval Operations, Washington D.C., and Ernest Yeager, Director of Outdoor Recreation, Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Award plaques, sponsored by BSN Sports, were presented by R. Dean Tice, Executive Director, NRPA; Stephen Pratt, CLP, President, AFRS; Clarence Thornberry, GameTime, Inc., AFRS Corporate Representative; and Rick Junior, BSN Sports.

Meet the Chiefs

A time-honored AFRS PTI tradition is to provide the opportunity for delegates to "Meet the Chiefs." Each year, Service Chiefs are invited to participate in a question and answer panel during which they briefly can present their views of what is happening in their particular service.

This is followed by the chance for attendees to ask questions on issues that concern them most. This year AFRS delegates had the privilege to interact with Barbara J. Heffernan, Director, Personnel Support Policy and Services, OUSD (PNR), who represented the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Presenters representing the services included: John G. …

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