2024 Military Child of the Year® Award Winners


Operation Homefront Announces 2024 Military Child of the Year® Award Recipients

SAN ANTONIO, TX- Seven exceptional military children excelling in academics, community involvement, and peer leadership have a new award to add to their list: Operation Homefront Military Child of the Year®. The national nonprofit, whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, announced recipients of its 2024 premier award, following a nationwide search to identify and celebrate outstanding military children, which garnered more than 700 nominations.

The seven recipients represent the armed forces branch in which a parent either serves or has served — Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Space Force. The selection was based on scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria.  Winners were selected by a distinguished panel of volunteer judges who support the military community.

This year marks the 16th year the Military Child of the Year® Award has shone a light on the remarkable influence these extraordinary young individuals have had on their families, schools, and communities. This year’s award winners will be honored at a gala at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA on April 11. Each recipient will also receive a $10,000 grant, a laptop computer, and other donated gifts.

“While each of our seven awardees’ stories are as compelling as they are unique, they share several common attributes that help put their experiences, and those of the millions of other military kids that serve all of us along with their parents, into perspective:  resiliency, strength, and service,” says Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., CEO of Operation Homefront. “We are so proud to recognize the impact they have had, and will continue to have, on their respective communities and our country.”

This year’s Military Child of the Year® Award recipients have moved a combined 37 times and lived through 247 months of deployments. They have logged 3,667 volunteer hours in the 12 months before nominations.

The awardees are:

Air Force: Noelani Martinez, 16, San Antonio, TX

Army: Allison Candelario, 17, Yorktown, VA

Coast Guard: Charlotte Tama, 18, Washington, DC

Marine Corps: Isabella Arrieta, 17, Murrieta, CA

National Guard: Caleb Hatch, 19, Boulder, CO

Navy: Lindsay Carstairs, 17, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Space Force: Taylor Walsh, 17, Arlington, VA

In addition, 28 finalists were awarded a special one-time $1,000 cash award.

RTX is the program’s presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include BODYARMOR Sports Nutrition, Impossible Foods, Caesars Entertainment, Procter & Gamble, Kellanova, University of Cincinnati Online, HomeFront Brands, PNC, Johns Hopkins US Family Health Plans, La Quinta by Wyndham, The Psychiatric Institute of Washington, US Family Health Plan, and Carnival Cruise Line.

Learn more about the Military Child of the Year® Award.

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 Operation Homefront’s websit

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