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Honor Ride bikers cycled through Fillmore on Hwy. 126 on Saturday, April 2, just east of town. The Honor Ride is a non-competitive cycling event that allows the community to help raise funds for our healing heroes of war, and cycle alongside them. Project HERO (Healing, Exercise, Rehabilitation, Opportunity) provides training and supports cycling programs that help healing heroes overcome obstacles they face from war. The cycling rides have proven to help injured and healing veterans improve their physical and mental health. There were three rides to choose from: 100, 57 and 22 miles. The ride started at Simi Valley Towne Center.
Honor Ride bikers cycled through Fillmore on Hwy. 126 on Saturday, April 2, just east of town. The Honor Ride is a non-competitive cycling event that allows the community to help raise funds for our healing heroes of war, and cycle alongside them. Project HERO (Healing, Exercise, Rehabilitation, Opportunity) provides training and supports cycling programs that help healing heroes overcome obstacles they face from war. The cycling rides have proven to help injured and healing veterans improve their physical and mental health. There were three rides to choose from: 100, 57 and 22 miles. The ride started at Simi Valley Towne Center.
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OneJustice’s Justice Bus® Project is partnering with the Public Counsel Law Center and Ventura County Library to provide a FREE VA benefits and clean slate legal clinic for veterans in Ventura. During the clinic, individuals with appointments will meet one-on-one with volunteer attorneys one-hundred percent free of charge. Appointments are required! This clinic is being held in conjunction with the E.P. Foster Library, a Ventura County Public Library, to provide much needed legal assistance to our veterans and to enable them to learn about opportunities and available resources. At the clinic, volunteer attorneys will be available to assist veterans with VA benefits issues and criminal record clearance. Space is limited so call and make your appointment today!

The clinic will take place Wednesday, April 27, 2016 from 1:00pm – 5:00pm at the E.P. Foster Library - Topping Room
651 E Main St, Ventura, CA 93001. To make an appointment for the clinic, please call: 213-261-8931

Ventura County Library System:
Inspiring our community to explore, discover and connect.
The Ventura County Library is available 24/7 at

Dozens of Food Service and Other Positions Available

West Los Angeles – If you are looking for a great job making a difference in the lives of our Veterans, then the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is looking for you! Our Veterans Home in West Los Angeles is hiring dozens of food service workers and other staff at a job fair scheduled for November 18.

“As we open our new kitchen facility and admit more residents, CalVet actively seeks compassionate and creative individuals who care about our Veterans,” said Julian Manalo, Administrator at the West Los Angeles Veterans Home. “Today is an exciting time to join our team at our West Los Angeles Veterans Home.”

WHAT: Job Fair. Please visit our website for a list of open positions.

WHEN: November 18, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Testing and Hiring interviews for Registered Dietician, Cook Specialist I & II,
Food Service Supervisor I & II, and Supervising Cook I & II.

November 18, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon
Workshops will be provided on: “How to Get a State Job” and “How to Maneuver the CalHR Website”

WHERE: West LA Veterans Home, 11500 Nimitz Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90049

CalVet Human Resources staff will be available to discuss employment opportunities, provide exams, and conduct interviews (on a first-come, first-served basis). Information will be available for additional positions, such as Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), rehabilitation therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, pharmacists, social workers, plus other administrative and clerical positions.

Follow our West Los Angeles Veterans Home on Facebook.


Sacramento – Last week former service members in California began receiving their new driver licenses and identification (ID) cards with the word “Veteran” printed on it (please see attached photo).

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) reminds Veterans that they must first visit a County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) and obtain a Veteran Status Verification Form before contacting a DMV to apply for the Veteran designation.

Veterans are also required to pay a one-time $5 designation fee, in addition to any other application fees associated with a renewal, duplicate, or original driver license or ID card. The Veteran designation fee was part of the new law, also known as Assembly Bill 935.

To apply for your Veteran designation, please follow these three easy steps: get your discharge certificate, visit any CVSO, and then visit any DMV.

