Capt. Angela Somnuk, the aide-de-camp to WSMR Commander Maj. Gen. Gwen Bingham, will be awarded the prestigious General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award at the Pentagon at the end of May.
“I’m delighted for Angela to be receiving the award. She’s worked very hard. She came to us from Fort Campbell, Kentucky where she distinguished herself as an officer. She’s continuously exceeding,” Bingham said.
The award is presented annually by the Army and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation to 28 company grade officers who demonstrate the ideals General Douglas MacArthur represented – duty, honor, and country.
Somnuk comes from a family with a military background. Her father retired after serving in the army for 24 years and both her brother and sister are currently enlisted. She said her parents taught her to have a ‘no-fail’ attitude and a good work ethic.
Somnuk, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said she is humbled as she joins the ranks of only 677 Soldiers who have received the award.
“I need to step up my game. Having that on your record, people will be looking at you and I need to push harder,” she said.
While stationed in Iraq, Somnuk led a platoon of Soldiers on convoys.
“I had to make sure everything was in check. I was responsible for everything because lives were at risk,” she said.
Working alongside Bingham has also helped Somnuk develop leadership skills.
“She’s the greatest mentor I’ve ever had,” Somnuk said. “I’ve learned a lot about caring for people. She’s definitely a leader I would like to emulate.”
Overall, Somnuk said she has learned the importance of making people her number one priority.
“The General always says, ‘You don’t get there by yourself lest you fool yourself.’ Teamwork and relationships are important because you can’t do things alone,” she said.
Somnuk will be leaving WSMR in July to work with the Red Cross in Washington, DC.