Rotary Club honors Lima commander
By Lance Cpl. Brian Kester
| | June 11, 2004
MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
A rendition of "God Bless America" opened the Rotary Club of Beaufort's meeting that honored some of the outstanding military members in the Lowcountry.
Captain Jason Berg, Lima Co. commander, 3rd RTBn., was named the Military Person of the Year by the Rotary Club of Beaufort at the Beaufort Ramada Limited June 2.
Grateful for his contributions to Boy Scouts of America, the local chapter of the Rotary Club recognized Berg's willing donation of his time outside of work to help a club that has been a part of his life since his childhood.
"It's not like he doesn't already have a full time job," said Pat O'Neal, Military Affairs Committee chairman for the Rotary Club of Beaufort.
In addition to his job as a company commander, Berg contributes to the local and
the regional Boy Scouts, said O'Neal.
"I have been active in the Boy Scouts for as long as I can remember," said Berg. "I have been volunteering as an adult since I graduated from high school and at every duty station, barring any deployments."
That involvement has led Berg down a long road of continued participation with the institution that has instilled so many of his lifelong standards of living.
"So many doors have been opened up to me due to being an Eagle Scout," said Berg. "I received meritorious private first class out of recruit training for having it."
His experience in the scouts not only paid off for him in recruit training, but also when he was seeking acceptance to college. Because he is an Eagle Scout, he was given the benefit of the doubt when his grades were bordering on unacceptable for admission.
"I would not be where I am today without the lessons that I learned as a scout," said Berg.
Those lessons have followed Berg everyday since, as he continually gives his time to the scouts.
"We know that the military members in our community contribute immeasurably to our community," said O'Neal, a retired Army general. "Not just by spending their paychecks, but also by being Boy Scout leaders, working with youth groups or coaching. In those ways, they add to the texture of the community. That's why we take some time once a year to recognize them for what they have done."
Berg's accomplishments stood side by side among other military members in the community, but his shined above the others in the eyes of the Rotary Club as they awarded Berg the honor of being the Military Person of the Year.
"The Rotary was looking for military service members who volunteer with civic organizations," said Lt. Jodie Moser, RTR Adjutant. "Knowing how involved he was with the local Boy Scouts of America, he stood out. He was recognized within the council as someone who helped the district achieve and surpass many of its goals."
He has given a lot to the community and to the Boy Scouts, but for Berg, it may never be enough.
"I guess that I feel like I owe the Boy Scouts more than I could ever repay," said Berg. "When I was young, I learned vital leadership skills as well as learning just how to be a good citizen. There are very few organizations that teach citizenship anymore. I feel it is my responsibility to give back to an organization that has given me so much."
Humble as he is with his accomplishments outside of the Corps, inside he has made quite an impression on his co-workers.
"It is good to see your peers recognized for going the extra mile and supporting a worth while cause," said Moser. "His true desire is to help teach young boys and men to become better citizens within our society."
That drive translates well into his job as a Marine. As a company commander on the drill field, Berg is in charge of shaping the lives and welfare of a multitude of young men who yearn to become Marines.
"I think being a Marine, like volunteering with the Boy Scouts, is an exercise in service above self," said Berg. "This is an important trait to try and imbue into the youth of future generations."