An emotional MacKenzie Adams surprised her dad, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Adams, command sergeant major, 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, with his award for being named Z 96.3 Soldier of the Month for the month of February on March 9.
MacKenzie nominated her father because, she said, he deserved it.
“He is always thinking about his Soldiers,” she said. “Every time we’re out and about, he notices almost every single one of them without them noticing him first. He’s always trying to help them with any problems they have, whether it be a work issue or a home issue.”
Adams was slightly embarrassed by the award.
“I’m not deserving of this, my daughter nominated me and I want to thank you, but I’m really more of a behind the scenes person,” he said. “I would’ve rather seen this go to a Soldier in the unit. I don’t like to be in the spotlight. I like for the Soldiers to be in the spotlight that deserve it.”
During the awards presentation MacKenzie began tearing up when reading the nomination letter she submitted.
“I am nominating this Soldier because he is one of the best Soldiers, men in this country that you can find. He has been in the Army for 18 years and has never broken a rule and also has tried to keep other Soldiers from breaking rules. He has moved quickly in his promotions because he does his best and his first priority has always been others before himself. When we go out to eat and see other Soldiers in his unit he stops and chats with them and they also seem very happy to see him. My dad should be Soldier of the Month because he cares more about his Soldiers than anything. There have been several occasions CSM Adams has seen his Soldiers struggling with life problems and has had hour-long conversations to help another Soldier get through his or her tough time. My dad also straightens up other Soldiers whether they are privates or even officers, when they are doing something incorrect, including himself. My father is not the know-it-all Soldier, but the careful, cautious and loving man, who seeks only to protect his Soldiers. I have seen my father tear up in every play of the national anthem, hearing about any death of another Soldier and whenever taps is played because of one loss of one Soldier. My father is a caring and dedicated Soldier. That is why he should be Soldier of the Month.”
MacKenzie heard about the award while listening to the radio.
Adams was shocked when he heard he had been named the February Soldier of the Month.
“Anything for the ‘Big Red One’ and Fort Riley – I’m here to do for them and serve the Army and its best interests,” Adams said. “I’m honored to serve with great Soldiers and leaders every day. My job’s easy because of what these guys go through, not me. I’ve had some great mentors and some great kids. Thanks a lot.”
Originally from Oklahoma, Adams made the sacrifice and moved around and deployed alone so MacKenzie could stay home and finish high school.
Now a sophomore in elementary education at Kansas State University she moved to be with her father.
“I moved here and I’m able to see him with his Soldiers and see how caring he is,” she said. “It’s amazing to see that someone cares that much about his Soldiers.”
While observing her father, MacKenzie said she has never seen him slow down.
“He puts forth so much effort,” she said. “I see him never relaxing and calming down from a day; he’s always answering the phone and making sure Soldiers are OK. When he goes to check the barracks, it’s not just to catch Soldiers that are doing something bad, it’s about making sure everything’s running OK so that they have a place they can live in.”
MacKenzie gave advice to other military children who are separated from their parents.
“Take a lot, a lot of pictures because your mom or dad wants to see you growing up,” she said. “My dad missed out on homecoming, prom and cheerleading my senior year. We videotaped a lot of things and sent pictures to him. Just keep in mind that your parent is doing such a great thing for their country and just be proud of them and know that they care about you so much that they are sacrificing their life, and literally everything they know, for your safety and for the rest of the country’s safety.”
MacKenzie can’t express enough that her father is the one who has sacrificed more than her.
“He sacrificed not being around me because I wanted to grow up and stay in one town for the rest of my high school career, and I didn’t want to have to move from school to school each year,” she said. “I just kept in mind that he was doing that for me so that he could provide for me and that I could have the life that I wanted.”
Other children need to keep in mind that their parents are part of the military for a reason, and it’s not to make their children’s life miserable, MacKenzie said.
She believes by nominating her father for this award he feels her love for him.
“Sometimes as we get older we distance ourselves from (our parents) and start learning how to live our lives and we get attitudes and such,” MacKenzie said. “Me and him are really alike so we butt heads a lot, and I think it helps show him that I was not meaning in any way for this to make fun of him but to touch him.”
MacKenzie is the youngest child and has an older brother, Corbin.
Adams received awards from various businesses in the Junction City and Manhattan areas including gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses.
MacKenzie is proud of what her father stands for.
“He represents the Army in the best way that it can be represented, and I’ve grown up loving the Army because of him,” she said. “It’s given me a great sense of patriotism because of him.”
By Shandi Dix
1st Inf. Div. Post
Shandi Dix | POST
Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Adams, command sergeant major, HHC, 101st BSB, 1st HBCT, 1st ID, talks to fellow Soldiers after his daughter, MacKenzie Adams, made a surprise visit March 9 to award him with is plague for being named the Z 96.3 Soldier of the Month.