Our civic leaders are going out to be the cheerleaders for the team. We are going out to support them in all of their competitions, and then we will be hosting the hospitality tents which will be our opportunity to show Charleston as a premier military community.” - Cheryl Clark, who lead a group of civic leaders at the Rodeo Lift Off Air Force competition in Washington
The Charleston region is home to a total joint force presence of 22,000 military personnel (active-duty, reserve, civilian and contractor) at installation commands from all five armed forces service units: the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard. In total, the payroll of military and federal facilities located in our region has an annual economic impact exceeding $4.67 billion and a total military-related community of approximately 80,000 when family members, retirees and dependants are included. Retaining and expanding the military and federal footprint in the region will continue to be a top priority for the Chamber.
Major efforts are underway to:
• Strengthen the civil-military relationship between Joint Base Charleston and the community
• Grow the Advanced Security Cluster with SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic as its core component
• Sustain Charleston as the location of choice for strategic intermodal military port delivery and transport
• Integrate STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) education as a regional support platform for the local military/defense community
Chamber Activities and Community Support
• Support continued growth and expansion of Charleston’s military and federal facilities through community relations and by looking for ways to expand the mission of Joint Base Charleston
Military Relations Committee Activities
• Rodeo Lift Off
• Cookie Drive
• AMC Civic Leaders Program
Military Policy Council
Quarterly Commanders Luncheons – Commanders from the area’s military and federal installations meet to have an open discussion of community issues that may be impacting the military.
• A recent issue brought to the Chamber’s attention by the military was the use and sale of synthetic drugs. The Chamber is working with the legislative delegation on legislation to permanently ban the sale of such products in the state.
The Chamber’s Africa Command Relocation Task Force continues its work on preparing a proposal to present to the Department of Defense on relocating Africa Command from Stuggart, Germany to Charleston.
• Governor Haley and Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt visited Africa Command headquarters
• Correspondence has been sent directly to the Secretary of Defense
The Chamber's premier event recognizing the strong relationship between the Charleston business community and the local military. Held annually, we honor men and women from each branch of the Armed Services for their service to family, community and country.
Click here for all the details to this year's Salute to the Military Event
Honorary Commanders Program
Beginning as a partnership between Charleston Air Force Base and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, community leaders participate in the program and are paired with active-duty commanders from across Joint Base Charleston. Honorary commanders participate in numerous base events during the year, including distinguished visitor luncheons and civic leader tours.
Major Kristin Haley, USAF Thunderbirds Public Affairs Officer, remarked that her crew, “…had never been treated this well at any air show since she had been with the Thunderbirds. The thing set Charleston apart as a show site was the kind welcome from the local volunteers as a frequent topic of conversation among the team was the quality of the hospitality tent and the friendliness of the people running it!”