STEP 1 – Find your military discharge certificate (DD214). If you need assistance obtaining your military records, then contact any County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) by calling 844-737-8838.

STEP 2 – Take your discharge certificate to any County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) to obtain your Veteran Status Verification Form. To find your CVSO, call 844-737-8838 or visit

STEP 3 – Present your completed and stamped Veteran Status Verification Form and driver license application to a DMV representative at your local DMV field office. Pay your $5 designation fee and related application fees.

Please remember, Veterans must first visit a CVSO and obtain the Veteran Status Verification Form before setting an appointment at DMV. For faster DMV service, schedule an appointment at a DMV field office by visiting or calling 800-777-0133.

For frequently asked questions, please visit CalVet’s website.

Follow CalVet on Facebook and Twitter


Those Who Serve Will be Served Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberries, Blueberries and Whipped Topping
GLENDALE, CALIF. (October 29, 2015) – IHOP® restaurants will once again honor the 22 million Veterans currently living in the United States and more than 1.3 million Armed Forces members currently serving in the military by offering them a free stack of Red, White & Blue pancakes on Veteran’s Day.

Participating IHOP restaurants throughout the United States will serve a stack of Red, White & Blue pancakes – buttermilk pancakes crowned with glazed strawberries, blueberry compote and whipped topping – free for Veterans and Active Duty Military on Veteran’s Day, November 11, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

“Having served as an Army Ranger and infantry officer, I am proud to be part of a brand that honors the brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe and free,” said Darren Rebelez, President, International House of Pancakes LLC. “We are looking forward to having our nation’s heroes as guests at their local IHOP, and personally thanking them for their service.”

Veterans and Active Duty Military simply show proof of military service to receive their free Red, White & Blue pancakes. Proof includes: US Uniformed Services ID Card, US Uniformed Services Retired ID Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), veterans organization card (i.e. American Legion, VFW, etc.), photograph of yourself in US military uniform, wearing uniform, DD214, military dog tags, and citation or commendation.

(Amend CCR §461 and Adopt CCR §463 and §464)

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) proposes to adopt regulations described in the Notice of Public Rulemaking available on the CalVet website at the link below.

NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN that any interested person, or his or her duly authorized representative, may submit written comments relevant to the proposed regulatory action to:

California Department of Veterans Affairs
Northern California Veterans Cemetery
Attention: Mark George
11800 Gas Point Road
Igo, CA 96047
Telephone: 530-396-2429
Fax: 530-396-2523

Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on November 12, 2015. CalVet will only consider comments received at the CalVet offices by that time.

The Public Notice and proposed rulemaking package are also available for viewing in the California Department of Veterans Affairs lobby at 1227 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 and online here.


West Los Angeles – If you are looking for a great job making a difference in the lives of our Veterans, then the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is looking for you! There are 300 immediate openings for dozens of positions, including medical care, food preparation, and support staff at our beautiful new West Los Angeles Home.

“CalVet actively seeks compassionate individuals who care about our Veterans,” said Julian Manalo, our West Los Angeles Deputy Home Administrator. “Our goal is filling our Home with deserving Veterans, and a professional, caring staff is necessary to achieve our goal,” he added.

WHAT: Two-Day Job Fair for 300 open positions. To view our current list of openings at our West Los Angeles Veterans Home, please visit our website

Register online at

WHEN: August 26 and 27, 2015, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: West LA Veterans Home, 11500 Nimitz Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90049

August 26, CalVet Human Resources (HR) staff will conduct exam testing and hiring interviews for Certified Nursing Assistants. CalVet HR staff will provide briefings on “How to Get a State Job” and “How to Maneuver the CalHR Website” from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
August 27, CalVet HR staff will conduct exam testing and hiring interviews for Food Service Technicians I and II, as well as Cook Specialists I and II, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All eight of our CalVet Homes are hiring. To learn more about CalVet exams and employment opportunities, please visit our website at

Follow our West Los Angeles Veterans Home on Facebook:

Job Fair on January 21 at West Los Angeles Home

If you are looking for a great job making a difference in the lives of our Veterans, then the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is looking for you! In preparation for the immediate opening of our new Skilled Nursing Unit at our CalVet West Los Angeles Veterans Home, CalVet will be holding a CalVet Job Fair on January 21, 2015.

