By Maj. Robert. G. Deleon, chief of operations, intelligence (G2) directorate, 94th AAMDCApril 27, 2017
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, Hawaii - Seven deserving professionals from different headquarters in the Pacific theater were presented the Lt. Col. Thomas Knowlton Medal for their significant support and contributions to the Military Intelligence Corps during a ceremony sponsored by the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command intelligence (G2) directorate at the Ka Makani Community Center, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii April 19.
Brig. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, commander, 94th AAMDC, presided over the presentation of the Lt. Col. Thomas Knowlton Award to six outstanding military and civilian intelligence professionals and one air defense artillery officer who all made critical contributions to the intelligence community specifically as it relates to the ballistic missile threats in the Pacific region. During his address, Gainey touched upon the importance of intelligence in the joint environment. This is the first time a general officer has presided over the 94th AAMDC Knowlton Award Ceremony.
"I am very impressed by the qualities embodied by the awardees and the flawless conduct of the ceremony," said Gainey. "Anytime we can highlight the high standards of integrity, moral character and professional competence of individuals it is a great honor to personally recognize them in a public forum."
The MI Corps Association (MICA) established the Knowlton Award in June 1995. Lt. Col Thomas Knowlton, the father of Military Intelligence, who served under Gen. George Washington, created and led a group of intelligence gatherers known as the Knowlton Rangers. They made significant contributions to the war effort during the American Revolution, as such; these awardees are recognized for making significant contributions during their careers to the MI Corps.
The ceremony is highlighted by the lighting of five candles reflecting upon the legacy of the MI Corps. Col. Bruce A. Stephens, director of intelligence, 94th AAMDC and his staff conducted the solemn and unique candle lighting ceremony.
Family members, friends, colleagues and key leaders from the U.S. Pacific Command, Pacific Air Forces and 94th AAMDC attended the ceremony. Distinguished attendees included Col. Thomas Dobbs, director, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), headquarters and Col. Robert Morse, chief, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance directorate (ISRD), 613th Air Operations Center (AOC), PACAF, who were the first Knowlton awardees from PACAF and were recognized by the 94th AAMDC in November 2016.
Gainey and Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Foley, command sergeant major, 94th AAMDC presented the Lt. Col. Thomas Knowlton Award to the following personnel: Ms. Valerie T. Makino, lead Korea branch analyst, Northeast Asia division, PACOM Joint Intelligence Operations Center; Maj. Chad M. Neibert, AOC officer-in-charge, 94th AAMDC; Mr. Kevin McGinnis, principal ballistic missile intelligence analyst, ISRD, 613th AOC, PACAF; Capt. Heriberto R. Hernandez, assistant operations chief, G2, 94th AAMDC; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael S. Parrett, intelligence production chief, G2, 94th AAMDC; Staff Sergeant Shiheem E. Kelly, operations noncommissioned officer, G2, 94th AAMDC; and Tech. Sgt. Mark D. Reddington, space / ballistic missile branch NCOIC, ISR, HQ, PACAF.
"It was an excellent venue and ceremony to recognize the hard work and dedication of the intelligence community, not only in the U.S. Army but also in the joint force," shared Foley, when asked about the conduct of the ceremony.
Some of the awardees were surprised by the nomination and expressed their gratitude.
Makino said that she was truly "humbled for getting the award, it's an honor and privilege to be recognized with the Knowlton."
This is the third iteration of the 94th AAMDC Knowlton Award Ceremony, which is an initiative started by the 94th AAMDC director of intelligence (G2). The idea is to recognize the intelligence professionals in the PACOM area of operations by holding a unique event featuring the distinctive candle lighting ceremony of MICA.
"We wanted to acknowledge the great work that has been done amongst our Army, joint, and interagency partners in the intelligence community, specifically relating to the ballistic missile threat in our AOR," said Stephens when discussing the significance of the ceremony.