The Mark Forester Memorial Award for Excellence

On April 26, 2012, we attended the University of Alabama Campus Veterans Association (CVA) Banquet at Hotel Capstone. In addition to honoring many veterans who were in attendance, The Mark Forester Memorial Award for Excellence was presented for the 2nd year in a row. This year’s recipient was Christopher Duke, from Columbia, AL.

Christopher enlisted in the US Navy in 2004 and went to boot camp in 2005. After finishing Corps School he was sent to Portsmouth Naval Hospital and farmed out to Branch Health Clinic Naval Station Norfolk from 2005-2007. He worked in Aviation Medicine and Military Acute Care as an EMT as well as doing a short stint with the Military Police onboard Naval Station Norfolk. He was then sent to Field Medical Service School at Camp Lejeune, NC to complete training for duty with the Marine Corps.

He was stationed with Marine Special Operations Command Support Group from 2007-2010 doing field evolutions and teaching Combat Life Saver courses before Marines deployed. While with the Marines, he was the only Navy Corpsman on the east coast qualified to fly Raven UAV drones. Getting outstanding marks on his Physical Fitness Test gave him the opportunity to be the Command Fitness Leader for MARSOC Support Group. He received 3 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Navy Good Conduct Medal, Fleet Marine Force(FMF) Warfare Pin, Global War on Terrorism, and Pistol Ribbon. He separated from the Navy in 2010 to complete his Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Alabama using the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

He will graduate in May of 2013 and hopes to become a commissioned officer in the Navy. He currently has a 4.0 GPA and works for the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs at UA.

Chris said, “Being the recipient of the Mark Forester Memorial Award for Excellence was a great honor. Like Mark I have an unending passion for Alabama football and everything surrounding it and I hope that I will uphold the honor of this award throughout the rest of my time in Tuscaloosa and my continuing military career. Rolltide!”

Pictured below is Chris, along with Rozlynn and Thad Forester. Congratulations on the award Chris, and thank you for your service to our country.