Military families need you all year round

Get help now

Military Child of the Year® Award

Now in its 16th year, the Military Child of the Year® Award reflects the positive impact that these impressive young people have made on their military families, their schools, and their communities.


Following the nomination of more than 700 outstanding military children from across the country, national nonprofit Operation Homefront is pleased to announce the 35 finalists for the 2024 Military Child of the Year® Award program. 

Air Force Finalists

Anna Roth, 17, APO, AE

Lana Clayton, 17, Lithia, FL

Morgan Becker, 16, Kaysville, UT

Noelani Martinez, 16, San Antonio, TX

Payton Stokes, 17, Anchorage, AK

Army Finalists

Abigail Babski, 16, Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA

Allison Candelario, 17, Yorktown, VA

Anna Galeano, 18, APO, AE

Maribel Sikes, 15, APO, AP

Micayla Herlihy, 17, Fort Liberty, NC

Coast Guard Finalists

Andreya Cox, 18, Johnson City, TN

Anna Van Ness, 17, Alexandria, VA

Charlotte Tama, 18, Washington DC, DC

Jade Pagan Abreu, 17, Suffolk, VA

Joseph Nendza, 17, League City, TX

Marine Corps Finalists

Alex Vega, 18, Beaufort, SC

Allison Frazier, 17, Swansboro, NC

Caroline Lott, 17, Hubert, NC

Isabella Arrieta, 17, Murrieta, CA

Mia Monday, 16, Kailua, HI

National Guard Finalists

Amaia Arteta, 15, Green Cove Springs, FL

Beckett Landon, 18, Ellensburg, WA

Caleb Hatch, 18, Boulder, CO

Claudia Shin, 17, Porter Ranch, CA

Ephraim LaMountain, 18, Waxhaw, NC

Navy Finalists

Ayla Zook, 16, King George, VA

Coco Ahn, 17, West Springfield, VA

Lindsay Carstairs, 17, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Michael Collins, 17, Virginia Beach, VA

Rylan Gabbard, 16, Oxnard, CA

Space Force Finalists

Ainsley Gulden, 17, El Segundo, CA

Charlotte Kruk, 18, Springfield, VA

Karl Ojala, 15, Montgomery, AL

Shu Xian Mila Baker, 15, Lompoc, CA

Taylor Walsh, 17, Arlington, VA

About the Awards

The annual awards recognize outstanding young people ages 13 to 18. Recipients will represent a branch of the armed forces — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Space Force — for their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria while facing the challenges of military family life.

All Military Child of the Year® Award recipients will be flown with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., and recognized at the April 2024 gala, during which senior leaders of each branch of service will present the awards. They also will receive $10,000 each, a laptop computer, and other donated gifts. The gala is usually held in April, the month of the military child, as a way to recognize the support and appreciation we provide to military families.

  • Child must be a legal military dependent. Status confirmed by DEERS enrollment form.
  • Military children must be between the ages of 13 and 18, at the time of nomination.
  • Child and one adult guardian must be available to travel to the Washington, DC area April 9-12, during the month of the military child, for the Gala award presentation.
  • Officers, directors, employees, and agents of Operation Homefront and its subsidiaries or affiliated organizations, and their immediate family members (parent, child, sibling, and spouse of each) and those living in the same households of each are not eligible to receive programs, services, grants, or donated goods intended for use by Operation Homefront’s clients.
  • Previous Military Child of the Year® Award Recipients, including Innovation Award recipients, are no longer eligible.

In addition to the above eligibility requirements, nominees must:

  • Provide Letters of recommendation (if selected as a semifinalist)
  • Provide Form 1172- DEERS (if selected as a semifinalist)
  • Be willing to participate in media and donor opportunities

Get help now