Photo Information

Col. Chris C. Pappas III addresses a crowd during a Voluntary Protection Program Gold status achievement ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., May 27, 2016. Six departments were among the first to achieve Gold status within MCAS Cherry Point VPP. Gold status is achieved when all safety protocols implemented by the VPP are completed and maintained. Some of those requirements involve monthly supervisor inspections, achieving 90-percent medical surveillance or higher, completing VPP passports and completing Occupational Safety and Health Administration training. Pappas is the air station commanding officer. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. N.W. Huertas/ Released)

Photo by Cpl. N.W. Huertas

Directorates receive VPP Gold achievement recognition

7 Jun 2016 | Cpl. N.W. Huertas Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Multiple departments were recognized for taking safety to a new level in the Voluntary Protection Program at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., May 27.

Facilities Directorate’s Systems Services Office, Marine Corps Community Services Headquarters, and the Supply Directorate’s HAZMAT Department, Local Delivery Unit, Contracting Department and Administration Department received recognition as Gold status early adopters under the MCAS Cherry Point VPP.

Gold status is achieved when all safety protocols implemented by the VPP are completed and maintained. Some of those requirements involve monthly supervisor inspections, achieving 90-percent medical surveillance or higher, completed VPP passports and completion of Occupational Safety and Health Administration training.

VPP is designed to give employees the ability to recognize and correct safety deficiencies in the work place and maintain a safe work environment.

“We are looking to see that the employees are involved and the safety culture is evolving,” said Navy Cmdr. Amy Varney, the safety manager with the air station. “The goal is to improve our current safety community and for employees to take ownership of themselves and their coworkers.”

According to Varney, VPP has decreased work mishaps across MCAS Cherry Point since it was adopted approximately a year ago. Directorates are reporting fewer incidents in the workplace as more of them achieve Gold status.   

“In the past, we were more concerned with the task at hand and achieving it, but now we are focusing on the mission while also being mindful of the safety procedures,” explained Varney. “Employees are talking about safety and even implementing it into their lives outside of work.”

Currently, all Marine Corps Installations East facilities are adopting VPP and striving for higher achievement statuses.

Directorates like Marine Corps Community Services at MCAS Cherry Point have been exemplary VPP followers as they were awarded for accumulating 1 million mishap-free work hours.

“The program is revolutionizing safety mindset and how we implement it on a regular basis,” explained Varney. “As we progress further into the levels of VPP and maintain that mindset, we are giving ourselves and our employees the safe and effective work environment they deserve.”

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