Commander recognized for military service, volunteer work
June 22, 2011
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Maj. Armando Kuppinger, commander of the 690th Rapid Port Opening Element, Fort Eustis, Va., was recently awarded the 2011 American Legion Missouri Boys State Alumnus of the Year award.
The award was presented to Kuppinger June 17 in Warrensburg, Mo., for his military service and his 2010-2011 volunteer work with the Missouri Boys State, The Mission Continues, and other community service organizations.
Missouri Boys State is a summer program funded by Missouri American Legion Posts, as well as other businesses and service organizations. Each year, approximately 1,000 Missouri high school juniors are selected to attend the week-long leadership program after being recommended to local American Legion representatives by their high schools.
Kuppinger was one of the juniors selected 16 years ago, and has been participating as a volunteer staff member and mentor since then. Although he can’t attend every year, Kuppinger said he returns to Missouri Boys State to volunteer with the program whenever his Army commitment will allow.
As one of two active duty members, and the single Army representative, Kuppinger takes on the roles of military liaison and mentor when working with the Missouri Boys State program. This year he facilitated a military career day, worked with the student color guard, and conducted a service project in which 64 of the young men visited the Warrensburg Veteran’s Home.
"After the service project at the Veteran's Home, the guys came up with 350 more service project ideas, which we put in a database, linked to the Missouri Boys State and The Mission Continues websites, so they can work on the projects in their communities after they leave Missouri Boys State," said Kuppinger.
The 690th RPOE, part of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's 597th Transportation Brigade, is a rapidly deployable unit, with a global mission to support U.S. Transportation Command's Aerial Port of Debarkation or Surface Port of Debarkation units in times of military contingencies or humanitarian assistance operations.
SDDC is the Army Service Component Command of USTRANSCOM and is responsible for strategic surface transportation and distribution for the Department of Defense.