Group Seeks Outstanding Military Fathers

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2007 - The National Fatherhood Initiative is looking for a few good military fathers for the 2008 NFI Lockheed Martin Military Fatherhood Award.

"The purpose of the award is to recognize the outstanding efforts of military fathers to stay engaged with their families while meeting the military missions, even through deployments," said Jim Knotts, Lockheed Martin Corp.'s director of corporate citizenship. "(It) helps bring attention to those sacrifices and celebrates the efforts above and beyond the call of duty to balance military duty with family obligations."

Though the award is given to the father, he added the National Fatherhood Initiative's first guideline for being a good father is to respect the children's mother; therefore, he said, it recognizes the whole family.

The first award was presented in 2007 to Marine Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Andrade.

Nominations for the 2008 award are being accepted through Jan. 4, Knott said. Nominations in the form of a one- to two-page explanation of how the nominated father meets established contest criteria can be e-mailed through the National Fatherhood Initiative Web site,

Any father serving on active duty or in the National Guard or reserves is eligible for the award. It is not required that he be deployed.

The winner will be announced Feb. 28 and honored at an April 29 gala in Washington.

Nomination information must include name, rank, and service affiliation of the nominee, as well as information about his family, number and ages of children, marital status, and his contact information. The nominator also should include his or her name, contact information and connection to the nominee.

Knott said the award is part of Lockheed Martin's "United in Gratitude" initiative to provide support to servicemembers in many different areas.

"With a large number of employees who are veterans, and employees who are activated and deployed, we understand the challenges faced by our military families," he said. "Outstanding military fathers take extraordinary efforts to father from a distance during military separation and go to great lengths to successfully balance mission requirements and their fathering role.

"They also are active to help other military fathers or military children who are separated from their fathers," he said.

Knotts, a father and veteran, also gave a nod to the moms. "It simply would not be possible (to be good military fathers) without the steadfast dedication and support of our military moms," he added.

Group Seeks Outstanding Military Fathers [ ]