CalVet seeks applicants for the following positions:
• 27 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
• 11 Nurses
• Activities coordinator
• Social worker
• Nursing supervisor
• Plus clerical, food service, custodial, and numerous other clinical positions.

“We’re looking for compassionate individuals who care about our Veterans,” said Tom Bucci, the Administrator of our CalVet West Los Angeles Veterans Home. “Our goal is filling our beds in our Home as soon as we hire the professional and caring staff we need.”

On January 21, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., visit our CalVet Job Fair at our West LA Home, 11500 Nimitz Avenue, Los Angeles. Applicants will receive a one-stop opportunity to speak with CalVet Human Resources staff about how to get a state job and to take the exams necessary to establish application eligibility—a necessary step in state service employment.

CalVet continues hiring statewide.

“We have job openings throughout our eight long-term care homes, said Diane Vanderpot, Undersecretary Veterans Home of California. “We are particularly in need of nurses, therapists, and other clinical staff. In the coming months you will see CalVet staff attending community job fairs and Veterans resource fairs recruiting for our homes.”

In addition to West LA, CalVet operates Veterans Homes in Barstow, Chula Vista, Fresno, Lancaster, Redding, Ventura, and Yountville. All homes are looking to hire staff. To learn more about CalVet exams and jobs, please visit our award-winning new website:

Veterans’ preference can be applied to help Veteran’s qualify for open as well as open, non-promotional examinations. Any Veteran, Veteran spouse, widow or widower, or spouse of a 100-percent disabled Veteran who achieves a passing score on an entrance examination will be eligible to apply for employment within that job classification.

For more information about Veterans’ preference, please go to:


Sacramento, CA – The California Vietnam Memorial Name Committee agreed to add the names of 31 California Veterans who died while serving our country in the Vietnam War. The 31 names are scheduled to be added to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial and then unveiled during a ceremony in Capitol Park on March 29, 2015.

“We are honored to formally recognize the service and sacrifice of our brave men in uniform,” said Peter Gravett, Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). “Although our recognition is decades late, California’s salute is equally heartfelt and deserved for all of our fallen service members and their families.”

On October 28, 2014, the Committee took two actions. First, it voted in favor of adding the names of 10 California Veterans to the state memorial that were already etched into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located in Washington, DC, yet not on the California memorial.

The following 10 Veterans will be added to the state memorial in Sacramento:

• Johnny Owen Brooks
• Donald Scott Carson
• James Douglas Chappell
• David McLean Desilets
• John Edward Granville
• Thomas Randolph McCormick
• Richard Monroe Pruett
• Robert Michael Swick
• Richard John Tortorice
• John Henry Van Wyk

Second, the Committee voted in favor of adding the names of 21 California Sailors who died while aboard the USS Frank E. Evans when the ship sank during a training exercise in the South China Sea on June 3, 1969. The destroyer’s home port was Long Beach, California.

Approval to add the names of 21 Sailors came after the Committee heard testimony from families of the fallen Sailors and survivors. The 21 Sailors are:

• Andrew James Botto
• Robert George Brandon
• William Daniel Brown II
• Christopher John Carlson
• Danny Victor Clute
• Joe Eddy Craig
• Leon Larry Deal
• Steven Frank Espinosa
• William Donald Fields
• Henry Kenneth Frye
• Francis Joseph Garcia
• Devere Ray Grissom, Jr.
• James William Kerr
• Isaac Lyons, Jr.
• Andrew Martin Melendrez
• Gregory Koichi Ogawa
• Craig Allen Pennell
• John Raymond Spray
• Jon Kenneth Stever
• Ronald Arthur Thibodeau
• John Thomas Tolar

All 31 names are set to be unveiled at a ceremony in Sacramento’s Capitol Park scheduled for Sunday, March 29, 2015, the day before Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.

