Mobile Chamber Recognizes Retired, Current & Future Military Leaders During the 37th Annual Military Appreciation Lunch

Last Updated: April 1, 2024By

MOBILE, Ala. – The Mobile Chamber and its Military Affairs Committee honored retired, current and future military leaders during its 36th Annual Military Appreciation Lunch held at the USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park. The presenting sponsor was Atlas Industrial Outsourcing.

“Acknowledging the servicemen and women shaping change both domestically and internationally is a privilege. Additionally, we extend recognition to the young cadets, who will inevitably carry forward Mobile’s esteemed military legacy as the next generation,” said Mobile Chamber President and CEO, Bradley Byrne.

The program paid tribute to the impact military personnel have on the local business community and included several awards for each branch of the military and recognized outstanding ROTC and JROTC cadets.

Gen. Gary Cooper Outstanding Service Award

Lt. Colonel Robert Barrow

Lt. Col. Barrow is also a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Armed Forces Staff College Joint and Combined Staff Officer School. Throughout his career, he served individual tours of duty including the 32d Army Air Defense Command in the Federal Republic of Germany, the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Headquarters Allied Forces Central Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He retired from the Army in 2002 and immediately assumed duties as the Senior Army Instructor for the Junior ROTC program at LeFlore High School in Mobile, Alabama.  After teaching in the classroom for eleven years, he was selected for his current position as the Director of Army Instruction responsible for supervising all JROTC programs in the Mobile County Public School System.


U.S. Navy League Hugh M. Casteix Award

BM1 Haven Gill, USCG

The Mobile Council of the U.S. Navy League is proud to recognize local active-duty members of the Sea Services for their outstanding accomplishments in the performances of their duties.

The Hugh M. Casteix Winner is BM1 Haven Gill, USCG.

A testament to her exceptional leadership and expertise in Catastrophic Incident Search and Rescue (CISAR) and small boat operations, BM2 Gill was designated as the GST’s Team Lead during the Hurricane Idalia flood response mission.

BM2 Gill can be depended upon to serve as a role model in mission execution from boat operations to pollution cleanup. Her loyalty to her teammates and the USCG is second to none, and she epitomizes the Service’s core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty.


RADM J. Lloyd Abbot Award

Petty Officer Sammy A. Young Jr.

Petty Officer Young was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts.  Petty Officer Young graduated high school in 2003 and attended college for visual communications before deciding to join the Navy in December 2005.

Petty Officer Young awards include two Joint Service Commendation Medals, Joint Service Achievement Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy “E” Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (four stars), National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal, and many more.


University of South Alabama Army ROTC

Cadet of the Year: Cadet Brandon Wade

The University of South Alabama Army ROTC Cadet of the Year Award recognizes a cadet who has shown exemplary leadership skills throughout the year and is a model cadet.

The 2023 winner is Cadet Brandon Wade.




Mobile County Public School System Junior ROTC Cadet Awards

The following Junior ROTC Cadets were also recognized from each of their schools:

C/1SG Melvin James, Baker High School

C/MAJ Jason Davis, Blount High School

C/MAJ London Michael-Nathaniel Steele, Bryant High School

C/MSG Jaimee Roberts, Citronelle High School

C/Ensign Charlesia Crawford, Davidson High School (Navy)

C/CSM Fantasia Ajayla Williams, LeFlore High School

C/SSG Jason A. LaBarr, Montgomery High School

C/COL Valeria Portillo, Murphy High School

C/CSM Sylena Carmichael, Rain High School

C/MAJ Landon Nelson, Theodore High School

C/COL Damien Jamal Dixon, Vigor High School

C/MAJ Jukeelah Seals, Williamson High School


C/MAJ Caitlyn M. Miller, Chickasaw High School (Chickasaw City Schools),

C/LCDR Madison Burgin, Saraland High School (Saraland City Schools)

C/LTC Ava Davis, Satsuma High School (Satsuma City Schools)

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