WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GEICO recognized six distinguished members of the U.S. military for
their significant contributions to their communities at GEICO’S annual
Military Service Awards ceremony in Washington D.C. last night. The
award honors members of each branch of the military for volunteering
their time and talents to address important health and safety issues.
During the event, GEICO Chairman Tony Nicely noted, “GEICO has been
dedicated to supporting the men and women serving our country since
opening our doors in 1936. The GEICO Military Service Award was created
to give special recognition to service members who improve the lives of
those in their military and civilian communities. We are proud to
continue this tradition for 29 years.”
The six members of the military GEICO honored yesterday with the 2016
GEICO Military Service Awards for their outstanding service to their
military and civilian communities are:
United States Army
Sergeant First Class (SFC) Julio Mella, assigned to the U.S. Army
Garrison at Fort Campbell, Ky., as the senior administrative
noncommissioned officer, was cited for his work in fire safety and fire
SFC Mella has been a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical
technician for Oak Grove, Ky., since 2008. He has responded to more than
200 emergencies in the last two years. Additionally, he volunteers as a
reserve deputy sheriff for Montgomery County, Tenn.
In 2011, SFC Mella was awarded the Community Service Ribbon for his
service to the Oak Grove, Ky., community, and in 2012 he was awarded the
Upstanding Volunteer Service Medal for volunteering more than 4,000
hours as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. He also volunteers as a mentor
for high school students with the tnAchieves organization.
United States Marines
When nominated, Lance Corporal (LCpl) Lawrence Lucy was the supply clerk
for Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico,
Quantico, Va. He is recognized for his work in fire safety and fire
LCpl Lucy gave his free time to ensure the safety and well-being of the
military and civilian communities aboard and near Marine Corps Base
Quantico. His volunteer work with the Dumfries-Triangle Volunteer Fire
Department exceeded more than 400 hours in the past year.
During those volunteer hours he provided timely, effective and
professional services at the scenes of 14 vehicle accidents, 27 injury
or sickness calls, six reported gas leaks and three fires. Lucy is
certified in infectious disease control, cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
first aid, use of the automated external defibrillator, and in Federal
Emergency Management Agency training.
United States Navy
Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Cyprus V. Abundo is the safety department
leading chief petty officer on the USS FRANK CABLE (AS40), Agana, Guam.
He is cited for his work in fire safety and fire prevention.
CPO Abundo is damage control coordinator for a premier afloat repair
facility operating in the Fifth and Seventh Fleet Areas of
Responsibility. He exceeded all areas of fire safety and fire prevention
requirements, including an unprecedented 2,965 in-theater repairs to
forward-deployed submarines while maintaining safe and healthy working
conditions for 1,150 Navy and Military Sealift Command personnel.
CPO Abundo’s aggressive fire safety and fire prevention program
integrated safety and operational risk management into all on- and
off-duty evolutions. He also executed over 60 integrated ship-wide
casualty drills, which include fire, flooding, and personnel casualty
for three repair lockers and one nuclear support repair locker involving
400 Navy sailors and Merchant Mariners, resulting in an outstanding
grade from MSC Afloat Training Team Inspectors.
CPO Abundo managed 20 command safety programs, led 40 safety
technicians, impacting 1,100 sailors, merchant mariners and contractors,
reducing safety discrepancies by 85 percent onboard. He led ship wide
safety inspections that were praised by the Naval Safety Center for
creating “best Safety Department they have ever inspected.”
Abundo’s direct efforts led to USS FRANK CABLE earning FY 15 Chief of
Naval Operations Afloat Safety Award and FY15 Secretary of the Navy
Afloat Safety Excellence Award. His efforts have been outstanding,
reducing fire hazard, material loss and material damage by 82 percent.
United States Air Force
When nominated for the GEICO service award, Technical Sergeant (TSgt)
Lee M. Elam was assigned as the occupational safety technician at the 325th
Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. TSgt Elam oversaw the base
occupational safety program, ensuring safety for 10,000 personnel and
$2.8 billion in facilities. Additionally he provided commanders’ safety
consultations supporting the Air Force’s largest F-22 wing, with 55
aircraft valued at $10.45 billion. His efforts contributed significantly
to the 325th Fighter Wing’s outstanding record of zero class
A or B mishaps in the last four years. He is cited for his work in
traffic safety and accident prevention.
TSgt Elam was directly responsible for the base Motorcycle Safety and
Mishap Investigation programs, providing motorcycle safety for more than
400 riders and investigating, identifying and correcting mishap root
causes. TSgt Elam’s work and leadership in motorcycle safety led to his
program being recognized as the best program in Air Combat Command.
In his off-duty time, Elam served as the president of the Green Knights
Military Motorcycle Club. He led the base Wounded Warrior retreat
motorcycle escort program, where he planned and managed activities for
over 270 riders. His efforts contributed to the dignified recognition of
180 Wounded Warrior heroes.
United States Coast Guard
Petty Officer Sean Farrar is assigned to Coast Guard Air Station/Sector
Field Office Port Angeles, Port Angeles, Wash. He is recognized for his
work in fire safety and fire prevention.
Petty Officer Farrar identified critical gaps in the local Aircraft
Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) program, including deficiencies in the
number of rescue personnel, the need for annual live-fire and monthly
drills, poorly maintained exposure suits and self-contained breathing
apparatuses, and some fire safety response vehicles were beyond their
In collaboration with the unit safety department, he rewrote air station
policy, implemented a comprehensive overhaul to the training program,
and ultimately achieved compliance with Coast Guard policy. Farrar’s
actions led to 840 hours of certified firefighter training for local
personnel and reduced the unit’s ARFF response time to less than three
minutes on-scene time.
Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Jose Montoya is assigned to Headquarters
Battery, 14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division
of Marine Forces Reserve aboard Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base
Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas. He is recognized for his work in traffic
safety and accident prevention.
GySgt Montoya is the platoon sergeant for the Motor Transport, Utilities
and Engineering Platoon of Headquarters Battery. According to his
Battery Commander, GySgt Montoya “is one of the strongest staff
noncommissioned officers in the battery.” Montoya serves as the DWI
enforcement officer for the city of Lewisville, Texas, where he has been
a police officer since 2008. He currently holds an Intermediate and an
Advanced Police Officer certification in the state of Texas.
The Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization recognized GySgt Montoya
as the Lewisville Police Officer of the Year in both 2011 and 2012 while
he was serving as a patrol officer.
In November 2013, he was selected to become the DWI Enforcement/Traffic
Officer for the city police force. His proactive DWI enforcement methods
have resulted in 725 traffic enforcement stops and the issuing of 280
warnings and 445 citations in just the last three years alone. His
expertise has resulted in him training senior police officers in
recertification and in training new recruits in DWI detection and DWI
enforcement. In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 GySgt Montoya was recognized
by LEADRS (Law Enforcement Advanced DUI/DWI Reporting System) as being
in the top 10 of all Texas police officers for his commitment to keeping
drunk drivers off Texas streets. He was additionally recognized as the
number one police officer in the state by that organization during 2014.
GySgt Montoya also volunteers his time to the community as an assistant
youth soccer coach.