Patriotic Employer Award

The Academy is proud to announce that we have been named a Patriotic Employer “for contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.” Former volunteer and active duty member of the United States Marine Corps Shawntrel McCoy nominated the Academy and his former supervisor, Academy Manager of Public Engagement Mary Bailey, for the award, bestowed by the Department of Defense.

Academy employee Mary Bailey receives award from man in suit

A helicopter mechanic for the United States Marine Corps, McCoy decided to volunteer at the Academy so that he could give back to his community while satisfying his personal appetite for learning. Starting in the Birds of Paradise exhibit, McCoy volunteered in a number of the Academy’s special exhibits. He also has worked as a volunteer educator at Academy festivals such as Bug Fest and Paleopalooza. He has been trained to run the Academy’s invertebrate cart, where visitors can see live insects and learn about their behaviors and adaptations.

In a thank-you letter to Bailey upon his resignation from the Academy, McCoy wrote:

“The ability to contribute to educating visitors has been a real pleasure and fulfilling. I can honestly say this has been one of the most rewarding jobs of my life and I have grown so much because of it.”

Marine Receives Volunteer Service Award
Marine Shawn McCoy and former Academy CEO George W. Gephart, Jr.

In 2017, McCoy received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal from the United States Armed Forces. The Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal is unique because members of the armed forces can choose to work toward it by performing service  for the civilian community. The award recognizes those members of the military who perform “substantial volunteer service to the local community that is sustained, direct, and consequential in nature.” Such volunteer service “must produce tangible results” and “must reflect favorably on the military service and the United States Department of Defense.”

The Academy is thrilled that McCoy chose us for his volunteer service and ultimately as a recipient of the Patriotic Employer Award.

“Shawn exemplifies the impact that our amazing volunteers have on guests inside the museum as well as beyond our walls,” said Bailey.

The Academy is committed to making a museum visit accessible for members of the United States Armed Services through regular admission discounts.  Learn more and Plan your visit today!

One comment

  1. What a great article. It’s service members like McCoy who really set themselves apart from the rest by serving in our communities, still serving our great nation. I am proud to have served with this Marine. Congratulations Shawntrel! Nicely done.

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