Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Governor Cooper Visits Camp Lejeune, Meets with Marine Corps Leadership and Tours Ongoing Military Construction Projects

May 21, 2024

Today, Governor Roy Cooper toured Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville to meet with base leadership and view ongoing military construction projects. During the visit, the Governor met with U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Ralph J. Rizzo, Jr., deputy commander for Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and other base leaders as well as several Marines to hear about current base operations and opportunities for the state to partner with Camp Lejeune to better support our military. The Governor was joined by NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Secretary Grier Martin for the visit.

Camp Lejeune is a 246-square mile installation with over 36,000 active-duty service members and is home to II Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command and several Training and Education Command schools.

“We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our Marines and all servicemembers who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and keep us safe,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We will continue working to support our military families and make sure North Carolina continues to be the most military friendly state in the nation.”

“I’m grateful for Governor Cooper and his staff taking the time to visit to our installation in support of Military Appreciation Month,” said Deputy Commander Colonel Ralph J. Rizzo, Jr. “We appreciate the Governor’s continued advocacy on programs that directly impact the quality of life for our Marines, Sailors, and their families.”

“Military Appreciation Month is a time to show our gratitude to the armed forces for their sacrifices,” said North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Secretary Grier Martin. “Meeting with the Marines here at Camp Lejeune allowed us to thank them and work to ensure all our service members and their families are supported.”

Governor Cooper has proclaimed May as Military Appreciation Month in North Carolina and hosted a reception yesterday to celebrate and honor our military at the Executive Mansion. North Carolina is home to more than 115,000 active-duty military personnel and their families as well as over 720,000 military veterans.

During his tour of Camp Lejeune, Governor Cooper saw new updates to the base including a fire station, simulation center and headquarters buildings. These projects are funded through military construction (MILCON) and the Hurricane Florence Recovery Program. Funding for these projects is sourced through two budgetary sources including regular military construction (MILCON) and the $3.6 billion Hurricane Florence Recovery Program. Camp Lejeune received $681M of new construction hurricane relief awarded in 2020. Outside of hurricane relief MILCONs, Camp Lejeune has an additional $660M of awarded construction ongoing through 2026.

Governor Cooper is committed to supporting North Carolina’s veterans. In February, the Governor hosted a veterans roundtable to discuss how the state can better support service members transitioning to civilian life.

NCWorks has 52 specially-trained professionals, who are veterans themselves, working to help veterans find quality jobs and training opportunities across the state. They encourage employers to hire veterans and help translate military skills into experience that employers can recognize. Visit veterans.NCWorks.gov to learn more about job opportunities.

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs works to ensure veterans and their loved ones are aware of and maximize benefits and resources available to them. Through their 12 Veteran Services Offices across the state, DMVA provides free services and helped veterans claim and receive more than $45 million in compensation in 2023.

Read the proclamation.


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