The Committee, created when Governor Brown signed AB 287 in 2013, is tasked with adding names of men and women killed during the Vietnam War. The Committee is also charged with reviewing the names of men and women whose deaths after returning from service in Vietnam were determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be service-connected. Under the provisions of the law, written by Assemblymember Jim Frazier, Jr., the Committee must compile a list of names to be added to the memorial by November 1 of each year.

The Committee members are CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett, Chairman; representatives from the California State Commanders Veterans Council: Jerry Guevara, Vice Chairman, and Jim Anderson; representatives from the California Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America: Al Sickle, Mike Kennedy, and Lou Nuñes as alternate.

Hawker Hunter Example
Hawker Hunter Example
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Point Mugu, CA - A Hawker Hunter aircraft, operated by Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) has gone down on final approach just outside of Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu.

At this time, status of the one-person crew is unknown.

Federal fire and police are have secured the site with the help of Ventura County emergency responders. They are awaiting the arrival of FAA authorities, as the incident occurred off the installation and involves a civilian pilot and aircraft.

ATAC flies aircraft in adversarial roles during training missions.

For more information about ATAC, please call 757-243-8044.

Members of Cal Lutheran's Military Veterans Club.
Members of Cal Lutheran's Military Veterans Club.
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Barbecue free to each service member and 3 guests

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University is hosting a Veterans Day Celebration featuring music and a barbecue dinner from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8.

Admission to the tailgate party is free for veterans and military members and up to three guests for each with proof of service. They can bring additional guests for $10 each.

Country rock cover band Highway Starr will perform at the celebration, which will be held on the presidential patio outside the Pederson Administration Building on the Thousand Oaks campus. Gift baskets will be raffled off to support Cal Lutheran’s Military Veterans Club.

After dinner, guests can watch the Kingsmen football team play Occidental College at 7 p.m. in William Rolland Stadium. Admission is free to all.

Before the tailgate party, visitors can watch a short documentary about the healing effect that therapeutic horseback riding had on a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. The award-winning “Riding My Way Back” will be shown at 4:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall 128. Staff members from Newbury Park-based Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship will answer questions after the film.

Cal Lutheran is ranked third among regional universities in the West in the Best Colleges for Veterans list. The university works with the government to cover all tuition and fees for an unlimited number of qualified undergraduate and graduate students through the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program. Cal Lutheran also belongs to the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium and has a veterans coordinator who organizes events and helps with enrollment, financial aid and academic issues.

Pederson Administration Building is located at the southwest corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Boulevard. William Rolland Stadium is on the north side of Olsen Road between Campus Drive and Mountclef. Alumni Hall is west of Mountclef between Olsen and Memorial Parkway.

To RSVP for the celebration, go to For more information, contact Veterans Coordinator Jenn Zimmerman at 493-3648 or


Sacramento – The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is pleased to announce our recently revamped website received a Digital Government Achievement Award from the Center for Digital Government. The annual awards recognize outstanding city, county, state, Federal, and international government websites and digital projects.

“Our new site is much more user-friendly and intuitive,” said Keith Boylan, CalVet Deputy Secretary Veterans Affairs. “Our myCalVet feature allows our Veterans, Veteran family members and Veteran stakeholders to create a secure, personal profile. The next time the user logs onto our site, the information pushed to them is based on their profile and interests.”

Launched in March, 2014, our new website offers detailed information about Federal and state benefits and location-specific local services available to our Veterans and their families, including eligibility requirements and how to apply. Our site enables CalVet to leverage technology as a more cost-effective means to reach the growing number of California Veterans. Our site also provides CalVet the opportunity to merge existing databases and provides a platform for information exchange with other Federal and state agencies.

Our myCalVet tool is one of many CalVet efforts to increase the number of California Veterans and family members connected to the benefits they earned through their military service.

To view the full list of Digital Government Achievement Awards recipients, go to

To visit the CalVet web site and create your own myCalVet profile, go to


Sacramento – Veterans, active duty service members, and their families received needed legislative support thanks to several bills signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

“By signing these important bills into law, the Governor once again demonstrates his unwavering commitment to our California Veterans, service members, and their families,” said Peter J. Gravett, Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).

