The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation Announces Brooks Robinson and Craig Stammen as the 2020 Baseball Honorees Joined by Navy and Marine Corps Honorees on November 19th, 2020

Fort Meade, MD – The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation is excited to announce the winners of the 2020 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. The awards honor the legacy of National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who made the selfless decision to put his career in the major leagues on hold so he could serve our country. Each honoree possesses the values, integrity, and dedication to serving our country that Bob Feller himself displayed. Award winners will be honored during a virtual broadcast from the studios of the Defense Media Activity in Fort Meade, MD on November 19th, 2020.

This year’s program recognizes recipients from Military and Major League Baseball in six categories.

2020 Award Recipients:

  1. National Baseball Hall of Fame Award – Brooks Calbert Robinson Jr.
  2. Major League Baseball Award – Craig Nicholas Stammen, San Diego Padres
  3. United States Navy Chief Petty Officer Award – Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Lacresha L. Dowdell
  4. United States Marine Corps Jerry Coleman Award – Master Sergeant Herman A. Kruppa
  5. Peer to Peer Award (Afloat) – USS AMERICA (LHA 6) Junior Enlisted Association
  6. Peer to Peer Award (Ashore) – Training Support Center Great Lakes Chapter of the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD)

Brooks Calbert Robinson Jr., National Baseball Hall of Fame Award

The National Baseball Hall of Fame legend Brooks Robinson is our 2020 recipient having served our country faithfully in the Army National Guard in response to the Vietnam War. He was an Ordnance Parts Specialist. A squad leader once remarked: “He has performed his duties in an excellent and commendable manner. It is recommended he be considered for more rapid promotion than his contemporaries”. Nicknamed “The Human Vacuum Cleaner” or “Mr. Hoover”, in the world of baseball he is considered the greatest defensive third baseman in Major League Baseball history.

“I am thankful and humbled to accept the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. Bob had an amazing baseball career but those of us who were privileged to know him knew that he was most proud of his military service. He wanted his legacy to be as much about honoring the men and women in uniform who served our country as it was about baseball. Bob had a passion for educating others, especially youth, about service to our country. He was selfless. He put the needs of his country before baseball. The fact that Bob voluntarily joined the US Navy to serve his country right in the middle of a stellar baseball career cemented his stature as a true patriot. I will always remember Bob as a friend and one of the greatest pitchers to ever play baseball. I will also remember him as a man to admire because of his courage and dedication to making this country great.”

Craig Nicholas Stammen, Major League Baseball Award

Our 2020 Major League Baseball recipient is pitcher Craig Stammen, from the San Diego Padres. Originally coming from the Washington Nationals, Craig has been involved with many programs that support our military including a tour sponsored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in which athletes travelled to Afghanistan to thank the troops deployed there. From this experience he partnered with the United Heroes League, in the support of giving back to military families. Through his leadership and this special and strong partnership with the San Diego Padres, Craig personally provides families with a fun night at the Ballpark. Military members have gone on field to watch batting practice and meet with Craig personally and those within the San Diego baseball community.

“I’m very humbled to receive the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. I’m thankful for the opportunity given to me by the Community Service Department of the San Diego Padres in partnership with my favorite military charity, United Heroes League, to use my platform to serve military families in San Diego. Bob Feller is a great role model and I hope to live up to his standard of service, sacrifice and commitment to making the world a better place.”

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Award

This year’s U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer honoree is Aviation Ordnanceman Chief (AW/SW) Lacresha L. Dowdell, who joined the Navy in September 2000 out of Georgetown, South Carolina and has served with distinction ever since. Her tours of duty include Strike Fighter Attack Squadron ONE TWO TWO (VFA-122); Strike Fighter Attack Squadron EIGHT THREE (VFA-83); Navy Munitions Command Detachment Oceana, Virginia; Patrol Squadron FOUR FIVE (VP-45); and Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing ELEVEN (CPRW-11). She currently serves aboard USS WASP (LHD-1) as the Magazine Division (G-3) Leading Chief Petty Officer, the Command Fitness Leader, and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Leading Chief, while also serving as the USS WASP’s Chief Petty Officer’s Association Vice President.

