2009 Larry Strickland Educational Leadership Award  



SGM Thomas S. Gills
1SG John D. Gutierrez
SFC Lumanai M. Snow


SGM Thomas S. Gills: U.S. Army G-1
   SGM Thomas S. Gills: U.S. Army G-1, is a 2009 recipient of the SGM Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award.  As the Chief of Enlisted Promotions for the U.S. Army Human Resources Command-Alexandria, SGM Gills created greater incentive for Soldiers to acquire civilian education, and to defer fraudulent actions concerning educational achievements by completely renovating the semi-centralized promotions worksheet process.  By allowing Soldiers to add points immediately, his program provides instant gratification to Soldiers, in the form of promotion points, for completion of civilian or military education credits.  In addition to passionately advocating education as the greatest investment for our soldiers, SGM Gills represented Human Resources Command in a documentary concerning the dangers associated with Diploma Mills and non-accredited educational institutions. 

Due to his long-standing reputation for advocating education, SGM Gills was personally selected by the Sergeant Major of the Army to facilitate the acceleration of the new Army Career Tracker, a professional military education system with the potential to revolutionize our current education process.  SGM Gills also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the
American Military University where he directly impacts the college careers of over 200 future Army leaders.  SGM Gills epitomizes the qualities commensurate with the intent and spirit of the SGM Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award.


1SG John D. Gutierrez: 9th Engineer Battalion (CBT), is a 2009 recipient of the SGM Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award for his initiative in taking the lead to facilitate and supervise civilian education and professional development programs for Soldiers deployed to Iraq at FOB Kalsu.  Through coordination with Central Texas College counselors located at Baghdad’s Victory Base Complex, 1SG Guitierrez accomplished the brigade’s objective of developing and providing tools for Soldiers of the brigade to enhance their educational opportunities while in a deployed environment.  He also utilized his own resources to construct classrooms and provided transportation to Soldiers and instructors in order to ensure success in accomplishing the Brigade’s commitment to Soldiers reaching their educational goals.  1SG Guitierrez’s motivation, determination, and mentoring, while taking care of Soldiers, included his creation of a library of books available to Soldiers preparing to take the ASVAB, SAT, PPST, GRE, EMT, GED, and Military Flight Aptitude tests.  His actions exemplify the Army’s vision of coaching, teaching, and mentoring the future leaders of our Army, the Soldier.    
1SG John D. Gutierrez: 9th Engineer Battalion CBT)



SFC Lumanai M. Snow: 2nd Cavalry Regiment, is a 2009 recipient of the SGM Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award for her motivation in ensuring her Soldiers remain focused on the unit mission and self-development through military and civilian education.  SFC Snow developed and implemented an educational program which included setting up a designated room to conduct distance learning, maintain records of each Soldier’s current educational progress, and counseling Soldiers on their educational goals while deployed to Iraq.  SFC Snow’s program was an unparalleled success and increased her Soldier’s morale.  SFC Snow excels in introducing new, dynamic endeavors to include establishing the Unit Education Center to help provide Soldiers a place to remain educationally focused while deployed, developing a study board session to help Soldiers excel at Promotion, NCO/Soldier of the Month and Sergeant Morales boards, and she served as the unit’s education advisor to help motivate and guide Soldiers to meet their educational goals.  SFC Snow exemplifies the rare qualities sought in today’s military professional.     
SFC Lumanai M. Snow: 2nd Cavalry Regiment