Catherine Johnson, headshot

Catherine Johnson ()

“It’s just me being present and doing what I can when I can.”

— 2024 USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Base Winner, Catherine Johnson

Since 2008, Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) has honored military spouses all over the world and from each military branch with the Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) award to recognize military spouse contributions and help to the military community and the U.S. Nominees compete at the base and branch levels for the ultimate honor as the overall Military Spouse of the Year. The overall winner will be selected in May 2024.

This year in Germany, four military spouses won at the base level for USAG Rheinland-Pfalz, USAG Stuttgart, USAG Wiesbaden and Ramstein Air Base. I had the pleasure of interviewing USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Base Winner, Catherine Johnson, and she told me a little about herself and her platform.

Catherine, a military spouse for 15 years and disabled veteran, is a huge advocate for servant leadership. She believes in filling the need wherever there is a gap. She serves as a volunteer with the PTSA, Community Spouse Club, Operation Allies Refuge (OAR), and Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), just to name a few. She does everything from advocacy to organizing social events, initiating meal trains, acting as a liaison between families, enlisted soldiers and the Battalion Command team, and much more.

Before ending the interview, I asked Catherine some fun questions about her favorite bases and military family perks. She espoused her love for MWR Trips, Outdoor Recreation and the Rod-and-Gun Club, claiming that outdoor rec is “just a nice, added perk where everything is within your community.”

Moffit Field in California is her favorite base. She lived near NASA’s Ames Research Center and Carnegie Mellon’s branch campus, plus Google, Facebook and Amazon offices where there were so many opportunities for families. The location even gave her the opportunity to receive medical services from a local hospital that allowed her to walk again and have a better quality of life after she suffered complications from a service-related injury.

You can read Catherine’s full profile on the AFI MSOY website here.

Listen to Catherine talk about servant leadership here.

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Tamala Malerk is a writer and editor with Stars and Stripes Europe. She has been with SSE since April 2022 writing articles all about travel, lifestyle, community news, military life and more. In May 2022, she earned her Ph.D. in History and promises it is much more relevant to this job than one might think.

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