NCOs and community leaders recognized at Winter AUSA Symposium
March 4, 2009
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (TRADOC News Service, Feb. 26, 2009) - Three noncommissioned officers and three south Florida community leaders were honored at the Association of the United States Army winter symposium. The commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Gen. Martin Dempsey presided over the ceremony with his senior enlisted advisor Command Sgt. Maj. David Bruner.
"What a meaningful way to close out a truly great day," said Dempsey. "The Army has been stressed and strained for over seven years of war in an era of persistent conflict. The Army cannot rebalance without the help of citizens from our great Nation."
The three south Florida community leaders honored were David and Holly Haynes, founders of Beach Homes for the Brave and the president of the Florida Marlins, David Samson.
Beach Homes for the Brave attempts the quality of life for Florida Soldiers and their Families by providing beachfront homes for Wounded Warriors who have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. This organization has provided a relaxing, safe, and comfortable environment, while also ensuring troops have transportation, meals and most of all company and camaraderie.
Samson started the "Florida Marlins Military Hero of the Month Program" to recognize local OIF/OEF veterans. The program enters its third season this spring and provides four free tickets each month to veterans and their families. Since the program began, the Florida Marlins have recognized a dozen Miami veterans.
The Haynes and Samson were presented with a certificate of appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service by Dempsey.
At the AUSA annual meeting in Washington last October, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren announced that 2009 was the Year of the NCO. As part of the Year of the NCO celebration, Dempsey honored three Florida NCOs for their outstanding service.
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Loddick is the NCO of the Year for the Joint Combined Support Element at MacDill Air Force Base. Prior to his current assignment at the Joint Communications Support Element, he spent three years on the trail as a drill sergeant.
Sgt. 1st Class Shateria Rahming is the NCO of the Year for the Miami Army Recruiting Battalion. She entered the Army in 1997 and has served in assignments around the world.
Before her assignment as an Army recruiter, Rahming deployed for 12 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Luisa Ocampo is the NCO of the Year for U-S Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base. Acampo joined the Army in July of 2003.
In less than six years, she has deployed three times - twice to Afghanistan and once to Kosovo.
The three NCOs received commanders coins from Dempsey and a standing ovation from the attendees of the AUSA symposium. This is the Year of the NCO and these three Soldiers exemplify what a noncommissioned officer means to the Army.