Friday, February 26, 2016 –
WASHINGTON – At a ceremony at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes today, the Forward Support Company Family Readiness Group received the 2015 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award, marking it as the best Family Readiness Group in the U.S. Army Reserve. The company is part of the 980th Engineer Battalion, based in Austin, Texas.
“I was surprised, I’d never thought it would happen to us,” said FRG leader Prieta Aguilar. “It’s wonderful to be recognized for what we’ve done, it represents a lot of hard work.”
The award was presented to each of the seven reserve components in attendance by the host, Stephanie Barna, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Barna shared with the assembled guests what she felt as she read the nomination submissions from the participating units.
“It filled me with pride, it filled me with joy for what you have done … for the level of commitment and selfless service it is truly amazing,” said Barna. “I cannot thank you enough.”
The award was established in 2000 to recognize the importance of family readiness to mission success. The hard work and dedication of the Forward Support Company’s FRG helps let the deployed Soldiers know that their families are being supported back home.
Commander of the Forward Support Company, Capt. Michael Davis, said it’s exciting to start of the New Year with such a prestigious award. He also encourages his peers, full time staff and the FRG volunteers to continue working together as a team. He recommends his fellow Soldiers, staff and FRG volunteers to get involved early and often.
Davis believes that empowering Family Readiness Groups to successfully support the Soldiers and their Families is an important priority. “Often leaders forget that behind a strong Soldier is a strong Family unit.”
Blanca Connie, the unit FRG secretary said that working together with fellow FRG members is the key to success.
“You have to be honest, open to other ideas and work as a team,” said Connie. “It’s a give and take. You’re here for the Soldiers first and foremost, to help them and their Families for all they do and all their sacrifices.”
After the ceremony, the awardees had the opportunity to visit with the offices of the representatives of their home state of Texas, Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). Following the meet and greet, members of the FRG toured the Capital building.
Commenting on the event later in the day, Congressman Doggett said, “It is important for our outstanding Army Reserve Soldiers to know that they and their families have our support. I commend them on their hard work and devotion.”