MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS -- MCCS is present across the Corps and serves as a means to increase the quality of life of service members and their families on bases around the globe. The Marine Corps established MCCS in 1999 and to this day it remains the sole organization within the Department of Defense that combines family services, off-duty volunteer education, youth programs, recreation and Marine Corps exchanges under a single organizational structure.
“MCCS’ mission is to provide services and support to Marines, sailors and their families while aboard the Combat Center,” said Brent Norquist, deputy assistant chief of staff, MCCS. “We do that through [more than] 40 separate programs that we provide to Marines and sailors.”
MCCS is split into three well-defined lines of operation. The first is the Marine and Family Support Directorate, the second is SemperFit and the third is the Business Operations.
The Marine and Family Support Directorate encompass all of the counseling centers. Centers such as marriage counseling, substance abuse counseling and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program are covered. Under SemperFit falls the Single Marine Program and the recreational activities that occur on base.
The third line, Business Operations, is key because it generates the revenue needed to help support the other two lines of operation. All of the profits that are made through various programs are re-invested into the organization.
“We exist to provide services and support to the Marines, sailors and families of the Combat Center,” said Lt. Col. Frank Q. Marilao, assistant chief of staff, MCCS. “The component of family readiness is also very important, because when Marines deploy, they don’t have to worry about what’s going on at home because there’s a group of folks who is dedicated to taking care of them.”
There are 71 separate programs that fall under MCCS Marine Corps-wide, 40 of which Combat Center MCCS offers. MCCS as a whole currently employs more than 12,000 civilians and operates more than 2,250 facilities worldwide. Those who benefit from the facilities include active duty service members, reservists, retirees, DoD civilians and contractors, and family members.
“Our organization does touch a number of different aspects of a Marine’s life,” Norquist said. “Our goal is to provide as much support to the war fighters and their families so they can focus on completing their mission and they can be secure in the knowledge that we have their backs and are taking care of the rest.”