The package of 19 bills includes legislation allowing Veterans to receive special designation on their driver’s licenses (AB 935); provides spouses of military personnel who are licensed in another state to receive a 12-month temporary license to practice their profession in California (AB 186); directs CalVet to develop a California-specific transition assistance program for Veterans leaving the military (AB1509); provides greater oversight of private for-profit colleges and universities (AB 2099); and exempts a Veteran from any state from paying out-of-state tuition at California community colleges, California State Universities or University of California Campuses (AB13).

On Saturday, September 24, 2014, the Governor signed the following bills into law:

• AB 935 by Assemblymember Jim L. Frazier Jr. (D-Oakley): Allows Veterans to apply for a driver's license or identification card that includes a special “Veteran” designation.
• AB 186 by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego): Requires Department of Consumer Affairs licensing entities to provide military spouses and domestic partners licensed in another state with a 12-month temporary license to practice their profession in California if they meet certain conditions.
• AB 1509 by Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale): Requires CalVet to develop a transition assistance program for Veterans who have been discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard of any state.
• AB 2099 by Assemblymember Jim L. Frazier Jr. (D-Oakley) – Provides the California State Approving Agency for Veteran Education (CSAAVE) with greater authority over for-profit colleges and schools that serve Veterans using their GI Bill education benefits.
• AB 13 by Assemblymember Connie Conway (R-Tulare): Requires the California Community Colleges and the California State University to update in-state tuition rate policies for eligible Veterans to ensure compliance with the Federal Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 and it requests the Board of Regents for the University of California to do the same thing.

Other Veteran-related bills the Governor signed include:

• AB 585 by Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale): Requires the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to develop a prioritized list of uses for unused or underutilized nonresidential real property it owns.
• AB 614 by Assemblymember Rocky Chávez (R-Oceanside): Ensures that a Veteran with 70 percent or more service-connected disability receiving intermediate care or skilled nursing care in a Veterans home shall have their account deemed paid in full by the amounts paid on their behalf by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
• AB 919 by Assemblymember Das G. Williams (D-Santa Barbara): Permits Veterans who are itinerant vendors to receive a refund of sales taxes paid to the Board of Equalization between April 1, 2002 and April 1, 2010.
• AB 1397 by the Committee on Veterans Affairs: Requires the California Department of Human Resources to collect and report on data regarding the Veterans preference system in state hiring.
• AB 1453 by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton): Requires CalVet to cooperate with local government bodies in Orange County to design, construct and equip a state-owned and operated Southern California Veterans Cemetery in the City of Irvine and establishes eligibility for interment.
• AB 1589 by Assemblymember Jim L. Frazier Jr. (D-Oakley): Requires an elections official to arrange electronic delivery of a ballot to a military or overseas voter who makes a standing request for all elections, eliminating the requirement that the individuals renew their email address every two years.
• AB 1821 by Assemblymember Richard S. Gordon (D-Menlo Park): Establishes the Medical Foster Home Pilot Program and authorizes U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facilities to create a medical foster home not subject to licensure or regulation as a residential care facility for the elderly.
• AB 2215 by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego): Allows a Veteran’s family or legal representatives to file a copy of a Veteran’s military discharge document with a county recorder without the consent of the Veteran.
• AB 2263 by Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Gardena): Authorizes a Veterans service organization to volunteer as a Veterans service advocate at California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities.
• SB 842 by Senator Stephen T. Knight (R-Palmdale): Requires the California Department of Transportation to construct directional signs on state highways for each Veterans home in the state.
• SB 1110 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara): Requires the court to inform active duty or Veteran status defendants of restorative relief rights available to them and requires the Judicial Council to include information about the provisions in its military service form.
• SB 1113 by Senator Stephen T. Knight (R-Palmdale): Extends the statute of limitations for a Veteran with a 100 percent service-connected disability to claim a disabled Veteran property tax exemption refund from four to eight years.
• SB 1226 by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana): Expedites the Department of Consumer Affairs boards’ and bureaus’ initial licensure process for Veteran applicants who were active duty and stationed in California and authorizes prospective proprietary private security officers to submit verification of military training in lieu of a course in security officer skills.
• SB 1227 by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley): Authorizes a court to create a diversion program for active duty military personnel or Veterans who commit misdemeanors and who are suffering from service-related trauma or substance abuse.

