UPDATE: Nominations for the 2023 Marine Spouse Award are now being accepted
Deadline is May 19, 2023
Lauren Huff, 2016 awardee and chair of the committee selecting the 2020 awardee, was interviewed on KUSI on January 30, 2020. Click here to watch the KUSI clip about the recognition award.
2022 Marine Spouse Recognition Awardee
Congratulations To Our Current and Past Award Recipients
*Click on the awardees' names to see why they stand out
2022 Kyp Hughes
2021 Jennifer Beckwith
2020 Kailee Norris
2019 Amber Loveless-Bowman
2018 Traci Wilson
2017 Theresa Viveros
2016: Lauren Huff
2015: Kimberly Reed
2014: Cyndi Stamps
2013: Jamie Weathers
2012: Sasha Lightfoot
2011: Rachael Wunderlich
Purpose of the Marine Spouse Recognition Award
To honor and highlight the resiliency, strength, and dedication that a United States Marine Corps spouse embodies in support of our military men and women, families and communities.
Award and Recognition
A $1500 cash award and other gifts will be given annually to a single recipient. When possible, the award is presented in a ceremony in front of friends and family.
In the past, little recognition was given to the trials and tribulations of the service spouse who made it possible for his/her spouse to pursue a service career for the benefit of our nation. In the last decade, the stress and strain on the family has perhaps been greater than ever before. The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation strongly believes community support and public awareness of the service and sacrifice of the military spouse and family is important.
The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation originally created the Irene Ferguson Marine Wife Award in 2011 in memory of Irene Ferguson, the wife of Major Glenn Ferguson.
The spirit of the original award is captured in the words of Major Glenn Ferguson below:
“My wife’s passing gave me pause to reflect on the nearly six and a half wonderful decades we shared together. In doing so, I realized that in all the museums I had visited, all the parks I had walked through, and all the buildings I had been in, none included a tribute honoring the life of commitment and sacrifice made by service wives in support of their husbands. Their men frequently left for distant lands where they usually lead busy lives; sometimes in exciting or dangerous times. Many were awarded medals and received accolades from their fellow servicemen. Their feats were often extolled in the newspapers and magazines. Unsung were the wives left behind. These steadfast women nurtured and educated their children, cared for them in times of sickness, and soothed their fears when daddy was gone. There are no medals or monuments to attest to their trials, tribulations, and victories.”
In 2023 the Foundation recognized that the number of women Marines has increased and their husbands have proudly supported and sacrificed for their families and the nation. The Foundation has expanded the eligibility for the Flying Leatherneck Marine Spouse Award to all non-active duty spouses.
The Marine Spouse Recognition Award will be presented to a Marine spouse whose husband/wife is currently on active duty, located in the Marine Corps Installations-West (MCI-W). Nominations should be submitted for United States Marine Corps spouses recognized for their strength of character, personal sacrifice and commitment to family, community and family. Nominations may be submitted by supporting agencies, but may not be submitted by a nominee’s spouse and/or the service member’s command.
Applications will be accepted and reviewed by the Awards Committee appointed by the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation. In addition to a commemorative trophy on which the recipient’s name will be engraved, there will be a display of the picture and biography of the recipient in the offices of the Foundation and a duplicate picture will be given to the recipient.
Finally, a $1,500 award will be gifted annually to a single recipient.
Detailed Selection Procedures:
- Nominations are generally accepted beginning in January of each year and the awardee is announced in the spring. The Foundation reserves the right to alter the timing of the award. Deadlines for submission of nominations will be announced with the opening of the nomination period.
- The Marine Spouse Recognition Award will be presented to a Marine spouse whose husband or wife is currently on active duty and serving in a unit whose home base in the the Marine Corps Installations-West (MCI-W) region of the United States.
Applications will be accepted and reviewed by the Awards Committee appointed by the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation Board of Directors.
Spouse Award FAQ
Q. How is the awardee chosen?
A. The awardee will be chosen by a panel of five members appointed by the Board of Directors of the Foundation. The committee should have at least three (3) board members on it plus the most recent recipient of the award and an additional committee member.
Persons submitting a nomination will be required to complete a well-written application with examples that illustrate how the nominee supports his or her family, community and/or the country with the resiliency, strength and dedication that characterizes and embodies U.S. Marine Corps values.
Before being sent to the Awards Committee, all applications are blinded in terms of name and gender of nominee as well as name, rank and home base of his or her spouse.
Q. Who can nominate a Marine Spouse for this honor?
A. Nominations may be submitted by supporting agencies, friends, family members, neighbors, work associates and staff from supporting agencies, but may not be submitted a nominee’s spouse, by his or her commanding officer or by self-nomination.
Q. Are active duty spouses eligible for the award?
Q. The nomination paperwork states a Commanding Officer cannot nominate the spouse of someone under his/her command for this award. Does that mean no one in a command can nominate a spouse?
A. No, it does not. A Family Readiness Officer, or a fellow Marine or Marine spouse in a command can nominate a spouse. The Commanding Officer is the one person who cannot nominate a spouse in his/her command.
Q If the spouse I nominated previously was not chosen as the awardee, can I submit an application on his or her behalf again?
A. Yes, of course! If the spouse fulfills the qualifications, the panel would be pleased to consider his or her nomination.
Q. May I submit letters of support for my nomination.
A. You may list another Marine spouse, Marine friend, Family Readiness Officer, civilian friend – someone who knows the spouse well and can support the nomination if it comes down to a tie breaker. These references may even write their own letter of support. Additional letters of support are not required and may either be attached to this nomination form, emailed or mailed directly to the Foundation’s office.
Q. The Marine spouse’s husband/wife is deployed. Can I still nominate him or her?
A. Yes. For example, if the active duty Marine’s unit is from the MIC-West Region, but is deployed elsewhere, the spouse is eligible.
Q. What comprises Marine Corps Installations-West?
A. All units belonging to: 1. 3rd Marine Aircraft (MCAS Miramar, MCAS Yuma and MCAS Camp Pendleton); 2. MCRD, San Diego; 2. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (all all its Marine Corps Commands); 4. MCLB Barstow; 5. MMAGTFT/MCAGCC Twentynine Palms are eligible.
Q. How do I nominate a Marine Spouse for the award?
A. Click the link below for the online nomination form. If you require more information, please do not hesitate to call our office at 858-693-1723. Please do not submit photos.
Q. When do nominations open and when will the awardee be announced?
A. Nominations are generally accepted beginning in January of each year. The awardee will be publicly announced in May or June.
Q. Do you have any additional tips for submitting a nomination?
A. A well-written nomination with specific examples will help the committee understand why your nominee is so outstanding. We recommend that you compose the narrative response (750 word maximum) for the application in a word processor such as MS Word and then cut and paste your response into the online application. This will allow you to do a word count and spell check on your response prior to filling out the online application and keep you from losing your work in case you are disconnected from the Internet.
Nominations for the 2023 award are now being accepted.
Deadline is May 19, 2023.