MacArthur awards go to company leaders reflecting duty, honor, country
May 11, 2009
By Kyle Hodges
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 11, 2009) -- Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. presented 28 Soldiers with the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award at a Pentagon ceremony Friday.
The MacArthur award, which is a 15-pound bronze bust of the general, is given annually to 28 company-grade officers of all three Army components who represent the ideals for which Gen. MacArthur stood: duty, honor, country. The Soldiers selected for this award are to have displayed a true commitment to Army values; unequaled technical and tactical competence; and a mature understanding of their leaders, subordinates, peers.
A sizable crowd of friends and family members, along with Army senior leaders and high-ranking government officials looked on as Casey took the stage. Gen. Douglas MacArthur Foundation representative Henry Harris III joined the chief of staff for the award presentations.
Casey began his remarks by recognizing Army spouses in attendance and by thanking the parents of the awardees for instilling the values, drive, and ideals that have made these young leaders the men and women that they are today. He then turned his attention toward the awardees.
"These award winners demonstrate the tremendous quality that we are privileged to have throughout our Army," Casey said. "These are top performers that have led in the most difficult and dangerous missions and brought out the best in the men and women they led.
"They have, without a doubt, demonstrated the ideals of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. You embody the spirit of service that our country will continue to draw upon in the challenging years ahead," Casey said.
Army Reserve Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jose D. Ahumada with the 311th Sustainment Command, (Expeditionary) at the time of his nomination, had served almost 19 years as well as performing his other duty as a Highway Patrolman for the State of California.
"Considering the large number of Soldiers that are eligible for this award, it's an honor to be one of the few selected," Ahumada said.
Another recipient, Capt. Paul B. Lester, currently serves at the United States Military Academy as a research psychologist and studies issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and leadership development.
"This is just a huge honor for me and my family to be able to come to a place like this and to have worked with so many great Soldiers throughout the years," said Lester. "I look forward to continuing to help Soldiers until the day I retire.
Pennsylvania National Guard Capt. Cliff Morales with 1st Battalion, 109th Field Artillery Regiment, credits his success to taking care of his Soldiers.
"If you show your Soldiers that you care for them and that you're going to take care of them, they will amaze you and do anything and everything for you," Morales said.
Morales carries on a long tradition of military service in his family. His grandmother, who was in attendance at the ceremony, served seven years in the Navy during World War II.
Others selected for the award credited their nomination to the hard work and dedication of the Soldiers they command.
The complete list of MacArthur Award recipients follows:
Capt. Andrew E. Burgess, U.S. Army Special Operations Command
Capt. Joshua M. Gaspard, U.S. Forces Command
Capt. Kevin L. Hadley, U.S. Forces Command
Capt. Christopher M. Hodl, U.S. Army South
Capt. Neil A. Hollenbeck, U.S. Forces Command
Capt. James C. Howell, U.S. Forces Command
Capt. Allen L. Kehoe, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army
Capt. Paul B. Lester, U.S. Military Academy
Capt. Erik C. Oksenvaag, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army
Capt. John W. Templer, U.S. Forces Command
Capt. David A. Uthlaut, U.S. Army Pacific Command
Capt. Lee S. Wallace, U.S. Forces Command
Capt. Paul W. Witkowski, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
Chief Warrant Officer Alan R. Hamilton, U.S. Army Special Operations Command
<b>ARMY NATIONAL GUARD:</b>
Maj. Benjamin T. Lampe, Iowa Army National Guard
Capt. Scot K. Caughran, Oregon Army National Guard
Capt. David M. Haynes, Ohio Army National Guard
Capt. Melissa D. Lashbrook, Arkansas Army National Guard
Capt. Cliff A. Morales, Pennsylvania Army National Guard
Capt. David P. Santos Jr., Guam Army National Guard
Chief Warrant Officer David J. Storer, Utah Army National Guard
<b>U.S. ARMY RESERVE:</b>
Capt. Andre M. Bennett, Army Central
Capt. Rashan O. Clark, Military Intelligence Readiness Command
Capt. James C. Cunningham, 90th Regional Readiness Command
Capt. Jeffrey A. Duncan, Army Reserve Medical Command
Capt. Tony A. Jones, Army Central
1st Lt. Andre M. Thompson, 98th Division (Institutional Training)
Chief Warrant Officer Jose D. Ahumada, Army Central