European Command honors top service members, civilians

U.S. European Command recognized its military and civilian workforce for going the extra mile and being the force behind its success. Eight service members and 23 Army civilians were recognized as nominees for the 2011 Service Member and Civilian of the Year awards during a ceremony held Feb. 9 in the Patch Theater.

The challenges in meeting military operations and security activities with fewer resources was tough in 2011, according to Rear Adm. Charles Martoglio, EUCOM chief of staff, in front of a standing room only crowd. And yet despite the obstacles, the service members and civilian employees of EUCOM remained flexible and professional.

“At a time when we’re being challenged … when national service really counts … to be a nominee you really have to stand out,” he said. It’s critically important to recognize those who are doing what is best for America, Martoglio added.

The nominees were selected for their contributions to their organization, strategies in cost savings and community engagement. Each received a certificate of appreciation signed by Martoglio and Fleet Master Chief Petty Officer Roy M. Maddocks Jr., EUCOM’s senior enlisted leader.

The service members were nominated by each directorate in three categories: Junior ( E1-4) mid-level ( E5-6), and senior (E7 and above), according to Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Mimi Ducane, EUCOM Headquarters Commandant senior enlisted leader.

But ultimately, there were only three winners. The 2011 EUCOM awards for Service Member of the Year went to: Junior: Senior Airman Mark Reddington, Joint Analysis Center, Royal Air Force Molesworth, U.K.;

Mid-level: Marine Sgt.  Marcus Rice, Logistics Division, Stuttgart;
Senior: Air Force Master Sgt. Matthew Finnell, Security Division, Stuttgart.
The board process tested military knowledge, current events and joint military operations, according to Ducane. “All service members studied and presented themselves well … [it was a] very stiff competition,” she added.
Just ask one of the winners. “It was a tough competition,” said Senior Airman Mark Reddington, the Junior service member winner.

He recalled the most difficult board questions were about operations.
“What the services do and how they do it were questions that made you  think what would the Navy, Marines, Army do [in service unique operations]…you have to think quickly and coherently,” said Reddington.

The civilian of year awards were also categorized by pay grade and based on employees’ contributions to the directorate and the community.
“It’s a really nice honor,” said Sharie Mihalopoulos, human resources specialist for the Civilian Personnel Programs Division and coordinator for the civilian awards.  
The 2011 EUCOM Civilian of the Year was awarded in the following categories:
I (GS 1-8): Tracee M. Finnell, Administrative Support, Plans Division, EUCOM;
II (GS 9-13): Keric N. Randolph, Management Analyst, Special Operations Command Europe;

III (GS 14-15): Michael E. Stuber, Budget Officer, Integration Division, EUCOM.
Each winner received a Joint Service Commendation Medal; coins of excellence from Martoglio, Civilian Deputy to the Commander and Foreign Policy Advisor, Ambassador Lawrence E. Butler, and Maddox; and a bronze eagle trophy.  
In addition, service members received a round trip air ticket to the U.S., while civilians received a $750 award and 24 hours of paid time off.