CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Since 1993, the Mack McKinney award, is given to two military members a year who have gone above and beyond serving the local community and their fellow service members whether active duty or retired.
"The purpose of the award is to recognize people who have supported the military with professionalism and dedication over a sustained period of time," said retired Spc. John Reed, the chief executive officer & executive director of a business development firm called Mainstreet.
This year was no different; Sgt. Maj. Timothy Haney, the Director of the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Reed received this very prestigious award on Feb. 5 at Sywanyk’s Scarlet and Gold Traditions for their efforts in the community on behalf of military members and their families.
"Sgt. Maj. Tim Haney has been a great supporter of the community; if there’s an event out in town he’s there volunteering his time," said Paul Siverson, retired sergeant major and Chairman of the board of directors for the Non-Commissioned Officers Association of America. "John Reed has worked closely with NCOA; he’s helped us start a lot of programs for veterans as well as the Mack McKinney award."
To receive this award was something that neither recipient took lightly, understanding what their roles mean in the community to their peers and service members.
"To receive the Mack McKinney award is a truly humbling experience," said Haney. "To give back and help out the local community, there’s nothing better."
Sgt. Maj. C. A. "Mack" McKinney, the namesake on the award was a mentor and leader to Reed who taught him the importance of looking after his fellow service members.
"He taught me leadership, to treat people fairly and make sure I could do whatever I could do for his Marines and sailors when I got to Camp Lejeune," said Reed. "When he talked, I listened because he was teaching me very important principles."
These principles are something both recipients carry as they continue to volunteer and participate in their respective communities in the Jacksonville area.