A Community Based Celebration
of National Service

About Us

Our Community Salutes - Delaware (OCSDE) is the Delaware branch of Our Community Salutes (OCS), a national non-profit organization that was founded in 2009 by Dr. Kenneth Hartman, educator and former U.S. Army officer.

The stated purpose of OCS is to recognize graduating high school seniors who will enlist in the armed services after graduation at an annual Enlistee Recognition Ceremony.

OCS recognition ceremonies have been held by communities in banquet halls, auditoriums and sports arenas from California to New York and Puerto Rico, in front of hundreds of thousands of people, as a testimony and appreciation of these young men and women entering military service.

At each ceremony, one high school counselor is also presented with the “General Colin Powell Award,” commending that individual’s efforts to mentor students who wish to begin their careers in the service of our nation.

The first Delaware Enlistee Recognition Ceremony was held in 2012 by a group representing the military, educators, non-profit agencies and local community members. The Delaware Chapter of the Association of the US Army coordinated much of the military support and Wilmington University (WU) provided the venue, invitations and program arrangements.

Twenty-two senior enlistees from New Castle County and their parents attended a ceremony at the WU New Castle location on the evening of May 2, 2012.

Speakers included Brigadier General Carol Timmons of the Air National Guard and Attorney General Joseph ‘Beau’ Biden.

Our Community Salutes
“The Story”

Founder and President of Our Community Salutes, Dr. Ken Hartman, discusses the origins, purpose and the impact of OCS.

OCSDE News

Enlistee Recognition Ceremony - 2018

Our Community Salutes Delaware for 2018 will once again be held at:
The Cavaliers Country Club
100 Addison Drive,
Newark, DE 19702
May 23, 2018

Our speakers will be MG Carol Timmons, Adjutant General of the State of Delaware, and Larence Kirby, Executive Director of the Delaware Veterans Affairs Committee.

New OCSDE Chairman

Nick Cerchio, Chairman Our Community Salutes - Delaware

Nick Cerchio, LTC US (ret), US Army Reserve Ambassador for Delaware and owner of Cedar Tree Books, has assumed duties as the new OCSDE Chairman.

Nick will be replacing Gary Dawson, COL AUS (ret), who is devoting his energies to increasing the membership and visibility of the Delaware Chapter of the AUSA. Gary founded the Delaware branch of OCS and served as its Chairman for five years.

Gary Dawson

The OCSDE would like to thank Mr. Dawson for his fine service and wish the new Chairman a successful tenure.

Become a Sponsor

Our dedicated team of volunteers and committee members work together to make this event possible.

As a sponsor, you show your organization’s support for graduating high school students who plan to enlist in the armed services after graduation.

Signing up early provides the greatest degree of exposure. All sponsors will be listed in the program and on this website.

Please consider making a donation to support this program.

donate

The first to say Thank You!

in partnership with:

Tribute should be given
to those who
volunteer to serve
before they go
in harm’s way.

Dr. Ken Hartman

Enlistee Recognition Ceremony - 2017

The 2017 Our Community Salutes High School Senior Recognition Ceremony was held on 16 May at the Cavaliers Country Club just north of Newark, Delaware.

This year there were over 110 enlistees from all branches of the services, forty-two of who were able to attend the reception, dinner and awards presentation accompanied by their parents, other family members and their recruiter.

Each enlistee received letters of appreciation signed by both Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper and Representative Lisa Blunt-Rochester and and a letter of commendation signed by the Chairmen of the State House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees.

They were also presented with a traditional Challenge Coin.

Tim Furlong once again served as our emcee (sixth year in a row).

Our speakers were MG Troy Kok, Commander of the 99th Reserve Support Command (USAR) from Fort Dix, New Jersey and Larence Kirby, Executive Director of the Delaware Veterans Affairs Committee.

One high school guidance counselor, Christopher McGuire, of Dover High School, was presented with the General Colin L. Powell Award for his efforts in assisting students seeking to begin their career in the military.

Enlistees honored at the 2017 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

Enlistees honored at the 2017 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

photo gallery 2017

Enlistee Recognition Ceremony - 2016

Wilmington University and the Delaware Chapter, Association of the US Army hosted the Fifth Annual “Our Community Salutes” ceremony in Delaware on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at Wilmington University’s Doberstein Center in New Castle.

This ceremony recognizes and thanks those Delaware high school seniors who have chosen to join one of the military services after graduation.

58 student enlistees and their parents enjoyed a welcome reception with food, beverages and information tables for Delaware Joining Forces, the USO, Red Cross, the Veterans Administration and Military One-Source.

Sponsors in attendance included Summit Aviation, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Ameriprise Financial.

Tim Furlong of NBC10 returned (fifth year in a row) as the emcee.

