President, Tri-Command Single Marine Program.
As the religious program specialist for a Marine recruit battalion, RP3 Xavier Wofford is used to helping those in need.
“A lot of the younger kids have never been away from home,” said Wofford, who at 21 isn’t much older than those he supports. While meeting the spiritual needs of his charges, he also reminds them of more physical pursuits: “I give them sports scores on Sundays.”
Wofford looks for ways to improve the spiritual life of his command. He helped create new Islamic and Buddhist worship areas to support practitioners of those religions, which increased attendance at those services by 20 percent, he said.
Wofford “consistently goes above and beyond what is expected of him,” Chaplain (Lt.) Stephen Cloer wrote in his nomination, noting that Wofford had taken on several tasks normally beyond his paygrade — which was E-3 at the time.
Wofford also helps members of the surrounding community by coaching several youth and adult sports teams, and teaching life skills to dozens of at-risk youth at the Child Abuse Prevention Association. He also formed a group called the Impactors, which is dedicated to providing troubled children role models from the military community.
Although he’s served for a little more than two years, Wofford has his eye on the future: He’s applying for the Seaman to Admiral-21 commissioning program.
Married to Sarah. It would be understandable if Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW) John Pampaloni didn’t spend time helping others after his day job, where he makes sure maintenance is done correctly on aircraft that could be crucial to the survival of the U.S.
But Pampaloni didn’t just help maintain E-6B Mercury aircraft, which carry communications equipment designed to enable the nation’s leaders to stay in contact with submarines, bombers and missile silos in the event of a nuclear war.
He served as Morale, Welfare and Recreation president, raising more than $10,000 for MWR to distribute. As an assistant enlisted aviation warfare specialist coordinator, he qualified 11 sailors last year for their wings. He’s also working toward a bachelor’s degree in criminal science.
And he’s been very active in his local Elks Lodge and its volunteer programs. “Whenever we have any events, John’s hand is the first one up,” Retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. John Holsapple wrote in nominating Pampaloni.
He acted as a resource for his shipmates, linking them with organizations who need help. His efforts helped increase volunteer participation to nearly 90 percent of sailors.
At the end of April, Pampaloni moved to a new command, Electronic Attack Squadron 138 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. He said he looks forward to getting involved in volunteering at his new home.