August 24 , 2005
By Spc. Nicki Fellenzer
When 1st Lt. Hans Mumm of the 29th Infantry Division got a phone call on July 1, 2005, informing him that he was selected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans of 2005 by the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees), he was shocked.
Not only did he not know he was nominated for the award, but he did not even know who nominated him!
In 2003, Mumm was selected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Virginians by the Jaycees in his home state. At the time, his father accepted the honor on his behalf, as his military responsibilities prevented the young Virginian from attending the ceremony in person. But this time, Mumm and his wife Christina will travel to Boston, Massachusetts, for a black-tie ceremony on September 17, 2005, where he will accept the award and make a speech to more than 700 guests.
“It’s humbling,” Mumm says of his selection, “This isn’t just a piece of paper that hangs on a wall. I do what I do because I believe in it, but when I started reading about this award, I realized this is real.”
Mumm, a 37-year-old Military Intelligence Analyst, has served in the United States military for 11 years. In his civilian life, the Woodbridge, Virginia resident is the co-founder of Victory Systems, LLC, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and robotics company. However, while Mumm does not know the specifics of why he was selected, he suspects it’s his volunteer and military work that put his nomination for the Ten Outstanding Young Americans award over the top.
Mumm is an ardent supporter and volunteer with various causes that help current and retired wounded soldiers, as well as civilian humanitarian organizations.
He was also the leader of the team that developed the “Iraqi Regime Playing Cards” that list 52 out of the 55 most-wanted members of the toppled Iraqi regime. Realizing the need for the troops on the ground to quickly learn about those whom they sought, the team designed a deck of cards as a reference tool for their fellow Soldiers.
According to the United States Jaycees press release, the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans program (TOYA) is one of the oldest and most prestigious recognition programs in America. Annually since 1938, The United States Jaycees has sought out the ten young men and women who best exemplify the finest attributes of America’s youthful achievers.”
Mumm was selected as one of 20 finalists for the award by a panel of screening judges, who select and rank their choices, in part, by how well the candidates’ accomplishments relate to the Jaycees Creed, “…That earth’s great treasure lies in human personality, and that service to humanity is the best work of life”
Mumm plans to base the speech he will give at the September awards ceremony on the Jaycees creed.