Monday, November 10, 2014

Col. Chuck Hodges Jr. Receives 36th Military Citizen Award

The Chamber, in conjunction with Tacoma 8 Rotary, presented the 36th annual John H. Anderson Military Citizen Award to Colonel H. Charles “Chuck” Hodges Jr.

Colonel Hodges has more than twenty- nine years of service in the U.S. Army.  He has served as Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s commander since August 2012. He and his wife, Cathy, have two children, Shelby and Sam. As JBLM Commander he leads the nearly 3,500 soldiers, airmen and civilians who comprise the Joint Base staff.

Col. Hodges’ commitment to the quality of life of more than 100,000 service members, civilian employees and family members who are assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the critical missions they support, and the communities neighboring Joint Base Lewis-McChord, make him an excellent choice for the award.

As commander of the department of defense’s largest operational Joint Base, Col. Hodges leads a team that gets results by working collaboratively with federal, state, county and local government officials, business and community leaders. These achievements include:
•    Helping reduce I-5 traffic congestion by coordinating and facilitating the construction of a Joint Base connector road and overpass. When it opens this spring, this new road will take more than 500 daily commuter trips off I-5 each day by allowing JBLM commuters to drive non-stop from Lewis-Main to McChord Field without having to use I-5 or exit and re-enter JBLM through its gates.
•    Helping replace five of six aging Joint Base Lewis-McChord schools thanks to a partnership between JBLM, the state’s congressional delegation, state and local officials.
•    Leading Joint Base Lewis-McChord to a Silver Army Communities of Excellence Award in 2013 and a Bronze Army Communities of Excellence Award in 2014 – the industry equivalent of the Baldridge Award for organizational distinction.
•    Col. Hodges has, and will continue to, help more than 8,500 soldiers and airmen each year transition from military service to the civilian workforce through a comprehensive, multi-track transition assistance program that helps service members chart their education goals, start new businesses, retrain into high-demand trades through apprenticeship programs, or to be competitive for jobs in the civilian workforce.  These efforts are the result of the strong relationship he’s helped build between Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the State of Washington, community organizations, businesses, unions, higher education and military leadership inside and outside the state. As evidence of this, Joint Base Lewis-McChord hosted a service member for life summit that ended with a hiring fair attended by approximately three thousand service members, family members and veterans. Two hundred and forty eight employers, educators and service organizations with more than 1,300 job openings attended. Approximately 212 immediate job openings were filled that day.
•    Aggressively sponsoring a growing relationship between Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the business community and unions.  These opportunities include ongoing apprenticeship and job training programs, which are putting local service members into HVAC, welding jobs, trucking, painting, and software apprenticeships and training programs. Future opportunities include job training into the solar and renewable energy areas, medical career fields, hotel management and retail.

Colonel Hodges is an excellent selection for the John M. Anderson Military-Citizen of The Year Award. The countless hours he has donated to the community will be appreciated for years to come.

Photo caption: (l. to r.) Amy Tiemeyer, ACU (Award Sponsor) and Colonel H. Charles “Chuck” Hodges Jr.

Award Sponsor:
America’s Credit Union has been serving the military here at Joint base Lewis McChord (JBLM) since 1954; ACU has been active in creating a community that is aware of soldiers needs and able to serve our military who give so much for all of us. Amy Tiemeyer, America’s Credit Union’s Military Relations Liaison, is a veteran herself and presented the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s 36th John Anderson Military Citizen of the Year award.

About John H. Anderson:
The Chamber created the John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award to honor an outstanding military citizen to commemorate the civic contributions by our resident military personnel. John H. Anderson, a veteran, served as Tacoma’s mayor in the early to mid-1950s. An accomplished civic leader, he is also a past Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board of Directors, as well as a successful local businessman.

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