III MEF's motor transport units recognized, awarded
Camp Kinser, Okinawa, Japan -- Marines gathered for the presentation of the 3rd annual U.S. Marine Corps Motor Transport Association Inc. 2012 awards June 12 at Camp Kinser.
III Marine Expeditionary Force units earned four awards out of 11 categories, which is a credit to the exemplary professionalism and leadership within III MEF motor transport units, according to Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., commanding general of III MEF.
The awards earned by the Okinawa-based units included personal and unit accomplishments.
Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III MEF, earned the Motor Transport Unit of the Year award for demonstrating exceptional technical and tactical proficiency and dependability, according to the award citation.
Gunnery Sgt. Christopher D. Wheeler, a motor transport operations chief with 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF, was awarded the Motor Transport Operations Chief of the Year award for contributing to the success of more than 80 engineer missions within the battalion, according to the citation.
Chief Warrant Officer Michael J. Taylor, a maintenance officer with HQ Bn., 3rd Marine Division, was recognized as Maintenance Officer of the Year for being the driving-force behind his highly proficient unit, according to his award citation.
Cpl. Lane T. Ware, a motor transport operator with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd MLG, earned the Motor Transport Operator of the Year award for consistently performing his duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner.
The awards are a demonstration of the progress III MEF has made and bodes well for the leadership on Okinawa, according to Chief Warrant Officer Lonnie R. Thomas, a motor transport officer with G-4, supply and logistics, motor transportation, III MEF.
“Today, III MEF set the bar very high because we have progressively received more and more awards,” said Thomas.
The awards have a much deeper meaning than simply distinguishing people for their efforts, according to Master Gunnery Sgt. Roderick J. Welsh, a motor transport chief with G-4, supply and logistics, motor transportation, III MEF.
“When you recognize someone for their significant contributions, you plant a seed,” said Welsh. “That seed will grow, and they become proud of what they do; that contributes to more hard work.”
The Marines accomplished a great amount in their demanding profession and should take pride in it, according Capt. Gabriel D. Sanchez, the company commander of Truck Company at the time of the award nominations, now a logistics officer with HQ Bn., 3rd Marine Division.
Aside from teamwork as a whole, the company’s achievements can be attributed to finding equilibrium, according to Sanchez.
“We could not have succeeded if we had not found a way to strike a balance between maintenance and operations,” said Sanchez.
The III MEF’s motor transport Marines in general can attribute their accolades and achievements to proficient conduct through any circumstance, according to Welsh.
“The achievements of the units out here speak volumes for their professionalism and expertise,” said Welsh. “They have put in countless hours outside, driving on and off base, never slowing down the work load. These Marines have demonstrated a huge level of responsibility as they master their craft.”