JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 3, 2014) -- A Fort Lee, Virginia, contracting Solider is receiving the 2014 National Latina Style Distinguished Service Award during the 11th National Latina Symposium Sept. 10 in Washington, District of Columbia.Master Sgt. Patricia Font earned the award for her achievements while assigned to the 410th Contracting Support Brigade here and deployed during the award period August 2012 through July 2014. Font now serves as the noncommissioned officer in charge for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command Field Directorate Office at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.She believes the award speaks less to her personal achievements and more to a greater endeavor she has found in service."The role of women in the military as well as American society has evolved and continues to evolve. This award is an opportunity to note contributions and hold up the stories of achievement and dedication to equality," Font said. "There have been many achievements that have gone unreported and, therefore, no one has been made aware of (them). In the military in general, there are more opportunities for minorities of any ethnicity to excel because the military is well ensconced in affirmative action and equal opportunity."According to symposium officials, the purpose of the LATINA Style 2014 Meritorious Service Award is to recognize military and DOD civilian personnel who through their service have enhanced the role of Latinas in their organization. Font was the service component nominee for the active-duty category. The criteria for active-duty members includes embodying the qualities that are at the core of the service's mission; having the respect of superiors and peers as leaders and upstanding service members; and displaying exceptional character and treating the Hispanic community with dignity and pride.The Queens, New York, native understands the critical role leadership plays in the Army's success."The most effective leaders are those who 'lead from the front.' This means that we lead by example in thought, word and deed. We as leaders provide purpose, directions, examples and motivations to our subordinates," Font said.In nominating Font for the award, the MICC commanding general said she embodies the highest standards of selfless service."She is a positive role model, and her tireless efforts supporting the needs of others are an inspiration to the command," Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Gabbert wrote. "She has performed at the highest level of achievement and is worthy of this esteemed award."During the award period, Font deployed to Bogota, Columbia, in support of a U.S. Southern Command counterdrug, peacekeeping and humanitarian contracting mission. While there she employed her negotiation skills to save the government more than $100,000 during the award of more than 65 contract actions valued in excess of $1.8 million. She spent her off-duty time volunteering with humanitarian projects to build schools and support other community improvement initiatives.Her passion for volunteering also benefited others around her home station where she worked with underprivileged children and helped deliver more than 500 warm meals to seniors in support of the Meals on Wheels Program."Contributing to my community is valuable in itself. It's eye opening to realize that doing even small things can have a big impact on others," said Font, recalling a Christmas Eve visit to a children's home while she was assigned to Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. "A young girl in a wheelchair looked up at me and said in a gravelly voice, 'You've made my day.' This means so much. No one had ever thanked me in such a way for doing something so small before, and from a stranger no less."Font's leadership and active role in the Army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention as well as equal opportunity programs contributed to her being named the 410th CSB Noncommissioned Officer of the Year in 2012.Understanding the value of professional development, the NCO is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certified in contracting and has accomplished all requisite professional military education. That same commitment extends to her personal development as she holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Hawaii Pacific University, Hawaii, and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.Font entered active duty in 1996, attending Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before graduating advanced training as a chaplain assistant. In 2010, she was selected to join the 51C contracting military occupational specialty. She has served in a variety of stateside and overseas assignments as well as deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.Joining Font at the awards ceremony in Washington will be her husband and two children.