Maj. James. C. Maker

Maj. James. C. Maker, the chief of the 1st Medical Brigade current operations cell, poses for a photo holding the Capt. John R. Teal Leadership Award on Dec. 13 at the 1st Medical Brigade headquarters building at Fort Hood. His wife, Alison, and his children, Gavin and Riley, surround Maker, each holding up a coin Maker received in addition to the award during the presentation. Maker has served at Fort Hood since July of 2011. His former boss and mentor recommended him for this Army-level award.

Courtesy photo

Maj. James C. Maker, the chief of the 1st Medical Brigade current operations cell, received the Capt. John R. Teal Leadership Award surrounded by his family at his brigade headquarters building Dec. 13.

The award recognizes medical services officers and noncommissioned officers who have made significant contributions to the medical community and displayed exceptional leadership and management skills.

The award is named after the first medical officer killed in Iraq serving with the 4th Infantry Division. Teal died from injuries he sustained on Oct. 23, 2003, near Baqubah, Iraq, after a roadside bomb detonated near his convoy. Upon his death, the Army Medical Command established the annual award.

“Maj. Maker is one of the best officers I have ever been associated with in my nearly 23 years of service,” said Lt. Col. Roy L. Vernon Jr., the deputy operations chief for the European Regional Command in Sembach, Germany. Vernon, a mentor for Maker, recommended him for the award. Maker was unaware of the nomination.

“I have known Maj. Maker since he was a second lieutenant and he served as a platoon leader for me when I was in company command,” Vernon said. Vernon also had the chance to work with and personally observe Maker’s leadership skills at Fort Hood and during their 2012 deployment to Afghanistan.

Vernon was full of compliments about his prodigy.

“Maker is a caring officer who will always put the needs of his soldiers and the mission above himself,” he said. “(He) is passionate about his work as an operations officer and is always seeking self improvement.”

The former supervisor listed Maker’s dedication to mission and family, his ability to build a team and his sense of humor as Maker’s other strengths. Vernon also complimented Maker on having the ability to balance his professional and personal life, and making sure he makes time for important family events.

Maker said he was honored to receive the award and that his greatest strength is his ability to always remember that soldiers expect and deserve the absolute best leadership he can provide.

“Our collective efforts impact the lives of many,” Maker said. “I think this helps to guide my conduct and professional expectations.”

Maker said he shares the award with his wife and family.

“My ability to serve is directly attributed to the support Alison and my children provide me every day,” he said.

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