CAMP PENDLETON —Russell Woody, assistant chief of staff for G-5 Plans Department, Marine Corps Installations West, was recently awarded the Blacks in Government Meritorious Service Award for outstanding achievement.
Established in 1975, Blacks in Government or BIG is a grassroots organization, which promotes and supports the well-being, education and professional development of African-Americans in the federal, state, county and municipal sectors.
The award honors military members and Department of Defense civilian employees, men and women, who support overseas contingency operations and demonstrate role model qualities and the core values of their respective military service.
According to Woody’s colleagues and supervisors, he not only made the mark to qualify for the award – he exceeded it.
“When I have a tough job that requires a leader who can inspire others to do better than they ever thought they were capable of, I give that task to Mr. Woody,” said Michael G. Naylor, deputy commander, MCI-West. “He is the embodiment and lifelong practitioner of all the tenets and ideals this prestigious service award represents.”
With more than 31 years combined military and civilian federal service, Woody was nominated for the award by his colleague, Tom Caughlan, chief of staff, MCI-West.
“I’ve worked with Russell for about three years,” Caughlan said. “He is a tireless worker and leader. No matter what needs to be done, he steps in, grabs the problem by the horns and sees it through to completion.”
Woody has actively promoted the tenets of civil/human rights, race relations, equal opportunity, affirmative action, human relations and public service programs in numerous panels, according to his award narrative.
He has served as a keynote speaker for both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Naval Officer Association, which he has been a member of for more than two decades, and demonstrates the exceptional character that has distinguished him as an outstanding leader, role model and mentor in promoting the development of African-American military and civilian personnel.
“Mr. Woody has always earned my profound respect for his utmost professionalism and humanity, which is evident in everything he undertakes,” Naylor said. “He is exactly the kind of person the BIG Meritorious Service Award was designed for.”
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