This year’s speakers included Mr. Larence Kirby, Executive Director for Delaware Commission of Veteran Affairs, and Brigadier General Michael Berry, Land Component Commander, Delaware Army National Guard.

Student enlistees received letters of appreciation signed by U.S. Senators Carper and Coons, and U.S. Representative Carney.

They also received a letter from the State of Delaware House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

The General Colin L. Powell award was presented to two high school counselors, Kim Denhardt (Delcastle) and Gloria Huynh-ba (William Penn).

This award recognizes counselors that were most helpful to students seeking to begin their career in the military, and awardees are nominated by military recruiters.

Enlistees honored at the 2016 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

Enlistees honored at the 2016 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

photo gallery 2016

Enlistee Recognition Ceremony - 2015

Wilmington University and the Delaware Chapter, Association of the US Army conducted the fourth annual “Our Community Salutes” ceremony in Delaware on Thursday, May 7, 2015 from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm.

This ceremony recognized and thanked those high school seniors in Delaware who have chosen to join one of the military services after graduation.

Tim Furlong of NBC 10 Philadelphia returned as the emcee, and speakers this year included Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn and Major General Glenn Lesniak, Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Reserve

Student enlistees received letters of appreciation signed by U.S. Senators Carper and Coons, and U.S. Representative Carney.

Also, each attendee received letters from the State of Delaware House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees, and an ‘Our Community Salutes’ challenge coin.

The General Colin L. Powell award was presented to Mr Justin Null, a high school counselor at St Georges’ Technical High School.

This award recognizes a Delaware high school counselor who has been particularly helpful in assisting students interested in beginning their career in the military.

Enlistees honored at the 2015 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

Enlistees honored at the 2015 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

photo gallery 2015

Enlistee Recognition Ceremony - 2014

Wilmington University (WU) and the Delaware Chapter, Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) conducted the third annual “Our Community Salutes” (OCS) event at Wilmington University’s New Castle, DE campus on May 6th from 6-8pm, to recognize and honor the Delaware high school seniors (and their parents) who have chosen to enlist into the military after graduation this spring.

Over 160 people participated in the event, including local celebrities, area college officials, and support agencies such as Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Red Cross, Military OneSource, and the USO.

Sponsors included Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, Summit Aviation, Calvert Comfort Heating and Cooling and the Delaware City Refining Co.

Forty-four high school seniors and their families attended the event and Tim Furlong, the Delaware Correspondent for NBC News Philadelphia, returned as the emcee.

Our speakers included Major General Frank Vavala, the Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard, and Lieutenant Colonel Donald Moor, Executive Officer of the 4th Marine Corps District.

The Junior ROTC cadets from William Penn High School handled the colors and provided an exhibition rifle drill team.

Each attending enlistee received Letters of Appreciation from both U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative Carney.

Also, student enlistees received a letter of commendation from the Delaware General Assembly signed by the Chairmen of both the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

Enlistees honored at the 2014 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

Enlistees honored at the 2014 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

photo gallery 2014

Enlistee Recognition Ceremony - 2013

The 2013 ceremony was held on May 1, again at Wilmington University in New Castle.

Tim Furlong of NBC10 Philadelphia served as the emcee, and speakers included Brigadier Generals Terry Wiley and Carol Timmons, and Command Chief Master Sergeant James Smith (Dover AFB).

Twenty-six student enlistees and their parents were part of a reception with colleges, vendors and support groups. Each enlistee received letters of appreciation from the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees.

Console Enlistees honored at the 2013 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

Enlistees honored at the 2013 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

photo gallery 2013

Enlistee Recognition Ceremony - 2012

Wilmington University and the Delaware Chapter, Association of the US Army conducted the first annual “Our Community Salutes” ceremony in Delaware on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 from 6:00pm to 8:00 pm.

This ceremony recognized and ‘thanked’ those high school seniors in New Castle County who chose to join one of the military services after graduation.

Tim Furlong from NBC10 Philadelphia served as the Ceremony’s emcee, and the speakers include Delaware’s Attorney General Joseph ‘Beau’ Biden.

Brigadier General Carol Timmons, the Assistant Adjutant General (Air), Delaware National Guard and the founder of Our Community Salutes, Dr Ken Hartman.

Enlistees honored at the 2012 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

Enlistees honored at the 2012 Our Community Salutes Ceremony

Sitting from left: Delaware National Guard and the founder of Our Community Salutes, Dr Ken Hartman Delaware’s Attorney General Joseph ‘Beau’ Biden Brigadier General Carol Timmons, the Assistant Adjutant General (Air) COL (Ret) Gary W. Dawson
photo gallery 2012
Our Community Salutes - Delaware logo

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