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Press Release

2020 Military Child of the Year® Winners

By Operation Homefront

March 5, 2020

For media inquiries, please contact Mike Lahrman at or call (210) 202-1243.

Operation Homefront Announces the Seven Recipients for the 2020 Military Child of the Year® Award

ARLINGTON, VA — Operation Homefront, serving America’s military families® since 2002, today announced the seven recipients of the esteemed 2020 Military Child of the Year® Award, the nation’s premier recognition of the outstanding achievements of our military children.

Now in its 12th 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. The award recipients will travel to Washington, D.C., to be recognized at a gala in Arlington, VA on April 2, during which senior leaders of each branch of service, along with MCOY Innovation Award Sponsor, Booz Allen Hamilton, will present the awards. Each awardee will receive a $10,000 grant, a laptop computer, and a trip to Washington, DC.

“These seven award recipients are truly exceptional young people. As all of our judges noted, they shined as individuals, but more so as extraordinary representatives of the larger community of amazing military kids,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront.  “All of the 400-plus nominees we had for our 12th annual Military Child of the Year® Awards exhibited remarkable resiliency, leadership, achievement, and strength of character. Their families and their communities can be justifiably proud of each of them – and we are too.”

The six branch recipients — Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the National Guard — will represent the armed forces branch in which a parent either serves or has served. Selection was based on their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria while facing the challenges of military family life. Each awardee was selected by a panel of independent volunteer judges with deep roots in the military community. The seventh award is the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation, presented by global technology and consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. This award goes to a military child who has designed a bold and creative solution to address a local, regional, or global challenge.

The 2020 Military Child of the Year® Award recipients are as follows:

Army: Fionnuala Mahoney, 18, Bethesda, MD

Marine Corps: Niklas Cooper,16, Camp Lejeune, NC

Navy: Miryam Smith, 17, Virginia Beach, VA

Air Force: Samantha Grab, 18, O’Fallon, IL

Coast Guard: Pierce Corson, 17, Virginia Beach, VA

National Guard: Kristina Lee, 18, Galion, OH 

Innovation (Navy): Kainath Kamil, 16, Oceanside, CA

United Technologies Corporation is the gala’s presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include Booz Allen Hamilton, Carnival Cruise Line, LaQuinta by Wyndham, PNC, and Procter & Gamble. Military Times is the media sponsor.

More information about the Military Child of the Year® Awards is available at


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