Four local enlisted men a guardsman, an Army reservist, an airman and a Marine were named Wednesday as the top armed forces members by the Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce.
The four were honored at a special luncheon for their work in the community and with their military units.
Erik Skaggs, a corporal and team leader with the Washington Army National Guard, was chosen as the top junior enlisted person among local Guard and reserve units. Skaggs, a former assistant to U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt and currently the government and community relations director for Metropolitan Mortgage and Securities, serves on several boards, including the Inland Northwest Blood Center.
Matthew Ruch, staff sergeant at the U.S. Air Force Survival School at Fairchild Air Force Base, was chosen as the top junior enlisted person among active duty units. An instructor in survival and escape techniques, he also serves as a volunteer with the Davenport Police Department and teaches survival skills to schools and community groups.
Douglas Marx, a first sergeant with the Army Reserve’s 659th Engineer Company, was named the top senior enlisted person among Guard and reserve units. Marx, who was named the non-commissioned officer of 1995 for three different reserve units, is responsible for the training and morale of a 150-person unit. He also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.
Carl Washington, a staff sergeant with Battery A, 1st Battalion of the 14th Marines, was named the top senior enlisted person among active duty units. Washington serves as the communications chief, assistant security manager and hazardous material coordinator for his battery. He was last year’s coordinator for the Toys for Tots campaign and lectures at local schools.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 4 photos