The 2012 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award was presented to 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, at a ceremony at the Pentagon, March 1.
Lt. Gen. Steven A. Hummer, commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North, Col. Christopher Starling, commanding officer of 23rd Marine Regiment, and Lt. Col. Kevin H. Hutchison, inspector-instructor for 2/23, were on-hand to accept the annual award rewarding the battalion’s efforts in assisting its service members and their families.
“The entire command team in 2/23 views family readiness as an integral part of combat readiness,” said Hutchison.
According to Hutchison, the battalion earned the award by maintaining the highest operational tempo of any unit in 4th MARDIV. He said that the battalion family readiness officer, Kymber Anderson, also contributed to the award by going above and beyond with efforts in the family readiness program and being extremely conscientious about Marines and their family members. He also stated that the battalion became very adept at using social media to keep all unit personnel, their family members and other friends informed of its ongoing activities.
This is the first time 2/23 accepted this award since its establishment in 2000, when the award program was launched to distinguish the top unit in each Reserve component. Along with the Marines, the recognition was also given to the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve.
Hutchison said it was quite an honor for the unit to be selected by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.
Richard O. Wightman Jr., the acting principal deputy for the OASD/RA, said the award is presented to recognize the excellence, innovation and passion of these units and their family-support programs.
“Strong family readiness programs contribute to mission readiness and greatly enhance the ability of the Guard and Reserve to retain excellent service members and to deploy,” he said.
According to the DOD, family readiness is one of its priorities as quality of life and family matters are important to the service members, and can directly affect the mission accomplishment and the success of individual and unit efforts. The DOD’s ability to assist service members and their families to prepare for separation during short- and long-term deployments is paramount to sustaining mission capabilities and mission readiness.
The Reserve components work closely with parent services to develop seamless, integrated family readiness and support programs that provide information and services to all members.