United States Services Organization,USO, Service declares Army Sgt. Mary Ehiarinmwian, Soldier of the Year 2020 Member of the Year
Army Sgt. Mary Ehiarinmwian, of St. Robert, Missouri, serves with the 523rd Engineer Support Company in Hawaii.
While Ehiarinmwian was driving to Schofield Barracks, the vehicle in front of her flipped several times before landing upside down on a steel property gate. The driver — who turned out to be another soldier from her unit — was almost impaled. Ehiarinmwian immediately stopped her car, rushed to the driver and checked to see if he was conscious. She then pulled him from the smoking vehicle and moved him to safety, staying with him until medical assistance arrived.
Sgt. Mary Ehiarinmwian, a Nigerian-born Soldier assigned to 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s 130th Engineer Brigade, was on her way to physical training, or PT, when a driver lost control of their car and crashed in front of her.
“I’m very proud of Sgt. Ehiarinmwian,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston. “This is exactly the type of leader the Army builds — someone that is decisive and quick to take the appropriate action.”
While born in Nigeria, Ehiarinmwian immigrated to Germany as a child. After getting married and finishing school, she came to the United States in 2016, “looking for something different” in her life, she said.
At the time, she worked at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where she was inspired by the professionalism of the local drill sergeants. It didn’t take long for Ehiarinmwian to find what she had been looking for, and in 2017, she joined the Army.
“[The U.S.] is different than where I grew up from,” she said, adding that America provided opportunities she would have never had in Nigeria. “And I just wanted to give back, and do something meaningful” for the country, instead of just living there.