Members of the Fort Meade Community Covenant Council pose after signing the 2023 Community Covenant Board, on August 24, 2023, during a ceremony at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. A covenant is signed to renew the commitment of the Fort Meade Community Covenant Council to providing the community and region with the support and resources reflective of the commitment of the service members, government civilians and their families to the Nation. (U.S. Army Photo by Jasmyne Ferber, Fort Meade Public Affairs)
By Gloriann Martin, USAG Fort Meade Public Affairs
Fort George G. Meade Garrison Commander Col. Michael Sapp candidly shared when he first took command a year ago, he really had no idea what it took to run an installation. That is when he came up with his guiding philosophy for daily engagements, known as the 3Cs Culture: consideration, caring and community.
The third ‘C,’ community, has played a major role for the installation for years before and years to come.
“You all, from both inside and outside the fence line, represent the best community that any installation could hope for,” Sapp said at the recent Community Covenant Signing celebrating Fort Meade’s recognition as a Great American Defense Community. “I suspect there are installations all over the world who say the same thing, but we at Fort George G. Meade have the receipts to back it up!”
These “receipts” include the intergovernmental support agreement with Howard County, the expansion of Route 175, the building and beautification of the Kaboom Playground, the Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce Army-Navy Tailgate, the workforce development agreement between Anne Arundel County and Howard County to provide workforce services to active-duty spouses, transitioning service members and veterans at Fort Meade, and the renovation of the Kuhn Hall Education and Resiliency Center.
“The covenant represents the community’s efforts in working together. This cannot be understated,” said Installation Management Command – Sustainment Director Davis Tindoll Jr.
In addition to Sapp and Tindoll, a distinguished lineup of attendees joined the signing including representatives from Installation Management Command – Sustainment, Maryland state government, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Carroll County Commissioners, Fort Meade Medical Department Activity Command, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. TENTH Fleet, BWI Business Partnership, Fort Meade Alliance, Corvias Military Living, USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Howard County Chamber of Commerce, Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation, Anne Arundel Community College, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Anne Arundel County School Board, Anne Arundel County Public Library, Fort Meade Spouses Club, Retired Officers’ Spouses Club and Blue Star Families Baltimore & Chesapeake Region.
These notable guests were joined by over 60 other guests eager to celebrate this monumental accomplishment for the Fort Meade community.
According to the event program, a covenant is signed to renew the commitment of the Fort Meade Community Covenant Council to providing the community and region with the support and resources reflective of the commitment of the service members, government civilians and their families to the Nation.
“This is not just a ceremonial, ‘sign your name on the board,’ this is a true commitment,” said Stewart.
The council meets on a monthly basis and is dedicated to ensuring that lasting bonds are forged for Fort Meade. The council recognizes the great potential for beneficial partnerships, initiatives, programs and events that can connect our communities and enhance the overall well-being of the entire Fort Meade region.
“Today is a recognition and an award, but it is [also] a badge of honor,” said Association of Defense Communities President Karen Holt. “The [Fort Meade] community makes it a priority to ensure that service personnel, their families, veterans and Department of Defense civilians protecting our nation are protected and cared for.”
Fort Meade is one of five communities across the United States selected as a 2023 Great American Defense Community. Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on community building efforts, such as educational and employment opportunities, and support and collaboration with neighboring military installations including Aberdeen Proving Ground, Joint Base Andrews, Fort Detrick and Fort Belvoir.
“Being a part of the community is important so that we can form these partnerships. As one team we can move forward and benefit the community,” said council member, Wilma Potts, President of the Fort Meade Spouses Club, as she shared the importance of being a part of the council.
Whether measured by the number of local, state and federal officials who signed this covenant, by the accomplishments that have taken place through the cooperation of the council or through the recognition as a Great American Defense Community, the work done by Fort Meade, the council and the community has been a great success.
Rogers characterized that success with a quote - “It has been said, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone! But if you want to go far – go together. We have come far and will continue to do so – together.”
For more information or to become part of the Fort Meade Community Covenant Council, visit https://home.army.mil/meade/about/local-community.
Signors of the 2023 Fort Meade Community Covenant include:
- Maj. Gen. Trevor Bredenkamp, Commander, Military District of Washington
- Davis Tindoll, Director, Installation Management Command – Sustainment
- Col. Michael Sapp, Garrison Commander, Fort George G. Meade
- Gen. Paul Nakasone Commander, U.S. Cyber Command Director, NSA
- Wes Moore, Governor, State of Maryland
- Benjamin Cardin, United States Senator, Maryland
- The Office of Chris Van Hollen, United States Senator, Maryland
- Steny Hoyer, United States Congressman, Maryland 5th District
- John Sarbanes, United States Congressman, Maryland 3rd District
- Glenn Ivey, United States Congressman, Maryland 4th District
- C.A. Dutch, Ruppersberger III, United States Congressman, Maryland, 2nd District
- The Office of Steuart Pittman, Jr. County Executive, Anne Arundel County
- The Office of Dr. Calvin Ball III, County Executive, Howard County
- Ed Rothstein, President, Carroll County Commissioners
- The Office of Pamela Beidle, State Senator, Maryland District 32
- J. Sandy Bartlett, Delegate, Maryland District 32
- Mark Chang, Delegate, Maryland District 32
- Mike Rogers, Delegate, Maryland District 32
- Eric Ebersole, Delegate, Maryland District 12
- Peter Smith, Councilman, District 1
- Julie Hummer, Councilwoman, District 4
- Col. James Maker, Commander, Fort Meade Medical Department Activity Command
- Capt. Christina Hicks Chief of Staff, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. TENTH Fleet
- Bonnie Finkle, Chair, BWI Business Partnership
- Joseph Pacileo, President, Fort Meade Alliance
- Brittney Dabney, Assistant Operations Director, Corvias Military Living
- John Falin, Director of Center Operations, USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore
- Kristi Simon, President & CEO, Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce
- Leonardo McClarty, President & CEO, Howard County Chamber of Commerce
- Kirkland Murray, President & CEO, Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation
- Dr. Dawn Lindsay, President, Anne Arundel Community College
- Dr. Mark Bedell, Superintendent, Anne Arundel County Public Schools
- Gloria Dent, Representative (District 1), Anne Arundel County School Board
- Melissa Ellis, Representative (District 4), Anne Arundel County School Board
- Skip Auld, CEO, Anne Arundel County Public Library
- Wilma Potts, President, Fort Meade Spouses Club
- Carmen Ortiz, President, Retired Officers' Spouses Club
- Yolanda Rayford, Chapter Director, Baltimore & Chesapeake Region, Blue Star Families
- Gina Stewart, 2023 Chair, Community Covenant Council