WASHINGTON (10/2/14)--The Defense Credit Union Council betowed its Distinguished Service awards to five credit unions from each department of the U.S. military last month during the council's 51st annual conference.
Credit unions serving the Army, Navy and Air Force were honored for the work they do serving the U.S. military community at home and abroad.
The criteria for the awards generally included delivery of financial services "above and beyond normal requirements;" special services provided at the command's request; financial education and training; action taken to combat predatory lending; community support; and professional attitude and financial leadership.
The Department of the Army honored Service CU, Portsmouth, N.H., with $2.4 billion in assets, for its outstanding commitment to community financial education and combating predatory lending. The credit union, with a branch in Grafenwoehr, Germany, also was recognized for its "tireless" support of on-base programs.
"Their unrivaled ability to support servicemembers worldwide and through multiple remote access channels enhances individual and unit readiness as well as insuring financial soundness of soldiers' families here in Germany," said U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Commander James Saenz. "Ultimately, their 'service' helps our troops focus on the important mission at hand."
Service CU also was the sole funding source for the 2013 USO Thanks for Thanksgiving Dinner and the USO Holiday dinner. The credit union also provided financial support for programs such as the USO Fridge Fund and Grafenwoehr Military Spouses Day.
The Department of the Navy gave its awards to both Pacific Marine CU, Oceanside, Calif., with $708 million in assets, and Navy FCU, Merrifield, Va., with $58 billion in assets.
Pacific Marine at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego was honored for its work helping active-duty servicemembers avoid predatory lenders and for assisting them in establishing or re-establishing credit through free financial literacy programs.
Finally, the Department of the Air Force gave the award to both Travis CU, Vacaville, Calif., with $2.2 billion in assets, and Air Force FCU, San Antonio, with $372 million in assets.
Travis CU, which earned the honors in the more than $1 billion-asset category, was recognized for helping members battle predatory lenders by providing low-interest lines of credit to pay off predatory lender high-interest accounts, and for offering its own small-dollar loan product.
Travis also was pegged for the award for its support of military children through the "My Life: A Kids Journal" and KUDOS (Kids Understanding Deployment) programs, and for its focus on financial literacy. The credit union offers financial literacy classes, debt counseling and budgeting seminars to members at Travis Air Force Base.