Columbia State student honored with Veteran Commendation Award

Joaquin Ortiz, Technical Assistant at Columbia State Film Crew Technology, was recently honored as a recipient of the 2022 Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans.

The recipients of the award are nominated by their respective college presidents, and Ortiz was one of 39 Tennesseans to receive the award.

“Mr. Ortiz exemplifies not only what it means to be a student soldier and project leader, but also what it means to come home as an alum and be a Columbia State Charger,” said David Smith, professor in Film Crew Technology at Columbia State, in his nomination letter, “It is a great honor that we nominate Joaquin Ortiz for the Third Annual Chancellor’s Award for Military Veterans.”

A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Ortiz joined the Army National Guard after graduating from Independence High School in 2016. After basic training, Ortiz started his first assignment in the Middle East in 2018-2019. With his unit he carried out missions in Kuwait. Jordan and Syria. Within five years, he was promoted to sergeant, then staff sergeant, and trained to become his unit’s master resilience trainer, dedicated to training soldiers’ mental health. He also became his unit’s public affairs representative, which allowed him to take photos and record video.