MCAS BEAUFORT -- The Military Fatherhood Award recognizes a military father who displays an enduring commitment to his children, makes exceptional efforts to parent while deployed, successfully balances military and family life, and makes an effort to mentor other military fathers or children.
The Military Fatherhood Award draws attention to the challenges faced by military families and shows them that their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.
The award includes service members from all branches of the military.
The 2012 award recipient was Navy Lt. William Edwards, who received his award at the White House and had lunch with President Obama. The 2011 award recipient was Navy Petty Officer First Class Christopher Cady, and the 2010 award recipient was Air Force Master Sgt. Rick Marston.
The last Marine to receive the award was Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Andrade in 2007.
The stresses of military life affect 1.8 million military children. They struggle with deployments, long work schedules, moves to new places and making new friends.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Education, children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to live in poverty, have behavioral and health problems, and do worse in school. However, the negative impact of a dad’s military service on his children can be lessened by how well he relates with his kids.
Approximately 593,000 active-duty service members are dads, and 150,000 of those are currently deployed.
Fatherhood skill-building resources are provided to military installations through sponsorship funds, equipping military fathers to stay connected with their children and balance the responsibilities of military duty and family life.
Nominations can be submitted online at www.fatherhood.org. According to the National Fatherhood Institute, a nominee can be serving in active duty, reserves, or National Guard. Only one submission will be accepted per nominee, although nominations can be made for several individuals. Nomination form responses are limited to 800 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Answers to each of the five questions on the form will be scored individually and totaled. Several reviewers will assess semi-finalists for quality, and three finalists will be chosen.
The three finalists must submit a two-minute video telling their story and provide digital pictures of themselves and their families, which will be shared publicly on NFI’s website and Face¬book page.
NFI is accepting nominations until Feb. 4 at 12 p.m. or until 600 submissions have been received.
The public will choose the winner by voting for three finalists on National Fatherhood Institute’s Facebook page.
The award recipient will be honored at a special ceremony at his installation and recognized by NFI before his colleagues, family, and members of the community, for his service to the country and to his family.