Opens October 17in Camarillo

Ventura County veterans and military personnel with legal questions will have a new way to get answers starting in mid-October when the Ventura County Military Collaborative’s legal clinic opens.

During twice a month clinics, the Military and Veterans Legal Clinic Ventura County will provide veterans and active duty, guard and reserve with a free one-hour consultation with a licensed attorney. Family members and dependents cannot be seen at this time.

Among the topics covered: DUIs; child custody, child support, divorce, family law matters; credit or bankruptcy; landlord/tenant disputes; estate planning; powers of attorney; expungement; workers’ compensation; and unemployment benefits.

Kim Evans Logie, director of the Ventura County Military Collaborative (VCMilC), spearheaded formation of the clinic. Her time as Director of Psychological Health with the 146th Airlift Wing, work with the CA Army National Guard and her current position as liaison to the Veterans Treatment Court convinced her of the need for free legal services for veterans, active duty, guard and reservists.

“We see so many coming back from serving our country, people who have put their lives on hold, who now need our help,” Evans Logie said. “And we know that combat stress can sometimes bring about issues that result in legal problems.”

The clinic will meet once each month from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on a Friday and on the following Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments are available now for the first five meetings: Fridays, October 17, November 14 and December 12; and Saturdays, October 18 and November 15. Go to to sign-up. Walk-ins will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, if an attorney is available.

Clinics will be held at the Ventura County Community Foundation Building at 4001 Mission Oaks Boulevard in Camarillo.Gold Coast Veterans Foundation is graciously supplying the space for the clinic.

The clinic has no funding, and is operating with a volunteer corps of local attorneys assisted by law students and community support. Among the supporting agencies are: the Ventura County Bar Association, the Veterans Treatment Court, the Public Defenders Office, RSVP Oxnard, the Ventura County Veterans Services Office, and the Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement.

Attorneys interested in volunteering can access information on the Ventura County Military Collaborative’s website,, or by calling 805-218-1930. Additional volunteer help is needed and includes assisting the veterans and military members with their intakes, providing office support and helping with marketing/social media. Call RSVP at 805-385-8023 for more information on these other volunteer needs. VCMilC and its programs are provided by the generous support of Ventura County. If you would like to donate please see our website at

VCMilCconsists of over 120 local, state and federal agencies serving Ventura County military, veterans and their families. It provides a format for information to be shared, awareness to be raised, community outreach to be strengthened and partnerships to be established with the overall goal to improve services to the military community of Ventura County. Annual events include the Military and Veteran Expo, providing ready access to military-serving agencies, and Operation Snowflake, providing toys to military and veteran families in need during the holidays. VCMilC also provides individual support on a case-by-case basis. Its 501(c)(3) status is pending.


WASHINGTON – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 25 was awarded the Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) Fellows Society’s 2014 Citizen Patriot Unit Award during a luncheon at the Army-Navy Club in Arlington, Va., Sept. 10.

The Citizen Patriot Unit Award recognizes units and individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the security of the U.S. and have demonstrated a quantifiable and recognizable pattern of excellence. It is the highest award given by the RFPB Fellows Society and was established in 2002 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the RFPB.

Since 2002, only one other naval unit has earned the award.

“In June, a message was put out by Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command regarding nominations for the award,” said Cmdr. Jennifer Donahue, NMCB 25’s commanding officer. “We researched its history and significance [and] realized that given our multiple deployments and contributions to the security and defensive posture of the nation, NMCB 25 would be a contender for the award.”

