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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
US Coast Guard Base Miami Beach Loves Celebrity's Big Bad Entertainment System

Florida's Coast Guard has been busier than ever these days, with the toughest of assignments including the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Haiti earthquake. The morale of its sailors is more important than ever. However, with resources stretched thin and funding priorities favoring missions such as the acquisition of Fast Response Cutters (starting with the Bernard C. Webber, the first ship in the class, now ported at Base Miami Beach), resources for keeping troops entertained are scarce.

Crew of the new Bernard C. Webber Fast Response Cutter stands tall with Celebrity's Big Bad Game Box ...

Crew of the new Bernard C. Webber Fast Response Cutter stands tall with Celebrity's Big Bad Game Box(TM), awarded to Coast Guard Base Miami Beach (Photo: Business Wire)

"That translates to fewer morale opportunities for our shipmates," said Casey Malloy, the Regional MWR Director (Morale, Welfare and Recreation).

Two "civilian" organizations took note of the problem and stepped up with a timely solution.

The IMCEA (International Military Community Executive's Association) and Celebrity Systems, an integrator of entertainment systems custom built for military use, collaborated to put a little gusto back into those oft-drudging, off-duty hours.

In celebration of their 40th anniversary, IMCEA invited MWR facilities, branch-wide, to submit a two-page essay describing how Celebrity's Big Bad Game Box(tm) entertainment system (to be awarded to the best essay) could make a real-world difference for the morale of the men and women in their command.

Entries were submitted from the Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard, with three making it to the final cut. In the end Coast Guard Base Miami Beach took top honors for its essay, submitted by Casey Malloy.

"It was a tough decision," said Mark Velligan, Celebrity's president. "All of the entries were so very compelling." A formal presentation of a awarded Big Bad Game Box was made on November 30, 2012 at Base Miami Beach. Mark Velligan and IMCEA Board President Nancy Pasternack, CMCE (HQ-MCCS U.S. Marine Corps), were on hand to make the presentation, accepted by Base Commander, Capt. Mark Jackson with Casey Malloy and a group of noticeably happy sailors.

The presentation was followed by a video game tournament displaying all the different facets of the high-tech new system. "This is awesome, the system is insane!" said Petty Officer First Class Roberto Prieto. "We have been waiting for this to be unveiled since it arrived on base in this huge crate."

Morale is definitely up.

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