FORT KNOX, Ky., –
U.S. Army Recruiting Command has named its Child of the Year in honor of the Month of the Military Child, which is celebrated in April each year.
This year’s winner is James Hopkins, son of Maj. Corey Hopkins, Montgomery Recruiting Battalion’s executive officer.
“Too often military kids are overlooked, and for Month of the Military Child, we wanted to feature USAREC kids, as they are very unique to the military as well,” said Julie Zwiebel, Family Readiness Program manager for the command. “For instance, some attend a school where they are the only military kid! We wanted to shine a light on what these kids are doing out there. We wanted to hear their stories.”
James was selected after a nomination process that began at the battalion level. Each battalion’s winners were sent to the brigade level, and then each brigade’s winners were submitted to USAREC headquarters.
The Hopkins family is familiar with the unique challenges faced by Army recruiting personnel. The family first served in Oklahoma City Battalion when Maj. Hopkins was the commander of the Texarkana Recruiting Company beginning in 2016. They returned to the command to serve in the Montgomery Battalion in June 2019.
Through multiple moves and school changes, James has maintained high grades, has earned several leadership awards, and was selected for a scholastic STEM program. Outside of academics, he plays the trombone in the school band and also enjoys soccer and tennis.
“It is not uncommon for me to receive phone calls from his teachers saying they wanted to let me know what a joy James is to teach, and it’s kids like him that are the reason they got into teaching to begin with,” Maj. Hopkins said.
James was selected by camp counselors of The Aviation Challenge at Huntsville’s Space and Rocket Center as “The Right Stuff Awardee” for his leadership, resiliency and positive attitude. James also has served as a junior counselor at the St. James Summer Camp for kids ages 3-8.
“James has been able to accomplish all of this despite having suddenly lost his mother, my wife, on Dec. 23, 2015, from a pulmonary embolism,” Maj. Hopkins said. “He has provided me and his grandmother an example of strength, courage and resiliency that is unmatched.”