CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Ga., Feb. 26, 2014 - Every year the U.S. Army Reserve and the Georgia Army National Guard host the Army Reserve Achievement Award given by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC). This year, the Georgia Army National Guard had the privilege to host the ceremony at Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Ga. Two Georgia Army National Guardsmen are among the fourSoldiers to receive the 2013 AJC Army Reserve Achievement Award for outstanding performance, at a ceremony held in their honor.
“The annual award, conceived during the Vietnam era, served to support the morale of Georgia’s Guardsmen and Reservists during a time when the military was a very unpopular organization,” said Mr. André Jackson, AJC Editorial Editor. “It was important for the newspaper to support and say thank you to those who have served our country. We have been able to do so for over 35 years now.”
The awards honored Sgt. 1st Class Adkin Lomax and Spc. Jonelle Eye. Also receiving the AJC Army Reserve Achievement Award were Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Reed and Spc. Mikayla Larsen of the U.S. Army Reserve. Lomax and Eye,along with two United States Army Reservists, were presented the award by Mr. Jackson.
“It gives me even more encouragement to keep doing what I am doing and to further my career. I can take everything I am learning now and apply it later,” Spc. Eye said. “This award shows that people do notice you and the hard work that you are doing and it is nice to know that.”
As the Soldiers stood before their cheering family and friends taking photos, Brigadier Gen. Joe Jarrard, Assistant Adjutant General Army, and Sgt. Maj. Phillip Stringfield, Georgia Army National Guard Command Sgt. Maj, along with their Reservist counterparts were on hand to congratulate the winners. Each of the leaders congratulated the awardees with words of praise while handing them the award and a coin to recognize their excellence.
“These two soldiers are really special; they are head and shoulders above their peers because of what they’ve done throughout their careers,” Jarrard said. “They had to be something special to be selected by the group of Sergeants Major who chose the recipients.”
The AJC has bestowed this award annually since the 1970’s. To be selected, Soldiers must attend at least 95 percent of their scheduled drills, attend annual training and be qualified in their particular military occupational specialty. They must also qualify assharpshooter or higher on their assigned weapon and have had no disciplinary actions taken against them during the nominating period.The Reserve Component Award honors one Soldier in grades E-1 to E-9.
“This is one of the highlights of my year, and I’m honored to represent the AJC and present these awards to deserving Citizen Soldiers of the United States Army Reserve and the Georgia National Guard,” Jackson said. “We admire these Soldiers who serve with honor and valor, and it’s always a pleasure for me to be a part of this.”
Story and photo by Desiree Bamba
Public Affairs Office
Georgia Department of Defense