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Teamwork is a word you likely hear spoken of often at your place of work. It is said so frequently that we may take it for granted. That would be a big mistake.

Several of the recent successes we’ve had on this installation would not have been possible without a large measure of teamwork. The Medical Center’s outstanding Joint Commission results of the last month were only possible with different professionals working together towards common goals.

Similarly, when the Installation achieved terrific results during last week’s Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield exercise, it was due to the great cooperation of all the commands aboard NSA Bethesda. My sincere thanks to all who helped minimize the impact to our off-base community by teleworking, taking a leave day or by fulfilling critical mission requirements on the installation.

Many of you may have been asking yourself how much impact you had as an individual last Friday when thousands of people come to work here. Some may find it difficult to believe that individually you made an impact, but as part of the larger team we significantly reduced traffic congestion in the local area. I am simply thrilled with what we accomplished together.

Much the same way that your individual contribution made a huge impact in the Joint Commission results and Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield, you have an opportunity to make a big difference by making a small contribution during the upcoming Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, Army Emergency Relief and Air Force Aid Society campaigns.

Each spring, all of the services execute their annual fund drives for their respective relief organizations. The funds they raise make up the bulk of their operating budgets and go directly back to your team mates.

As a commander, I see firsthand the profound impact a financial emergency can have on a service member’s life. In many cases, the financial emergency is an additional burden to someone already facing a difficult situation or family tragedy. Having access to funds from a Relief/Aid Society can help keep that difficult situation from becoming an impossible one.

Just as I can assure you that your contribution to our various exercises and inspections made a big difference no matter how small they appear to be, I firmly believe that even the smallest contribution to our relief societies impact people’s lives in a big way and become the difference between having a bad day and a really bad day. Your command has a designated representative for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and Army Emergency Relief fund drives. Look for them to drop off a donation form sometime soon and consider giving as you are able. If you don’t hear from a representative and want to give, for NMCRS please contact MA1 Mark Collins at 301-295-4196 or or for AER contact 2Lt Joycelyn Robinson at 301-295-8828 or For the AFAS call 1-800-769-8951.