VIENNA, VA, July 9, 2018 – On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, Military Times will recognize winners of the 2018 Service Members of the Year (SMOY) Awards at a special event on Capitol Hill. Guests will include members of Congress and senior Pentagon officials. Senator Joni Ernst will provide keynote remarks.
Since 2001, the annual Military Times SMOY Awards have honored – a soldier, Marine, sailor, airman and Coast Guardsman who demonstrate pride, dedication and courage beyond their call of duty. These service members display a high level of professionalism, concern for fellow service members and commitment to community service.
There will also be two new awards presented this year, recognizing the “Veteran of the Year” and the “Entrepreneur of the Year”. The Veteran of the Year Award pays special tribute to a veteran who has continued to serve the community since leaving the active service. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes a service member who has used success in his or her own business to serve the community.
This year’s honorees are as follows:
2018 Air Force Times Airman of the Year: Captain Julian Gluck Capt.
Gluck is a highly accomplished pilot with an outstanding record of volunteer work. Not only did he contribute to one of the most critical operational missions the military is conducting today (the fight against ISIS), but he also found the time to volunteer, mentor, coach, teach youth, fellow airmen and his fellow community members at home and overseas.
2018 Army Times Soldier of the Year: Sergeant 1st Class Wolfgang McLachlan
McLachlan is a decorated combat veteran who has deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a well-rounded and robust volunteer portfolio, especially to help prevent sexual assault and veteran suicide – two very high-profile issues facing our military today.
2018 Navy Times Coast Guardsman of the Year: Aviation Survival Technician 2nd Class Omar Alba
Alba used his formal Coast Guard training as a rescue swimmer to life-saving effect during hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. He also stepped up on a personal level by committing to several weeks of work, involving long hours away from home. He provided whatever support he was capable of and, in doing so, impacted the lives of many residents in their time of need. His actions illustrate the personal initiative, leadership and spirt of service that are core values across the military.
2018 Marine Corps Times Marine of the Year: Sergeant Brooke Sharp
Sharp is cyber specialist with proven experience in integrating cyber experts into ground-level combat operations. Commanders deployed to Afghanistan requested her by name to join the mission based on her reputation as a reliable Marine. She is also helping bridge the gap between the service’s past and its future by integrating women into all-male combat units.
2018 Navy Times Sailor of the Year: Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Craig Humes
Humes’ leadership spans the full spectrum of military duty – from ground-level combat operations to administrative management, education and mentorship. His volunteer work is also uniquely impressive. His work with the Texas Ramp Project provides organizational leadership in a focused mission that is directly impacting the lives of people in need.
2018 Entrepreneur of the Year: Major Steve Gagner
Maj. Gagner is a career soldier, serving first as an enlisted soldier and then as an officer. He has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and has served in several leadership roles, including as a platoon leader, executive officer, company commander and mountain training officer. Gagner has also donated more than $300,000 to local organizations that support veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, first responders, families in need, and his local food bank. The large sum of money came from revenue from his brewery — 14th Star Brewing Company, which he founded and has since become the sixth-largest brewery in Vermont.
2018 Veteran of the Year: Sergeant Rob Jones
The now-retired Marine Corps sergeant stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010, losing the bottom of both of his legs. After months of painstaking recovery, Jones learned to walk on two bionic knees, and, eventually, to run on blades. He then dove head first in to the athletic arena, and has had many large accomplishments that raise awareness for wounded vets. He took up rowing, started training, and ended up taking bronze in the mixed double skills at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. He also rides his bike and he ran 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 cities across the U.S., U.K. and Canada. In June, he participated in his first Marine Corps Trials and Warrior Games. He will be running track and rowing at the Invictus Games in Sydney this October.
The 2018 Service Members of the Year Awards event is made possible by Fisher House (Presenting Sponsor), Leonardo DRS, LTC Partners, VFW, and many more partners and affiliates.
To learn more about the Service Members of the Year Awards, go to: http://smoy.militarytimes.com
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