AFRICOM recognizes staff achievements during annual award ceremony

By Staff Sgt. Grady Jones
U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs

U.S. Africa Command held its Annual Awards Ceremony at the Kelly Physical Fitness Center, Kelley Barracks, March 29.

The purpose of the ceremony was to recognize the achievements of AFRICOM staff who were nominated for certain awards during FY 2017.

U.S. Marine Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, AFRICOM commander, Chief Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez, the senior enlisted leader, Air Force Lt. Gen. James C. Vechery, deputy to the commander for Military Operations, and Ambassador Alexander Laskaris, deputy to the commander for Civil-Military Engagement, presented an award certificate and an eagle-topped trophy to each award winner.

“I want to take the time to underscore all that you do,” Waldhauser said as he addressed the awardees and the audience. “All that you do here at AFRICOM and in Africa are great contributions to the command, and I want to thank you.”

The winners also received either a Joint Service Achievement Medal or a Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award, and received a time-off award. The categories and winners were:

  • Enlisted Member of the Year: Marine Staff Sgt. Damion Patteson – J2
  • Senior Enlisted Member of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Denita Sampsell – J3
  • Company Grade Officer of the Year: Army 1st Lt. Courtney Hull – J8
  • Field Grade Officer of the Year: Cmdr. Eric Pond – J1
  • Civilian CAT I: Bailey Adams – J1
  • Civilian CAT II: John Bowen – J4
  • Civilian CAT III: Brian Ross –J5
  • Interagency: Mark McNeight – J2

Also, AFRICOM J62, Cybersecurity Division, was awarded with the National Security Agency Frank B. Rowlett Award, recognized for their excellence in Defense Cyberspace Operations.