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Awards honor civilian works at Fort Bragg

One presenter called them the "Fort Bragg Oscars."

Indeed, the atmosphere at the 24th annual Fort Bragg Awards had a bit of a Hollywood feel, with red carpets leading up to the Pope Army Airfield Theater and red, white and blue balloons decorating the entrance.

Soldiers, civilians and their families gathered at the theater Wednesday afternoon to honor Fort Bragg's civilian workforce. Awards were given in 13 categories.

"Despite all the furloughs and sequestration, you all continue to serve," said Maj. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, Task Force Bragg commander. "We are successful at what we do because of what you continue to do."

The winners were selected by a 30-member committee from 130 nominees. They in turn were chosen from a workforce of 65,000.

"We really had to look at the nominations hard," said Iris Murray, chairwoman of the selection committee. "We wanted to showcase employees of Fort Bragg whose performance was stellar."

Before the awards were announced, the crowd was treated to a performance by the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus. The chorus performed Bill Withers' "Lean on Me," Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" and Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA," along with traditional military numbers.

Also presented was a video tribute to the Fort Bragg workforce.

The names of the nominees were then read, and the winners or their representative took the stage to accept their plaques.

The winners were:

Media production division, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, for "drive for diversity," team.

Itzel Pineda, installation management command, directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, for "drive for diversity," individual.

Sheryl Kanelos, joint special operations command directorate, office administrator of the year.

J6 acquisition and resource management branch, joint special operations command, for efficiency award, team.

Nikki Brown, installation management command, directorate of human resources military division, for efficiency award, individual.

Felicia Ivory, Womack Army Medical Center, for employee of the year, GS-1 through GS-6.

Ashley Jones, directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, employee of the year, GS-7 through GS-10.

Amy Melendez, directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, employee of the year, GS-11 and above.

Bereavement team, Womack Army Medical Center, customer service award, team.

Jill McClure, directorate of plans, training, mobilization and security, customer service award, individual.

Cecelia Wallace, Army community services, supervisor of the year.

Richard Holcomb, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, executive of the year.

Mary Hagan, Womack Army Medical Center, lifetime achievement.

Chinn praised the winners, the nominees and the rest of the workforce.

"They truly are the best of the best," Chinn said.

mullenr@fayobserver.com

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