The 2020 GEICO Military Service Award Winners
Since 1988, GEICO has conducted the GEICO Military Service Award Program, recognizing and thanking one enlisted member from each Service and one enlisted member from the National Guard. Each is selected for their work in one of these areas of endeavor:
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
- Fire Safety and Fire Prevention
- Traffic Safety and Accident Prevention
These exceptional enlisted men and women are recognized for their dedication and commitment to volunteer service in both their Military and civilian communities.
United States Army Johann Georg Herzog
Master Sergeant Johann Georg Herzog is the Army recipient of the 2020 GEICO Military Service Award for his Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention work. He is assigned to Virginia Tech AROTC, U.S. Army Cadet Command, Blacksburg, VA.
As a leader dedicated to Substance Abuse Awareness and Prevention, MSG Herzog provided instruction to more than 2,000 Initial Entry and over 1200 active-duty U.S. Army Soldiers ranging from Privates to Lieutenant Colonels. He taught classes tailored to leaders identifying drug and alcohol dependency within their units, mitigating existing issues, and preventing future occurrences. His efforts helped develop more aware Soldiers and Leaders armed with the necessary skills to combat potential drug reliance issues and saved the Army over $350,000 in estimated cost for loss of duty time and possible treatments related to drug or alcohol issues.
MSG Herzog also volunteered his expertise to teach addictive habit mitigation, specifically "Just Say No", to a Girl Scout Troop to prevent substance abuse among adolescents. His efforts helped lay the practical foundation of lowering high-risk behaviors and preventing the negative life impact that unhealthy habits can have on our nation's youth.
United States Marine Corps Beau Ramos
Staff Sergeant Beau A. Ramos is the Marine Corps recipient of the 2020 GEICO Military Service Award for his Substance and Alcohol Abuse Prevention work. Assigned to Marine Corps Detachment Keesler Air Force Base as a Formal School Instructor as the Substance Abuse Control Specialist, SSgt Ramos was responsible for providing substance abuse and alcohol prevention training to a Detachment of approximately 400 Marines over the past three years.
He also conducts random urinalysis testing and alcohol screening to at least 10% of the unit monthly. Additionally, he liaises with Keesler's Alcohol/Drug Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) Clinic, ensuring all personnel receives the immediate treatment and aftercare needed to be successful. In his off time, SSgt Ramos is a volunteer coach for the Ocean Springs Sports Programs. He is afforded the opportunity to coach and mentor over 30 high school and 22 youth athletes on the importance of mental and physical fitness and the effects of certain performance substances and drugs on the human body.
SSgt Ramos continues to volunteer coach for youth sports with the goal of creating an outlet to prevent the use of drugs and alcohol in our future generations.
United States Navy Todd Verhagen
Petty Officer First Class Todd D. Verhagen is the Navy recipient of the 2020 GEICO Military Service Award for his Fire Safety and Fire Prevention work. He is assigned to Naval Submarine Support Facility New London Groton, CT.
As the Leading Petty Officer for the Dive Locker's Diving Team THREE, PO1 Verhagen is responsible for providing hyperbaric fire safety, fire detection, prevention, and suppression on-board naval vessels, and general firefighting capabilities for Sailors.
In his off time, PO1 Verhagen actively participates in his community, devoting more than 200 hours to the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company, responding to more than 125 call-outs, training, and serving as a Team Member, Emergency Vehicle Operator, and Team Leader.
Petty Officer 1 Verhagen provides training to citizens at local hardware stores on the importance and use of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers and home fire safety throughout several weekends.
United States Air Force Kayla Roberts
United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Kayla Roberts was one of GEICO's 2020 Military Service Award winners for her fire safety and fire prevention work. As an inspector devoted to the safety of others, Roberts worked tirelessly to complete 139 annual building inspections last year despite a loss in staffing.
Her commitment to the "what right looks like" program was paramount in correcting 85 fire safety deficiencies, directly improving the work environment and safety for 9,000 total force members. Identifying a complete fire alarm system failure during a two-million-dollar renovation project and guiding nine engineers through the repair directly restored the club's operation, preserving 12 annual events and nine squadrons' quality of life.
Additionally, Roberts organized several fire safety exhibits and demonstrations at two local schools to galvanize the wing's Fire Prevention Week campaign. The ingenuity behind her creative efforts ultimately helped the initiative reach and educate 12,000 personnel. Finally, holding a special place in her heart for local youth in the community, she was an avid monthly mentor for the city's Big Brother & Big Sisters program. Teaching 36 hours of life safety and skills, her presence as a role model inspired and improved the horizon of 10 "at-risk" teens.
United States Coast Guard Jamison Smith
United States Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Jamison M. Smith is the 2020 recipient of the GEICO Military Service Award for his Fire Safety and Fire Prevention work. Assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet, he oversees all fire safety/prevention programs for North Carolina's Outer Banks' motor lifeboat station.
As the unit safety coordinator, he identified significant safety concerns with the aging fire detection system and spearheaded a project to correct them.
While off-duty, he serves as a member of the Hatteras Volunteer Fire Department and has devoted over 300 hours responding to over 100 assistance calls and numerous training events since 2017.
Recently as part of a 4-person team and first on-scene of an early morning residential structure fire involving both Coast Guard and community members' homes, he valiantly combated the fire throughout the morning to save life and property in the vicinity. Despite the extreme smoke, fire, and zero visibility conditions.
CPO Smith also volunteered annually during fire prevention week at Cape Hatteras Elementary School, sharing his fire safety expertise and demonstrating the proper use of fire equipment. CPO Smith has served as a volunteer firefighter at previous assignments since 2014.
National Guard Donald W. Horton
Master Sergeant Donald W. Horton is the National Guard recipient of the 2020 GEICO Military Service Award for his Fire Safety and Fire Prevention work. Assigned to 142d Military Police Brigade, Decatur, Alabama, Horton is in charge of the brigade's human resources section. He oversees personnel actions for approximately 1,100 Soldiers. He also serves as Brigade Safety NCO.
A two-time recipient of the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, MSG Horton went above and beyond expectations, volunteering more than 2,900 hours as the Deputy Fire Chief and Secretary of the Board of Directors of an all-volunteer fire department. With more than 20 certifications, he taught statewide training courses educating civilians and first responders.
His safety initiative led to procuring more than $80,000 in grants to implement state-of-the-art personal protective equipment and laundering equipment to reduce the risk of cancer among firefighters, as well as procuring smoke alarms for low-income households.