MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Most people know that L.I.N.K.S. is a way for spouses to learn about the Marine Corps, said Jessica L. Livingston, a L.I.N.K.S. trainer for Cherry Point Marine Corps Family Team Building.
“L.I.N.K.S. stands for Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills,” said Livingston. “This is a group that teaches spouses about the Marine Corps and also teaches people about the different volunteer awards civilians and Marines can be awarded.”
The classes L.I.N.K.S. offers for volunteering are conducted in two-hour sessions.
“The skills we teach during our class help people build skills needed and looked for by future employers,” said Livingston. “An employer looks at volunteering as if it is gold; they see someone who is willing to go above and beyond what they are asked for.”
On top of the skills being built, the awards a person can earn from volunteering will also show well on the person’s future endeavors.
“Marines can earn the Volunteer Service ribbon,” said Livingston. “Civilians and Marines both can earn the Presidential award. With this award a person can earn a certain level depending on the number of hours the individual volunteers. You can get a bronze award for 100-249 hours; silver for 250-499; gold for more than 500 and if you get over 4,000 hours during a lifetime you receive the Lifetime Presidential Award.”
L.I.N.K.S. is certified to verify hours for Marines toward these awards, but most people who volunteer are not in it for the awards or medals.
“For me it means giving back to a community that helps us out and supports us as Marines,” said Sgt. Travonn L. Jones, the career planner for Marine Aerial Refueling Transport Squadron 252. “It also shines a positive light on the Marine Corps and the Marines overseas.”
Jones said L.I.N.K.S. is important to not only Marines but their families as a whole.
“L.I.N.K.S. educates spouses and gives them a better knowledge of the Marine Corps,” said Jones. “This helps at home by the Marine getting better support and will help a marriage. Knowledge is power, and the L.I.N.K.S. classes help everyone learn.”