A committed supporter of her local community, Chief Dowdell personally volunteered more than 283 hours at 22 community events over the last three years at the Jacksonville Shoreline Base Clean Up, the Northeast Jacksonville Senior Center, Northeast Sasebo Japan Beach Cleanup, Habitat for Humanity, Jacksonville Zoo, and Daniel’s Kids and Seton House Youth Shelters. She spearheaded a Career Week in which Sailors visited middle schools in underserved neighborhoods and led a team of 36 Sailors in developing a mentoring program at Kipp Middle School to provide positive role models for the students. At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, she coordinated with Southside STEM Academy to provide box lunches to 300 children who were without meals due to the school cafeteria being closed, and educated more than 275 students between the ages of 8 and 12 on the proper use, wear and upkeep of facemasks. In conjunction with the Habitat for Humanity, she led a contingent of 40 Sailors from USS WASP in the restoration and construction of three houses used by domestic violence victims. She also formulated and executed a command-wide food drive and clothing drives for seven local shelters in the Hampton Roads area, resulting in the distribution of more than 400 pounds of food and enough clothing to afford each resident of Seton House more than three sets of clothing. Upon notification that she would be honored by the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation, Chief Dowdell explained what motivates her to contribute so much: “Every day I strive to be the leader that I needed as a junior Sailor. I never wanted to be a leader that Sailors couldn’t emulate or didn’t respect. I’ve been blessed to have amazing mentors, who instilled in me the importance of taking care of your Sailors. If you take care of your Sailors, your Sailors will take care of you.”

Jerry Coleman Award

Master Sergeant Hermann A. Kruppa is the recipient of the Jerry Coleman Award, which honors a Marine Noncommissioned Officer possessing outstanding leadership and unyielding support for the Marine Corps and the United States of America. Master Sergeant Kruppa entered the Marine Corps from Long Branch, New Jersey in January 2001, and has excelled throughout his career. As a Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) Observer, his service in the Operating Forces supported Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, the 7th Marine Regiment, and the 3rd Marine Air Wing. He has also served as the METOC Training and Operations Chief at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, METOC Senior Non-Commissioned Officer-In-Charge with Marine Air Control Squadron 1, and METOC Chief with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force. Outside the Operating Forces, he has served as the METOC Analyst Forecaster with MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, and with Marine Detachment Keesler Air Force Base (AFB), where he currently serves as the interservice Meteorological and Oceanographic Analyst Forecaster (MOAF) Course lead curriculum developer and Senior Instructor.

In addition to leading and mentoring Marines, Master Sergeant Kruppa has repeatedly established himself as a mainstay in every community in which he and his family has resided. Through his involvement at various levels of youth baseball, he has made a lasting positive impact on hundreds of athletes and their families. Not satisfied with merely coaching, he leapt at the opportunity to become an organizational board member, and led efforts to improve facilities, reduce cost to families, and expand the opportunity to participate to a broader audience. A visionary coach, he established a philosophy, “the Productive and Involved Citizen Concept,” through which he supports his player’s personal development using an emphasis on schoolwork and grades; community projects such as beach cleaning, highway cleaning, and volunteering at festivals and within local churches; and college visits. As a coach and mentor, he teaches his players more than just the game of baseball; he provides them tools to be successful in life. He lives his philosophy, and his efforts both within the Marine Corps and his local communities have had a tremendously positive impact.

Upon being notified of being awarded the Jerry Coleman Award, Master Sergeant Kruppa remarked, “I am honored and humbled to receive the Jerry Coleman Award. LtCol Coleman always asked what he could do for others before what he could do for himself. His selflessness in halting his Major League Baseball career for an opportunity to serve his country should forever motivate us all to always work together to build our communities and our country towards a better tomorrow. I’m eternally grateful to this great nation and the communities that allowed me a chance to be a part of who they are.”

The Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Awards

Two unique awards honor groups of junior Sailors that have excelled in encouraging other Sailors to embody the Navy’s core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment, and have worked together to promote peer-to-peer mentorship and reduce destructive personal decision-making and behaviors. This year’s recipients in the Afloat and Ashore categories are the USS AMERICA (LHA 6) Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) and the Training Support Center Great Lakes Chapter of the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD), respectively.

