First Ever Defense Fellow to Receive Award
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) announced today that the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) has awarded Norcross’ 2020 Defense Legislative Fellow, Major Craig A. Overholt, the Colonel Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award, an award that honors congressional staffers who have made significant contributions to the military community.
The award comes following the hard work Major Overholt has done this year on Department of Defense child care issues. Major Overholt worked on a provision included in this year’s National Defenses Authorization Act (NDAA) that provides an on base housing preference for servicemembers whose spouse is a certified Family Child Care provider and is willing to open their house to provide child care. Wait times for child care at an on-base Child Development Center (CDC) can be over a year, forcing many military families who live on base to find child care options off-base. This amendment will provide for more on base child care options, while helping to alleviate the strain on CDC wait times.
Major Overholt’s work ensured the inclusion of an amendment to the NDAA requiring a report from the Department on implementing Flexible Spending Accounts for servicemembers to be able to use pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket child care expenses.
“I congratulate Major Overholt on receiving this great honor for his significant contributions in advocating for military families during his time with my office,” said Congressman Norcross. “While serving as our 2020 Defense Legislative Fellow, Major Overholt consistently earned recognition from congressional colleagues, as he worked tirelessly to support servicemembers, military families and veterans – always making others his top priority. It has been an absolute honor to work with Major Overholt this year, and while we are sad to see his time with the office come to an end, I know that he will continue to advocate for this great nation and the men and women who serve it.”
Major Overholt is the first Defense Legislative Fellow to receive this honor.
“Expanding access to quality childcare is a critical component to force readiness and is a top priority for Congressman Norcross and the Department of Defense,” said Major Overholt. “During the fellowship program, I was grateful for the opportunity to work these provisions with professionals who are dedicated to improving the lives of our servicemembers, including the Congressman’s personal staff, MOAA, and committee staff members. I’m honored to receive this award and for my experience in the office this year.”
The Colonel Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award honors congressional staff members who have made significant contributions to the uniformed services community. The award is named for the retired Air Force officer who led MOAA's Government Relations Department from 1990 until 2001.