WASHINGTON -- The Army’s vice chief of staff presented the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award to the top 28 company-grade officers during a ceremony at the Pentagon Tuesday.
Gen. Joseph M. Martin said the awardees were among the Army’s best and that each of them carried out tough, diverse assignments while always remembering the Army values.
“You're able to live up to a shared set of values; the values of leadership, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage,” he said.
“These past years have been hard on our nation and our Army is no exception to that,” he added. “We must work hard to continue to build cohesive teams throughout the force characterized by relationships built on trust, mutual respect, and empathy.”
For over three decades, the MacArthur award has been presented to officers and warrant officers whose service has been recognized as among the finest in the regular Army, Reserve and the National Guard.
The award’s namesake, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, led United Nations forces during the Korean War after he commanded troops in the Southwest Pacific during World War II. In all, the five-star general received two Purple Hearts, seven Silver Stars, five Army Distinguished Service Medals, three Distinguished Service Crosses and the Medal of Honor.
The Medal of Honor was a family affair for MacArthur, as his father was also awarded the Medal of Honor after the Battle of Missionary Ridge during the Civil War.
According to Martin, company-grade officers should show young leaders by example how to truly care for Soldiers. The more they show how much they care, the more junior leaders will care, too.
“Last year [Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville] used a quote, which I think is relevant, even now,” Martin said. “I think it was [President] Teddy Roosevelt that said: Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
He then told the audience to live by those words, identify when others are struggling, take action when needed and care for Soldiers.
While speaking with the awardees, who sat socially distanced in the Pentagon auditorium, Martin also thanked the officers for their hard work during such a “tumultuous time for our nation,” he said. “Without a doubt, you’ve upheld Gen. MacArthur’s maxim of duty, honor [and] country.
“Over the past year and a half, you've been at the frontlines of delivering medical supplies, distributing vaccines, battling wildfires, helping the victims of natural disasters, assisting law enforcement during civil unrest and helping to secure our southern border.
“And that's not all,” he continued, “While serving and protecting the American people here at home, the Army continued its work abroad in over 140 countries, combating extremist groups, building and strengthening relationships with our allies and partners and deterring aggression from our adversaries.”
Although McConville was unable to attend, the VCSA said the Army’s top officer congratulated the awardees. In closing, the general said he was proud to call each of the winners a fellow Soldier and serve alongside them.
List of awardees
Capt. Emily Bessler, U.S. Army Pacific Command
Capt. Bradley Buss, U.S. Army Forces Command
Capt. Sungkuyn Chang, FORSCOM
Capt. Cole Herring, U.S. Army Special Operations Command
Capt. Justin Kman, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
Capt. Ian MacPherson, FORSCOM
Capt. Tyler Morgan, FORSCOM
Capt. Marcus Mustin, TRADOC
Capt. Tyrone Norman, FORSCOM
Capt. Nicolas Ondovcsik, FORSCOM
Capt. Sondra Setterington, USASOC
Capt. Shawn Sororian, FORSCOM
CW2 David Cleveland, USASOC
CW2 Parker Reading, USASOC
Capt. Cody Brekken, North Dakota Army National Guard
Capt. Brady Dearden, District of Columbia ANG
Capt. John Ekblad, Illinois ANG
Capt. Jacob Johnson, Iowa ANG
Capt. Christopher Milum, Arkansas ANG
Capt. Jordan Schultz, Wisconsin ANG
CW2 John Tierney, Illinois ANG
Capt. Glenn Fagan, U.S. Army Reserve Command
Capt. Sean Glendening, USARC
Capt. Nina Kazibwe, USARC
Capt. Elizabeth Ryan, USARC
Capt. Tyler Siskowic, USARC
Capt. Ryan Stallings, USARC
CW2 Jordan Milo, USARC