MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The Second Marine Division Association opened a recruiting office in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Exchange Annex here, June 21.
The association opened the recruiting office to make younger Marines and sailors currently serving in the division more aware of its services and of the SMDA itself.
“We needed a more visible presence,” said retired Col. Peter Grimes, the executive director of the Second Marine Division Association. “We needed the Marines and sailors to see that we are here.”
Gary Cassevah, the deputy director of Marine Corps Community Services said the association and MCCS worked together to find space for the recruiting office, which is beside the Marine Corps Association store inside the Exchange Annex. MCCS and the association found the spot offered a very visible position for SMDA to set up its recruiting office.
“This is another great example of the organizations on base working together to help the Marines and sailors,” said Cassevah. “We’re happy to have the association set up a recruiting office here in the Exchange. MCCS worked with the association to provide them with what they needed.”
The SMDA was founded Dec. 30, 1949 by Lt. Gen. Julian C. Smith and has been aboard Camp Lejuene for the past fifteen years. It is a non-profit organization with membership open to anyone who has served, or is presently serving, in the 2nd Marine Division. This invitation also extends to individuals who have served with attached or supporting units.
The association provides scholarship money to children of members of the association. The Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Endowment Fund both stand as memorials to fallen comrades and members of the association.
Col. Adele Hodges, commanding officer Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, stood alongside Grimes and Cpl. Justin Cummings, a TOW gunner with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, during the ceremony as each cut the ribbon in front of the recruiting office.
Before the ceremony started, Hodges explained to Cummings what the association was. She explained how it would affect him and his fellow Marines.
“This association is for the younger Marines,” she said. “It takes care of the Marines and sailors that are a part of it. They carry on the mission of looking after our own.”