Known by its moniker “Spades and Clubs,” NMCB 25 is deployed as the Naval Construction Force in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) NATO Coalition and Special Operations Forces for Operation Enduring Freedom within U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility. Partnered with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, they are tasked to execute the Train, Advise and Assist (TAA) mentoring mission for the Afghan National Engineer Brigade (NEB) and its two supporting battalions, the Special Engineer Kandak (SEK) and Construction Engineer Kandak (CnEK), in addition to limited construction and deconstruction support to U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A).

“NMCB 25’s performance during 2014 has been outstanding as demonstrated through the challenges of mobilizing 428 reservists, then organizing and integrating the mosaic of citizen Sailors from across the nation to become a single battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Donahue. “As we transition toward the end of a successful deployment and demobilization, the Seabee ‘Can Do’ spirit of the Spades and Clubs continues to be strong.”

Donahue explained the unique nature of the TAA mission which encompasses all aspects of unit management from administration, intelligence, operations, logistics, communication, safety and command leadership. The intent is to make them more capable and self-sufficient upon the departure of the coalition forces.

“Retired Army Maj. Gen. Kenneth Bouldin,president of the RFPB Fellows, presented the award which was given for the entire history of NMCB 25, going back to its commissioning in 1942,” said NMCB 25 prospective executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Kaber who accepted the award on behalf of the unit. “They read through the history of the battalion… emphasizing its deployments for the global war on terror. It was an honor to be there and receive such a distinguished award.”

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Bergson spoke about the caliber of the competitors for the award.

“We had 15 or 16 unit nominees this year and they’ve all performed magnificently. The awards committee was looking for a unit that had a long history of service to the country, that’s what NMCB 25 had,” said Bergson.
According to the award summary, the 25th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) was commissioned in September 1942, at Camp Bradford, Va., and underwent its first training at Camp Allen, Va. Shortly after commissioning, the battalion received orders attaching it to the Marine Corps. The battalion transferred to Camp Elliot in San Diego, becoming the 3rd Battalion, 19th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Forces. The battalion detached from the Marine Corps in August 1945, and was once again the 25th NCB. The battalion’s operations on Bougainville Island in the South Pacific were under the control of U.S. Army Gen. Douglas Macarthur, giving the 25th the distinction of serving under the Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

The 25th NCB built a hospital on American Samoa, an airfield on Guadalcanal and roads and bridges on Bougainville Island. During operations on Guam, the 25th NCB worked long hours and stood night duty to form a secondary line of defense as the Japanese threatened a break through. One enlisted man was awarded the Silver Star for actions against the Japanese. Nineteen officers and enlisted were awarded the Bronze Star for their actions. Upon returning to the U.S. in June 1945, the 25th was officially deactivated in November.

The reserve NMCB 25 was commissioned in October 1961 as a member of the Seabee Ready Reserve. The newly formed battalion mustered for the first time at Davisville, R.I.

Today, NMCB 25 is headquartered at Ft. McCoy, a reserve army base located in Wisconsin. Upon redeployment, the unit will relocate to Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, California.

“Many of the men and women of NMCB 25 have answered the call to country many times before; and this award is a testament to the sacrifices they make for their family and civilian careers to become a citizen soldier once again,” said Donahue.

More than half of the deployed personnel are from other battalions and non-NCF units who volunteered to mobilize with NMCB 25 and serve in the last battalion in Afghanistan, according to Donahue.

“It is our honor to receive this award on behalf of not only NMCB 25, but for the Naval Construction Force (NCF) as well,” said Donahue. “For 13 years, the NCF has continually mobilized reserve battalions and regiments to fight the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. To be recognized and selected over all other Navy Reserve components (air, sea, logistics), then compete against all of our sister services, shows the strength and endurance of the Seabees in this long battle with terrorism.”

Chief of the Navy Reserve, Vice Adm. Robin Braun lauded the unit in an email to Donahue. “Please accept my sincere congratulations for your outstanding efforts. This award is an acknowledgement of your team’s dedication, selflessness and service. We’re especially proud that your command was selected as the Navy Reserve’s nominee and competed with National Guard and other Service nominees for the award. Your selection is well deserved.”

“We look forward to congratulating you in person when you return home,” said Braun. “Well done.”