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DoD Honors Guard, Reserve Units for Family Readiness Support

Feb. 26, 2016 | BY Lisa Ferdinando , DOD News

The Defense Department today honored guard and reserve units for their outstanding support of family readiness efforts that ultimately strengthen the total force and nation, the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs said.

Stephanie Barna told attendees at the 16th Annual Reserve Family Readiness Award ceremony at the Pentagon that the event brings together people who believe in one core truth, "That the readiness and well-being of our National Guard and reserve families is absolutely critical to the readiness of the reserve component, to the readiness of our total force, and to the readiness of our nation.”

Barna cohosted the event with retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, president of the Military Officers Association of America.

The accomplishments of the honorees range from individual acts of service and support for families to the establishment of programs that serve guard and reserve families across entire geographical regions, Barna said.

She said she was proud to read the nomination packages, and was grateful for the caring, selfless and "truly amazing" acts that supported the guard and reserve military families.

"I and everyone else in this room cannot thank you enough," she said. "We are in your debt."

Supporting National Defense

The contributions of family readiness groups underwrite the success of the Defense Department’s mission and collective national defense, Atkins said.

"We're here today to recognize that group of superstars that gives so much to the families of our American heroes," he said.

The support of family readiness groups gives service members comfort and peace of mind, Atkins said. When the nation calls, members of the guard and reserve are ready, he added.

"You've made the lives of those who you serve with less daunting, you've allowed our heroes to truly focus on the mission, and quite frankly, you've made America better," Atkins said.

The winners received plaques from the Defense Department and Military Officers Association of America. In addition, MOAA contributed $1,000 to each of the winning units to support family programs.

The Winners

-- Army National Guard: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Normal, Illinois;

-- U.S. Army Reserve: Forward Support Company, 980th Engineer Battalion, Austin, Texas;

-- U.S. Marine Corps Reserve: Combat Logistics Battalion 453, Aurora, Colorado;

-- U.S. Navy Reserve: Navy Operational Support Center North Island, San Diego, California;

-- Air National Guard: 157th Air Refueling Wing, Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire;

-- U.S. Air Force Reserve: 934th Airlift Wing, Airman and Family Readiness Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and

-- U.S. Coast Guard Reserve: Port Security Unit 308, Kiln, Mississippi.

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)