On January 22, 2020, the Commandant of the Marine Corps hosted the Combined Awards Ceremony, recognizing outstanding Marines across various categories. Awards were presented to the 2019 Athletes of the Year, along with other honorees such as Career Planner of the Year, Marine Security Guard of the Year, and Drill Instructor of the Year. The ceremony, hosted aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, recognized Marines for their exemplary dedication to and representation of the Corps.

Commandant's Combined Awards Ceremony at Quantico, January 22, 2020

The 2019 Athletes of the Year are:

  • Captain Kate Herren – 2019 Female Athlete of the Year
    12th Marine Corps District, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, San Diego
  • Staff Sergeant John Stefanowicz – 2019 Male Athlete of the Year
    Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
  • Sergeant Raymond Bunker – 2019 Male Athlete of the Year
    Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Captain Herren is currently attached to the 12th Marine Corps District, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, in San Diego, CA. In 2019, she served as team captain of the Silver Medal-winning All-Marine Women’s Rugby Team. She was also selected to the All-Tournament Team. Captain Herren is currently training with the US Women’s Olympic Rugby Team, in the hopes of being selected for the final team to represent the USA in the Tokyo games.

Sharing the men’s award are Staff Sergeant Stefanowicz and Sergeant Bunker, two exceptional NCOs and members of the All-Marine Wrestling Team. Both placed first in their weight classes at various events in 2019, to include the Armed Forces Championship, the World Team Trials, and the Dave Schultz International Tournament. In addition, both fought at the 2019 World Championships in Khazakhstan, with Sergeant Bunker placing 12th in the world at his weight and SSgt Stefanowicz placing 8th in the world at his weight.