Distinguished Service Award
Jonathon Brown started at the Maryland National Guard
Freestate ChalleNGe in 2016. He initially started out as a
Training Coordinator. One day, Mr. Brown noticed one of
the cadets having a meltdown. The teen was pacing with
both hands balled into a fist, visibly upset. Another staff
member attempted to calm him down without success. The
agitation and frustration inside of the young man became
more visible and could be heard throughout the building.
Mr. Brown asked the staff member if he could assist. The
behavior was very recognizable from once being an angry
teen himself. The staff member quickly welcomed the
assistance. With the cadet's permission, Mr. Brown took
the young man away from the crowd that was beginning to
form. With privacy among them, he asked the young man
began to share what was going on with him. Within
minutes of their interaction, the cadet lowered his tone
and adjusted attitude.
He self-corrected the challenging behavior he had just displayed minutes before. At that moment Mr. Brown developed an interest and passion in being more involved with the cadets instead of being behind the scenes. In March of 2018, he accepted the
position of Recruiter, where he could directly be engaged
with the youth inside and outside of the academy. He
continues to use his influence to connect with young men
and women throughout the State of Maryland.