By Staff Sgt. Bryan Michael Dominique (I Corps)February 6, 2017
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- While people across the nation were anxiously waiting for the seasonal predictions of Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, U.S. Army Master Sgt. Vince Lowery of Norwalk, Iowa quietly accepted the U.S. Army University's Army Press Coin here at JBLM.
Lowery, a civil affairs non-commissioned officer with I Corps, husband, and father to two daughters and a son, was presented with the Press Coin for his essay exploring how the Army could better implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in modern day conflicts. The resolution addresses the impact of war on women and the role they have in conflict management, conflict resolution and sustainable peace.
"When I switched over from infantry 12 [or] 13 years ago into civil affairs, I started looking at the effects my operations had as an [infantrymen] on the populations for longer lasting peace and security," said Lowery. "This takes it a little bit further."
The essay examines the need to look at the impacts of military operations through a cultural lens, and the important role various populations of a society have in conflict resolution.
In this case the co-culture is women. His wife believes the inspiration to address the topic came from their two daughters.
"You can see it in the way that he interacts with them and the way he treats them," said Mary Lowery," That has a lot to do with this paper. Honestly I see this paper going a lot further than he does."
According to Lowery, however, the essay was written with junior leaders in mind, noting that soldiers can overlook the impacts armed conflict and their actions have on the cultures of the areas they go into.
The essay was submitted for the NCO Writing Excellence Program, a competition developed by the Army's NCO Journal in 2016 to provide professional development opportunities in writing to non-commissioned officers.
Lowery's essay did not win the competition, but finished in the top five among a large pool of submissions.
"When I read the comments from the judges, he only lost it by about two points," said Mary. "It was ridiculously close."
Because the competition was so tight, it was recommended he be recognized in front of his peers. The Army Press coin was presented to Lowery by I Corps Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston, who is the most senior NCO in the Corps and the senior enlisted advisor to the Corps' commanding general.
"His paper was selected and led not just the Corps, but [Forces Command] and the Army," said Grinston. Although he didn't win, he was top runner up and did exceptionally well."