(Via Ho’okele News)
(Left) Capt. Carlyle Devoe (Navy ret.), Honolulu Navy League president, and Rear Adm. Robert Girrier, (right) deputy commander and chief of staff of U.S. Pacific Fleet, present a Sailor with a coin of appreciation during the sixth annual Honolulu Navy League-sponsored individual augmentee (IA) recognition luncheon at the Ala Moana Hotel. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Johans Chavarro
MCSA Rose Forest
Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii
More than 62 Hawaii-based Sailors and Marines and their families were recognized for their service as individual augmentees (IAs) during the sixth annual “Boots on the Ground” IA recognition luncheon held Feb. 21 at the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu.
Hosted by the Honolulu Council Navy League and presented by Partners in Patriotism, the luncheon recognized service members who deployed away from their command to regions in need of a unique skill that they possessed.
“This is an opportunity to call out individuals and recognize what they have done,” said Rear Adm. Robert P. Girrier, deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet. “The name says it all; it was ‘individuals’ who came forward … to ‘augment’ critical shortfalls in certain mission areas.”
“It’s the nature of our force. This volunteer force that we have created over the decades has some incredible talent at the individual level,” said Girrier. “This is what you get when you have a professional force.”
Since 2002, more than 114,000 active and Reserve Sailors and Marines have served on IA deployments. They leave their normal military duties to fill critical jobs in locations around the world.
“It was a huge learning experience for me,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Tara Myles. “That’s why I volunteered. I wanted to learn and see a different aspect of my rate.”
More than 1,400 IA Sailors have been awarded the Bronze Star, and nearly 20,000 have been awarded meritorious service awards of various types.
The Navy League is a civilian non-profit organization that hosted the luncheon to give the Marines and Sailors who served as individual augmentees recognition for their services.