Peer-to-Peer Award (Afloat Category)

Upon learning that the USS AMERICA (LHA 6) Junior Enlisted Association would be awarded the Peer-to-Peer Mentoring (Afloat) Award, the association’s President, Aviation Equipment Support Technician 3rd Class Reg’jae Wiley said, “It feels good to see our hard work pay off. We really got out there and got engaged and put on events. It was great to see so many people involved.”

JEA Leadership Team: • Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class, Jaquan Morgan • Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class, Daisha Alicea • Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class, Reg’jae Wiley • Logistics Specialist 3rd Class, Chrishauna Muña • Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class, Walter Estrada

Peer-to-Peer Award (Ashore Category)

After learning that the Training Support Center Great Lakes Chapter of the CSADD would receive the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award, the CSADD President, Electronics Technician Seaman Ethan Carney said, “Winning the Bob Feller Award is exciting for us. The CSADD has become more important for morale during COVID-19 than we would have ever believed. This award shows that we are still spreading our message and informing our shipmates to make good decisions, being influential in their careers and our own.”

CSADD Leadership Team • Electronic Technician Seaman, Ethan Carney • Electronic Technician Seaman, Jack Maple • Electronic Technician Seaman. Richard Grover • Fire Controlman Seaman, Logan Gray • Electronic Technician Seaman, Dylan Roberts

Building Future Leaders New for 2020, this year’s ceremony will proudly announce The Bob Feller Act of Valor Scholarship Program created to provide tuition assistance to qualified students of military families, veterans and service personnel seeking postsecondary education.

In alignment with the foundation’s ongoing mission to acknowledge and support the sacrifices made by active service members, veterans and their families, the foundation will award five scholarships totaling $10,000. Winning applicants were selected based on earning high marks for academic excellence, community service, leadership and mentoring qualities through their participation in extra-curricular of civic activities in school and within their community.

About the Program Our program will feature an online transmission to thousands of active and retired military personnel around the globe in addition to an expanded online public audience of Act of Valor followers and supporters throughout the country. Online registrations will be accepted starting in October. The award program will be moderated by Master of Ceremonies, Bob DiBiasio, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Cleveland Indians. The ceremony will be encapsulated into a virtual conference experience complete with videos, a silent auction of one of a kind memorabilia and a live chat room for Q&A.

PREVIOUS AWARD HONOREES

NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME HONOREES (2013-2019)

  • 2013 – Yogi Berra
  • 2014 – Tommy Lasorda
  • 2015 – George Brett
  • 2016 – Rod Carew
  • 2017 – Tom Seaver
  • 2018 – Johnny Bench
  • 2019 – Randy Johnson

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HONOREES  (2013-2019)

  • 2013 – Justin Verlander
  • 2014 – Nick Swisher
  • 2015 – Jonathan Lucroy
  • 2016 – Brad Ziegler
  • 2017 – Darren O’Day
  • 2018 – Sean Doolittle
  • 2019 – Ian Kennedy

UNITED STATES NAVY CHIEF WINNERS (2013-2019)

  • 2013 – Senior Chief Petty Officer Garth Sinclair
  • 2014 – Senior Chief Petty Officer Carl Thompson
  • 2015 – Chief Petty Officer Genell Cody
  • 2016 – Senior Chief Petty Officer Christopher Beeding
  • 2017 – Chief Petty Officer Edmundo Brantes
  • 2018 – Chief Petty Officer Shawn M. Wingle
  • 2019 – Senior Chief Petty Officer Jairo N. Guity

PEER TO PEER WINNERS (2015-2019)

  • 2015 Afloat – USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) 2015 Ashore – HOPPER Information Services Center
  • 2016 Afloat – USS CONSTITUTION 2016 Ashore – Training Support Center Great Lakes
  • 2017 Afloat – Unmanned Patrol Squadron ONE NINE (VUP-19)
  • 2017 Ashore – Training Support Center Great Lakes
  • 2018 Afloat – U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FIVE (NMCB5) 2018 Ashore – Training Support Center Great Lakes 2019 Afloat – USS AMERICA (LHA-6)
  • 2019 Ashore – Training Support Center Great Lakes

About the Foundation Businessman and author, Peter Fertig founded The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award with the support of the, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the San Diego Padres and the gracious consent of Mrs. Anne Feller and the family of Jerry Coleman.

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