Lafayette, Ind. — Jamie Richards, Veterans Affairs Coordinator at Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette, has been named 2011 Sailor of the Year by the Indianapolis Naval Operation Support Center. Richards, a CE1 in the Naval Reserves, received the award for his duties as Officer in Charge of NMCB (Seabees) 26 DET 03 from August 2010 through October 2011.
The Sailor of the Year Program recognizes sailors who demonstrate a history of sustained superior performance, command impact, mission contribution, proven leadership, dedication to self-improvement, outstanding professionalism, and superior personal appearance. Candidates are often those who have excelled in increasingly demanding, challenging, and unique assignments which typify naval service.
Richards, a native of Rochester, Ind., served in the Navy from 1986 to 1992 as a Fire Control Technician – four of them on board the USS Lewis and Clark. After fulfilling his duties to the Navy, he pursued a career in desktop publishing, eventually accepting a position at Purdue University in August 1999. While employed at Purdue, he took classes towards a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. He also decided to return to the armed services with the Seabees as a CE3 in the Navy Reserves. In 2003 he was deployed to Rota, Spain, in support of the War on Terror and upon his return he was attached to Crane, Ind., where he was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal.
Following his graduation with distinction from Purdue in 2005, Richards accepted the position of Assistant to the Chancellor at Ivy Tech. He returned to his Seabees battalion in the fall of 2007 and in the spring of 2008 volunteered for a deployment where he honed his leadership skills and earned his Seabee Combat Warfare designation.
Richards transferred to his current position at Ivy Tech in 2009. He currently assists over 200 veterans, Guard and Reserve members each semester to utilize their GI Bill and other veteran benefits. He is a mentor to Ivy Tech students and often speaks at statewide veteran education conferences.
In the Navy, Richards was assigned to the 20th Seabee Readiness Group (SRG) based in Gulfport, Miss., and has since earned his Seabee Military Instructor certification. When his battalion was deployed in 2010, he became an officer-in-charge. His superiors gave him high marks for motivating his sailors to complete the tasks assigned to his detachment. Currently, Richards is in a leadership position with the 20th SRG while maintaining leadership duties with the detachment.
Richards is married with an 11 year old daughter. He was recently awarded the Sailor of the Quarter and Military Achievement Award from the Indianapolis Veterans Council and Raytheon. He is currently working towards a master’s degree in military studies with a concentration in strategic leadership.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.