2021 - Celebrating 50 years of honoring service members, USO Okinawa once again presented Service Member of the Year awards to outstanding members of the U.S. military and Japan Self Defense Force branches. In 1971, USO Okinawa held its inaugural premiere event – The USO Okinawa Service Salute Gala. It is a time-honored, bilateral tradition of recognizing seven service men and women for their outstanding professionalism, leadership, service to country, and embodiment of the USO’s eight core values. These core values: Do the Right Thing, Respect, Excellence, Collaboration, Accountability, Gratitude, and Innovation.

2021 USO Okinawa Service Member of the Year Honorees: Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Sergeant 1st Class Kouji Ono
Japan Air Self-Defense Force Technical Sergeant Hiroaki Murakami Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryusuke Miyashita United States Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class Raphel Crisologo United States Air Force Airman First Class Dakota Bridwell United States Army Staff Sergeant Kevin Garcia United States Marine Sergeant Jonathan AstacioMuñoz