Rhonda Hunter receives the Installation Management Command Stalwart Award Jan. 28.
Rhonda Hunter, director of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, receives the Installation Management Command Stalwart Award on Jan. 28, 2021. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii – Fifteen extraordinary individuals from Installation Management Command received the Stalwart Award for exceptional leadership, Jan. 28.

One of them was our very own Rhonda D. Hunter, the director of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, here.

The award recognizes “extraordinary achievement, dedication to excellence and inspirational team spirit” for personnel whose contributions to IMCOM and the U.S. Army far exceed the call of duty. Each recipient receives a medallion, certificate and shadow box plaque, as well as the honor of representing the command.

“I am honored to have been selected for recognition and attribute it to the hardworking MWR professionals out there making things happen for Soldiers and families every day,” said Hunter about receiving the honor. “Without the talent, dedication and passion of the outstanding team members around me, and everything we have achieved together over the years, I wouldn't have the privilege of representing the garrison or installation directorate.”

The Stalwart winners actually received their awards for the period Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2019, but COVID-19 prevented presentations in 2020. Amid a gathering of almost a thousand viewers on Microsoft Teams, they were honored by comments from the IMCOM commanding general and most of their regional directors, despite some technical problems with connections.

Lt. Gen. Douglas M. Gabram speaks to almost 1,000 personnel regarding the Stalwart Awards, Jan. 28.
Lt. Gen. Douglas M. Gabram, commander, Installation Management Command, speaks to almost 1,000 personnel on Microsoft Teams regarding the Stalwart Awards, Jan. 28, 2021. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Screenshot) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Congratulations to all the award winners. We couldn’t be prouder just sitting here, listening to the accomplishments and narratives of these great leaders and Americans,” said Lt. Gen. Douglas M. Gabram, IMCOM commander. “The talent that we have on this team is incredible.”

Craig Deatrick, director, IMCOM-Pacific said, "This award recognizes the superb leadership Ms. Hunter provides to the USAG Hawaii DFMWR team every day. I'm very proud she was selected to represent IMCOM-Pacific as a Stalwart Award recipient and am glad she's chosen to be a part of the IMCOM team. We are truly blessed to have Ms. Hunter on our team!"

The former U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Commander, Col. Thomas J. Barrett, recommended Hunter for the award.

"I am extremely proud of Rhonda. She is a phenomenal leader who has positive attitude no matter the circumstances. Not only does she understand Army programs and policies, but she understands how these programs effect Soldiers and Families," said Barrett who is now with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command at Camp Smith, Hawaii. He added, "Rhonda is a team builder and problem solver who can be counted on to solve difficult problems. Rhonda is an asset to the command and community, I am honored to serve with her and her family."

Rhonda Hunter is also described as a servant-leader, critical thinker and visionary to more than 1,200 employees in DFMWR at maximum strength -- down 58 percent due to COVID-19. She is responsible for synchronizing and integrating services amongst 22 separate installations for U.S. Army Hawaii on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii.

"Rhonda is a phenomenal Leader and Teammate who is focused on our Army's number one priority - people," said Col. Dan Misigoy, garrison commander. "Her selection for the Stalwart Award is a recognition all the hard work Rhonda has done to support our Soldiers and families. We are proud to serve with Rhonda and her selection for the Stalwart Award."

Hunter is also an Army spouse, a mom to four children and grand mom to five. She has been working with DFMWR for 19-plus years.

She said the team at Garrison makes USAG Hawaii a “great place to live, work and play.” They always make her feel at home, so she’s constantly inspired to do better every day.