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Although a relatively unknown position in the military, Enlisted Aides serve a crucial role in making sure America’s generals and other high-ranking military officials are successful in their roles of leadership.

From executing multi-course formal dinners for international diplomats to caring for the general’s uniform and managing Housekeeping duties, Enlisted Aides perform duties at the highest level of the U.S. military. During formal dinners, they make sure dinner is served in the correct placement and at the correct time, often at embassies and command centers around the world. It is during these masterfully executed dinners that U.S. generals and other high-ranking military officers conduct world-changing diplomacy.

In 1997, Mrs. Starkey began to recognize the significance of the individuals serving generals in this capacity. She was a major influence in elevating and educating Enlisted Aides, and helped create a process with other senior military officials to select and present the Enlisted Aide of the Year Award, which is still presented to this day at the Salute to Military Chefs dinner. The USO presents the award at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City, where 180 senior military and civilian government officials attend the event.

Winners of the Award:

2003: FS2 Lorraine Terry (Coast Guard), Enlisted Aide to the Commandant of the Coast Guard Academy. Only two services participated in the first year, the Air Force and Coast Guard.

2004: Gunnery Sergeant Patrick Modrisky (Marine Corps), Aide to Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace

2005: Master Sergeant Michael Haug (Army; Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base)

2006:  FS1 Andrew Proulx (Coast Guard), Aide to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allan

2007: Chief Culinary Specialist Benny Brockington (Navy), Senior Aide to the Commander, Central Command, Admiral Fallon

2008: Master Sergeant Craig Duclos (Air Force), Senior Aide to the Commander, Pacific Air Force, General Chandler

2009: Master Sergeant Clayton Cooper (Air Force), Senior Aide to the Commander, Air Combat Command, General Fraser

2010: Chief Culinary Specialist Wes Tavares (Navy), Senior Aide to the Chief of Naval Operations

2011: Staff Sergeant Charles Hughes (Marines) Aide to the Commandant of the Marine Corps

2012: Master Sergeant Brian Brazil (Marines), Aide to the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps

2013: Sergeant Sarah Deckert (Army), Enlisted Aide to the Surgeon General of the Army

2014: FS1 Sammy Paone (Coast Guard), Enlisted Aide to the Commander, 17th District, Juneau, Alaska

2015: Staff Sergeant Marc Susa (Army), Enlisted Aide to the Army Chief Information Officer

2016: Sergeant First Class Derek Johnson (Army)

2017: Master Sergeant Scott Strippoli (Army)

2018: Master Sergeant Jennifer Medeiros (Air Force)

2019: Staff Sergeant Justin Chase (Army)