Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Crouch

BREMERTON, Wash. – The Stennis Center for Public Service presented awards to Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) at an evening reception Aug. 14.
Cmdr. James Belmont, Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist Kevin Lohrke and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jerry Wagner were selected by their peers to receive these awards for their distinctive leadership abilities.
“These awardees will be taken to Washington, D.C. where they will meet members of congress, senior staff and other civilian leadership,” said Rex Buffington, executive director of the Stennis Center for Public Service.
Belmont, who was presented the Straight Furrow award, was humbled to receive an award like this. “I’m thankful to my peers that selected me,” he said.
Lohrke, who was presented the Look Ahead award, said, “The thought of my peers selecting me for something like this is beyond my imagination. The people I work with helped earn this award for me.”
Wagner, who was presented the Constitution award, said, “I attribute my success to the people I work with. Without my department’s hard work and dedication, I couldn’t have earned this.”
The winning officer is selected by other officers to receive the Straight Furrow award. The winning chief petty officer and 1st class petty officer are selected by the chief petty officers to be awarded the Look Ahead and Constitution awards. The Stennis Center named the Straight Furrow and Look Ahead award after mottos by former Senator John C. Stennis.
“The Stennis Center believes that no government, regardless of its history and structure, can be better than the people who make it work,” said Buffington. “That is why our focus is on people over policy. We are confident that if we can get the best possible people in public service leadership, we will also get good policy.”
The Stennis Center is a federal, legislative branch agency created by Congress in 1988 to promote and strengthen public service leadership in America.
Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.
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