AMES, Iowa — The Department of Defense has honored Iowa State University (ISU) Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program for “exceptional service” to children, youth and families of military personnel with a Certificate of Commendation.
Chris Gleason, Iowa 4-H military liaison, received the certificate from Cathann Kress, National 4-H director of youth development, who accepted the award in Washington, D.C., on behalf of participating state programs.
“I am thrilled to accept this certificate of commendation on behalf of 4-H staff and volunteers who work with military children and families across the nation and around the world,” Kress said.
National 4-H has partnered with U. S. Army Child and Youth Services (CYS) and Air Force family member programs since 1995, providing youth development programs on military installations. Military youth involved in 4-H clubs across the United States and around the world can continue their 4-H work wherever their parents are transferred or deployed.
4-H expanded its reach to children and families of National Guard and Reserve service members with the onset of the Global War on Terrorism. Iowa was one of five states that led the Operation Military Kids (OMK) program, partnering with the U. S. Army CYS in 2003. The program has grown each year, and now serves the children of National Guard and Reserve soldiers in 34 states.
The Department of Defense commendation states, “The leadership and staff of the USDA National 4-H Youth Development have distinguished themselves by continuous exceptional service to the children, youth and family members of our military men and women in uniform around the world.”
4-H is a community of more than 7 million young people across America and around the world learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Learn more about 4-H military programs at http://www.national4-hheadquarters.gov/.