Do you have a battle buddy who’s done something awesome to benefit the unit or community? Military Times is looking for under-the-radar achievements for our 2016 Service Members of the Year awards, and this is your chance to nominate a service member who has gone above and beyond what’s expected.
As a thank you for everything they've accomplished, the winners will receive a weeklong, all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they'll visit historic sites around the city and attend a ceremony on Capitol Hill with congressional leaders and top brass.
Previous recipients of the award include a Marine who took out an enemy gunner in hand-to-hand combat in Afghanistan; a soldier who traded in his heavy-metal career in order to serve his country; and an airman who coordinated an emergency landing response for a C-5 in Spain.
What you need to know:
1. The heroes. Each year, Military Times honors an everyday hero from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. These service members have exceeded what is asked of them, whether it’s inspiring others or improving their community.
2. 16 years and counting. The Service Members of the Year Award, now in its 16th year, offers the opportunity for candidates to be nominated by their peers, family members and friends. These are the people who know the service members best and see exactly how their work is affecting those around them.
3. Who’s your hero? To nominate your Service Member of the Year, visit smoy.militarytimes.com. You will be asked to provide descriptions of your nominee’s on- and off-duty accomplishments, as well as some biographical stats.
The deadline for nominations is March 11.
4. Selection process. The editors of Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times will meet in the weeks leading up to the July ceremony on Capitol Hill. Since it’s not an easy decision, the editors will select not just the winners for each service, but also recipients for honorable mentions.
Finalists will be contacted in June.
5. The perks. The overall winner from each branch will be flown to Washington, D.C., for the experience of a lifetime, which includes:
- A weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., for activities and a formal awards ceremony
- All-expenses paid attendance for 2 (transportation to and from Washington, D.C.; lodging and meals; local transportation)
- Formal awards reception and ceremony on Capitol Hill attended by congressional, military and community leaders
- Scholarship award covering tuition and fees from Kaplan University
- Professional photographs and video of the awards ceremony
- A feature on the Military Times websites, in the newspapers and on the Military Times Service Members of the Year website