President Uchtdorf to receive ‘Leadership Excellence Award’

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President Dieter F. Uchtdorf will be awarded this year’s “Leadership Excellence Award” and address students in Brigham Square on Friday, Nov. 9, at 9:30 a.m.

This ceremony is part of the annual Presidential Review conducted on the Friday closest to Veterans Day. This ceremony shwos respect for soldiers past and present who have dedicated their lives to preserving the freedoms of the United States.

At 9 a.m., a private wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Wells ROTC Building, conducted by President Samuelson, President Uchtdorf and leaders from the Air Force and Army ROTCs. At 9:15 a.m., cadets will lower the American flag to half-staff and then march in formation through BYU campus toward Brigham Square, and at 9:30 a.m. President Uchtdorf will give a speech, which is open to the public.

According to a press release, the combined BYU Army and Air Force ROTC programs present either the “Leadership Excellence Award” or the “Patriot’s Award” to distinguished honorees each year who represent the values of duty, honor, country, God and family. Since 1988, the awards have been given every year.

Master Sgt. Michael Straight, who instructs Army ROTC cadets on drill and ceremony, said the Leadership Excellence Award recognizes leaders in our community, state, church and nation, who have demonstrated the leadership traits and characteristics of Captain Moroni in Alma, chapter 48, verses 11-12:

“‘Moroni was a strong and mighty man; he was a man of perfect understanding … whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country … a man whose heart did swell in thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people … ,'” Straight quoted from the Book of Mormon. “The BYU Army ROTC Advisory Council recommended (President) Dieter Uchtdorf for the Leadership Excellence Award because throughout his life as a German Air Force pilot, father, husband, business leader and Church leader, he has demonstrated these characteristics.”

Straight hopes students and cadets will be reminded of the significance of Veterans Day, which is on Sunday, Nov. 11. “I would hope that the students and cadets take a moment to remember those (who) have made the ultimate sacrifice when this country called,” he said.

Col. Paul Kucharek, commander of BYU’s Air Force ROTC detachment, said he wants students to recognize the sacrifices, both great and small, of those who fight to preserve America’s freedom and liberties.

“The main thing that we would like students to learn from the Presidential Review … leading up to Veterans Day on Nov. 11, is the recognition and honor we give to all the armed forces veterans who have served this great country,” Kucharek said.

During the week leading up to Veterans Day, both the Air Force and Army ROTC will be participating in on-campus events to involve BYU students in paying tribute to America’s past military personnel.

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