Fort Bragg marks the start of the holiday season each year by lighting the installation Christmas tree in late November or early December. As part of the annual tradition, the newly-named Fort Bragg Family of the Year assists with the tree lighting.
This year, Fort Bragg Army Community Service will begin accepting application for the FOY on Sept. 18. Interested parties must submit all applications for consideration by Oct. 27.
According to ACS, any Family assigned to Fort Bragg, including those at Pope Army Airfield, may be nominated for FOY. However, all Families nominated must have a minimum of one year remaining at Fort Bragg so they can participate in all FOY activities throughout the year.
All nominations are reviewed by an independent panel that consists of community members who work closely with Fort Bragg Families, including chaplains, senior spouses and command sergeant majors. The five Families with the highest scores from the first panel will be interviewed by a second panel to determine the 2017 Fort Bragg FOY.
Information considered includes the activities of the Family, cohesiveness and their contributions to the unit as well as the community.
“It’s an opportunity to recognize those Families that volunteer together, that do things above and beyond, that we don’t see up front, but they are doing it in the background; this is a chance to bring that to the forefront and recognize those Families,” said Alice Stephens, Army Volunteer Corps coordinator.
All units and organizations at Fort Bragg are able to nominate Families, and there is no restriction to the number of Families nominated. Stephens said it is important for units and organizations to complete the application for those deserving Families in their ranks.
“That lets the Families know that they are appreciated and someone is actually thinking about them,” she said. “This is a way to recognize a group, instead of an individual. The Families that are working for those organizations, it shows that … they think highly of them.”
All nominated Families are recognized at the FOY ceremony before the annual Fort Bragg Tree Lighting celebration, and the winning Family will receive a laser engraved crystal star award. To request a nomination packet, or for more information, email Alice Stephens at alice.d.stephens.civ@mail.mil or Catherine Mansfield at Catherine.m.mansfield.civ@mail.mil.