GEICO recognizes outstanding U.S. servicemen and servicewomen with Military Service Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2015 – GEICO honored six members of the military yesterday with the 2014 GEICO Military Service Award for improving their local military and civilian communities by addressing important safety and health issues.

The GEICO Military Service Awards, now in their 27th year, have recognized members of the U.S. military for their special achievements and contributions to the civilian and military community since 1988.

GEICO chairman Tony Nicely presented the Military Service Awards to the recipients at a special ceremony yesterday in Washington, D.C. "Military members have been part of GEICO's history since the company was founded, and we are proud to give special recognition to these servicemen and servicewomen who have selflessly worked to improve their communities through the 2014 GEICO Military Service Awards," Nicely said.

The 2014 GEICO Military Service Award recipients are:

United States Army

Specialist Darnell D. Lockwood, who serves as team chief for the Retransmission Team 425 IN, 6th Brigade Engineering Battalion at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, was honored for his contributions to prevent drunk driving. Specialist Lockwood has volunteered more than 200 hours for the Joint Base Against Drunk Driving (JBADD) program since his recent arrival. SPC Lockwood selflessly gives his time to provide safe rides home for other service members to prevent impaired driving in the community.

He has served as a driver for JBADD on most weekends as well as on major holidays including Christmas, New Year's Eve and Fourth of July. As a result of his dedication to JBADD, SPC Lockwood has been certified to track hours for all volunteers on base, and recently assumed the role of vice president for the program.

United States Marines

Staff Sergeant Matthew E. McQueen, assigned to Second Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, Parris Island, S.C., was cited for his tireless work in drug and alcohol abuse prevention.

Since 2008, SSgt. McQueen has volunteered his time counseling at-risk youth and adults in Greenville, Tenn., on the dangers and risks of drug addiction and alcohol abuse. His leadership and work in that community was vital in raising enough money to fund the purchase of special equipment and supplies to aid infants suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), a condition that causes infants born to drug-addicted mothers to themselves become addicted.

United States Navy

Chief Petty Officer Mario R. Brioli, currently assigned to the USS Chafee (DDG 90), as the Divisional Leading Chief, Combat Fires Division, Combat Systems Department, Honolulu, Hawaii, was recognized for his dedication to traffic safety and accident prevention.

Chief Brioli serves as the USS Chafee's Motorcycle and Traffic Safety Program Coordinator. He dedicated 82 off-duty hours to conduct motorcycle safety briefings and facilitate new driver safety courses. Chief Brioli has worked diligently to enroll motorcycle riders into safe riding courses, while executing new motorcycle check rides and teaching new cycle owners an abundance of safe riding and maintenance techniques.

His contributions include also spending 120 off-duty hours coordinating 56 new driver training courses for 24 vehicle/cycle owners under the age of 25. This endeavor saved his Navy servicemen and women well over $10,000 in registration fees and associated costs. Chief Brioli also serves as a mentor to 24 motorcycle riders and maintains a file on each mentee to ensure that they are meeting safety requirements.

United States Air Force

Master Sgt. Keval A. Smith, assigned to the 45th Civil Engineering Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Brevard County, Fla., earned the recognition for his work in traffic safety and accident prevention.

Master Sgt. Smith expertly led the 45th Space Wing's largest safety program and vehicle fleet and he coordinated 310 inspections and managed 155 vehicles valued at $5.4 million and preserved $3.2 billion in infrastructure. As the 45th Wing Motorcycle Safety representative, he played a vital role in conducting 45 inspections and training 90 riders on safe cycle operations during his off-duty time.

Master Sgt. Smith was instrumental in piloting a motorcycle mentor ride program, leading more than 40 riders on safe group riding, which resulted in a 15 percent decrease in cycle mishaps. He was also a key member of the 45th Wing Airmen Against Drunk Driving (AADD) program.

United States Coast Guard

Petty Officer Second Class Jennifer Gramata, currently assigned as a Marine Inspector, Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, Prevention Department in Philadelphia, Pa., was honored for her valuable work in fire safety and fire prevention.

Petty Officer Gramata serves as an exemplary leader in the Facility and Container Compliance Branch. Her technical savvy and dedication allowed her unit to identify and uphold fire and safety requirements that have positively impacted more than 75 container yards, oil terminals and hazardous materials facilities in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, promoting the safety of more than 3,000 commercial vessels calling on our ports.

She also developed professional relationships to educate facility operators and closely coordinated with local fire marshals. Petty Officer Gramata's efforts raised the fire prevention awareness of the facility's employees and ensured numerous vessel port calls were conducted safely with a minimized threat of fire.

National Guard/Reserves

Marine Corps Reserve Sergeant Crandall B. Thomson, an aviation airframes mechanic for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112, Naval Air Station, Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth Texas, was cited for his efforts to promote motorcycle, traffic and workplace safety.

Sgt. Thomson serves as safety manager for his unit, where he oversees his squadron's motorcycle riding club and helped ensure the club experienced zero motorcycle mishaps for the year 2014.

Additionally, as a unit safety manager, Sgt. Thomson took the initiative to revamp the following workplace programs: fire prevention, emergency action plan, fall reporting, anonymous reporting, personal protective equipment and the annual safety training program. As a result of his oversight and attention to detail, his squadron has an impeccable safety record.

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