Story & photos by Tech. Sgt. Olufemi A. Owolabi
U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs
U.S. Africa Command honored the best of the best during the 2013 annual awards ceremony held at Kelley Barracks March 31.
The awards ceremony celebrated the outstanding service and achievements of all nominees over the course of the previous fiscal year.
Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez, AFRICOM commander, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Darrin Bohn, the senior enlisted leader, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Steven Hummer, deputy to the cmmander for Military Operations, and Ambassador Phillip Carter, deputy to the commander for Civil-Military Engagement, presented an award certificate and a djembe drum to each award winner.
Wikipedia describes a djembe as a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet-shaped drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. According to the Bamana people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying “Anke djé, anke bé” which translates to “everyone gather together in peace” and defines the drum’s purpose.
The winners also received either a Joint Service Achievement Medal or a Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award, and a time off award.
The categories and winners were:
Enlisted Member of the Year: Petty Officer 2nd Class Kristen M McDonald-J2-Molsworth
Senior Enlisted Member of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Justin K Sturn-J4
Company Grade Officer of the Year: Navy Lt. Gregory Tornambe-J3
Field Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. John P Ringquist-J5
Civilian CAT I: Kathleen M Cannon-J1/8
Civilian CAT II: Robert D Sestan-J4
Civilian CAT III: Stephanie M Baessier-J3
Interagency: Shawna B Doherty-J2
For more picture of the ceremony and all-hands visit here.