MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Chapter 906 of the Non-commissioned Officers Association of America presented Michael Mckinney and Wayne V. Morris with the Sergeant Major C.A. “Mack” McKinney Award during the annual ceremony at Sywanyk’s Scarlet and Gold Traditions in Jacksonville, N.C., Friday.
The award was established in 1992 to award active-duty and past service members for demonstrating professionalism, dedication and service to the country and military for an extended period of time.
“I’m grateful to have this award bestowed upon me,” said Michael McKinney, American Airlines pilot and recipient of the award named after his father. “It’s incredibly humbling. To even be considered for the award is amazing. My father was important to everyone he came in contact with. There was something about him that made people listen. He was an incredible leader and father and I hope I made him proud.”
The award is named after “Mack” McKinney, retired sergeant major and also the NCOA’s first legislative director.
The NCOA was established in 1960 to enhance and maintain the quality of life for noncommissioned officers in all branches of the armed forces. It offers members a wide range of benefits and services designed especially for service members and their families, according to their website.
“I’m humbled to be a part of history,” said retired Col. Wayne V. Morris, a recipient of the award. “I was stunned to hear I was nominated for it, and tonight has just been a major accomplishment for me. I’m proud to say I’m a recipient of McKinney’s award.”
The 906 Down East Chapter calls Jacksonville, N.C. home and awards inspirational and dedicated service members in the local area.
“Mack awarded me with the very last one he was here for,” said Paul W. Siverson, retired sergeant major and chairman of the board of directors with the NCOA. “He was a very close and personal friend to me and it means a lot for me to be a part of these ceremonies years after his passing. He was a mentor to anyone he met, including his Marines. This is a very prestigious award and I take it seriously.”
Siverson was presented with the award in 2004, shortly before Mack’s passing.
“My father was a huge inspiration to me,” said McKinney. “I’m grateful to have my wife here supporting me tonight. This award is by far the most important award I’ve ever received.”