Awards mean things. Who you nominate for awards often say more about you and your command's mindset than they do about the nominee itself.
What do we have here?
Five everyday heroes were recognized Tuesday night for their accomplishments both on and off duty as the Military Times 2015 Service Members of the Year.What is the Army offering?
Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Fontenot ... has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, served as a drill sergeant and later at the Drill Sergeant Academy, and has volunteered at a veterans hospital, a homeless children's shelter and Camp Kemo, for kids fighting cancerMarine Corps?
Staff Sgt. Zachary Rubart ... three combat deployments under his belt and a Purple Heart on his chest, isn't one to shy away from potential danger.Air Force?
On Sept. 16, 2013, while Rubart was training on the Marine Barracks Washington parade deck, reports of an active shooter at nearby Washington Navy Yard brought his infantry experience to the fore.
Without hesitation, Rubart assembled a small group of Marines into a quick reaction force and took off for the armory, his ceremonial sword still strapped to his side.
Once armed, Rubart and his Marines helped District of Columbia SWAT personnel clear several rows of buildings and secure the homes of the chief of naval operations and other flag officers on the base.
Air Force Senior Airman Joseph Moreland ... A tactical cyber systems operator, Moreland has deployed three times since joining the Air Force in December 2011. And on his deployment last year, his office wasn't on a base in Afghanistan, it was riding alongside special operations troops to austere locations, setting up crucial communications lines to assist in high-value missions.How about our Coast Guard - what message are they putting out about their people via their representative at the awards, Coast Guard Aviation Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Lee Biladeau?
Moreland also coordinated a volunteer effort following flooding in the area, leading eight volunteers and saving about $50,000 in goods.
MH-65 Dolphin helicopter mechanic and aircrewman, Biladeau is respected by all, from his maintenance and engineering officers to the pilots and rescue swimmers, to the young aviation maintenance technicians and a contract boat skipper who provides a target for search and rescue practice.Good, solid, service - and representative of thousands just like him.
At his first duty station as an AMT, in Port Angeles, Washington, Biladeau got involved with a local lacrosse club called the Mountaineers. He signed up to be head coach of the new, co-ed junior high-age team, taking on seven boys and three girls who'd never played a day in their lives. He spent three seasons with them, practicing every day after school and traveling on Saturdays for games in the Seattle area.
Well, I can't wait to hear about our Sailor. What message do we want to give to the nation about what being a Sailor is all about, and what that experience they gain in the Navy helps their community?
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Sara Freeman ... the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower's pregnancy coordinator pushed the health readiness of women in that crew to 89 percent.So, that is what our Navy wants to put out front? Priorities for a Navy at war?
A survivor of sexual assault prior to joining the Navy, Freeman, 28, uses her experience to help others.
She served as part of the carrier's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team, and she volunteers to help prevent sexual assault in the Hampton Roads, Virginia, community.
Go to sea on the most powerful warship ever to put to sea, get pregnant - perhaps by rape - perhaps not.
An Aircraft Carrier has a pregnancy coordinator. OK, beats what we had on the Big E, which were the folks that scheduled seating on the outgoing COD.
I can hear mothers and fathers everywhere, "Suzie, you must join the Navy! When you leave here when you are 18, it looks like someone with a lot of experience will help you when you get raped. Even better, when you get pregnant, when they send you back home an expectant single mother at age 19, there will be someone there to help you get home!"
Hat tip JA.