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2022 Military Child of the Year Recipients on stage holding their awards.

Press Release

2023 Military Child of the Year® Semifinalists

By Operation Homefront

January 19, 2023

Operation Homefront announces 2023 Military Child of the Year® Semifinalists

SAN ANTONIO — Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, is pleased to announce that 96 military children from across the U.S. and overseas have advanced as semifinalists in Operation Homefront’s 2023 Military Child of the Year® Awards program.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of this very special program, which is the nation’s premier celebration of the achievements of America’s military children, reflecting the positive impact they have made on their families, schools, and communities.  The Military Child of the Year® Award is a lifelong source of pride for the recipients. Participating in the program provides them with amazing opportunities to connect with senior military leaders, celebrities, and other remarkable military children. 

Finalists for this year’s awards will be selected in February by a panel of independent, volunteer judges. The final seven award recipients will be announced in March, and each will receive $10,000, a laptop, and other donated gifts.  A celebration program will be held on April 13, 2023; details regarding the celebrations will be released in March and any events will follow CDC and state health guidelines.

Seven Military Child of the Year® Award recipients will represent each branch of the armed forces — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard — and are selected for their excellence in scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, and extracurricular activities.

“The Military Child of the Year® Award was an outstanding reminder of how appreciated military families are in our nation,” said Grant Benson, 2022 Space Force Military Child of the Year®. “My award was highly unexpected and gave me a sense of pride for all of those moves, staying strong during deployments, and supporting those who are dedicated to serving more than themselves.” Benson is now an Aerospace Engineering major at Penn State University.

Visit our Military Child of the Year® Awards to learn more information.

The following are all the 2023 Military Child of the Year® Award semifinalists by service branch.


Ethan Ashford, 17, Dupont, WA

Stevie Conrad, 15, San Antonio, TX

Ja’Niayah Ellis, 17, Valdosta, GA

Mackenzie Hanna, 17, Grafton, MA

Charlotte Iuchs, 14, South Korea

Leonid Nevezhin, 17, Bronxville, NY

Ella Nusom, 17, Clarksville, TN

Aiden Nyman-Laughman, 16, Colorado Springs, CO

Rebecca Reed, 17, Enterprise, AL

Stella Rodriguez, 18, Charlotte, NC

Marina Salvador, 17, JBLM, WA

Maribel Sikes, 14, Japan

Janiyah Spurill, 17, Germany

Nicholas Sturgeon, 17, Burke, VA

Elena Zimmerman, 16, Clarksville, TN

Marine Corps

James Beere II, 17, Oakland, CA

Kailyn Carmichael, 17, Richlands, NC

Ashley Desten, 18, Vanceboro, NC

Alyssa Godfrey, 13, Manassas, VA

Lily Hutloff, 15, Poway, CA

Grace Linville, 18, New Bern, NC

Dominick Maxheimer, 14, Pensacola, FL

Connor Nicol, 14, Carthage, NC

Iain Nicol, 16, Carthage, NC

Dannika Romer, 13, Seaside, CA

Justin Skillings, 16, Yuma, AZ

Ryley Skinner, 17, Camp Lejeune, NC

Hannah Marie Tokiwa, 17, Pearl City, HI

Jodie Tolbert, 14, Kailua, HI

Logan Tolbert, 17, Kailua, HI


Jackson Adams, 17, Walla Walla, WA

Jemma Bates, 18, Annapolis, MD

Felix Beltre, 16, Ledyard, CT

Abigail Brown, 17, Southlake, TX

Aiyanna Brown, 18, Miami, FL

Tayah Bubulka, 18, Coronado, CA

Audrey DeVore, 17, Coronado, CA

Kalani Green, 16, Homestead, FL

Nevaeh Henrich, 17, Coronado, CA

Hannah Ivy, 17, Fleming Island, FL

Khalif Kamil, 17, Oceanside, CA

Jack Mathews, 17, Spanish Fort, AL

Caleb Sharman, 17, Burke, VA

Jackson Stahl, 17, Doylestown, PA

Ian Sterrett, 17, Moyock, NC

Air Force

Margaret Bartlow, 15, Tyndall AFB, FL

Morgan Becker, 15, Kaysville, UT

Jena Blose, 17, Madison, AL

Samantha Chernogorec, 18, Cheyenne, WY

Brianna Cooley, 17, Bossier City, AL

Isabella Corser, 15, Edmond, OK

Vincent DeStazio, 17, Stevensville, MI

Sean Galloway, 17, Shaw AFB, SC

Isabella Garcia, 16, Vass, NC

Louis Geer, 17, San Antonio, TX

Siobhan Gross, 16, Anacortes, WA

Malia Peris, 17, Dixon, CA

Anna Roth, 16, Germany

Caroline Stanton, 17, College Station, TX

Elayna Weber, 18, Falls Church, VA

National Guard

Amaia Arteta, 14, Green Cove Springs, FL

Leland Blanchard III, 18, Haymarket, VA

Kyra Brown, 18, Lee’s Summit, MO

Evelyna Burrs, 17, Melbourne, FL

Annabelle Cardin, 18, West Monroe, LA

Rylie Nicole Flick, 17, Manassas, VA

Jackson Griggs, 17, Rainbow City, AL

Keziah Hanna, 18, Waxahachie, TX

Lexy Hulse, 16, Sellersville, PA

Ellie Ryder, 16, San Antonio, TX

Drishti Singh, 17, Plainsboro, NJ

Madeline Smith, 17, St. Augustine, FL

Jonathan Spoula, 17, Baldwin City, KS

Mason Thompson, 18, Layton, UT

Grant Wilson, 14, New Albany, OH

Space Force*

Kadence Atwood, 16, Colorado Springs, CO

Shu Xian Mila Baker, 14, Lompoc, CA

Zoe Bills, 17, Lugoff, SC

Elizabeth Endicott, 17, Vienna, VA

Alexander Hill, 17, Colorado Springs, CO

Brandon Kim, 14, Cerritos, CA

Olivia Kim, 16, Cerritos, CA

Eagan McCullion, 14, South Korea

Hayley Schreiner, 16, Colorado Springs, CO

Joshua Yarnes, 13, Germany

*This is the third year for inviting nominations from the newest military service, the U.S. Space Force. We anticipate more nominees from this branch as it becomes more established.

Coast Guard

Lola Campbell, 17, Hubert, NC

Ashli Cardenas, 17, Santa Rosa, CA

Ava Cooper, 17, Port Jefferson, NY

Jessica Hamilton, 16, Petaluma, CA

Haydn Jones, 17, Sault Sainte Marie, MI

Kaylie Kelley, 15, San Diego, CA

Charles McGuire, 18, Hamilton, NJ

Emmett Moorhouse, 16, Norfolk, VA

Katherine Phy, 17, Tampa, FL

Anna Raymond, 17, McLean, VA

Zoey Robinson, 13, Derry, NH

About Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 88 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing, and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries:
Erin Burgy or (469) 934-7131

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