Marines receive Good Conduct Award

5 Nov 2012 | Lance Cpl. Demetrius Morgan 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s command element receive the Good Conduct Medal here Nov. 2 and Nov. 5 for continuous military proficiency, obedience and intelligence for an extended period of time.

Like many things in the Marine Corps, the Good Conduct Medal is earned not given. Marines who receive this award have three things in common; fidelity, obedience, and zeal. These characteristics are the basis of criteria for every Marine that has received the award and are engraved into the medal itself.

Cpl. Brandon Rivero, an administrative clerk with the 11th MEU, appreciates the recognition.

“Finally after three years, I’m being recognized for my hard work,” said Rivero, the 22-year-old, Miami native. “This award shows the consistency that I have shown of being a good Marine.”

The Good Conduct Medal was established in the Marine Corps on July 20, 1896. It is one of the oldest medals that can be given in this generation. It was designed by Maj. Gen. Charles Heywood, the ninth commandant of the Marine Corps, and the appearance of the actual medal itself has not changed since the day it was designed.

After his second time receiving the award, Sgt David Hernandez, the chemical biological radiological nuclear defense noncommissioned officer with the 11th MEU, wants to set the example for other Marines.

“The first time I received the medal I didn’t know the relevance of having this type of award,” said Hernandez, a 24-year-old, Fullerton, Calif., native. “I realize now that this is a gesture from the Marine Corps to show appreciation to service members setting that example for those coming up. Since this is my second time getting this, I can use it to show junior Marines how to do it.”

To receive the Good Conduct Medal, a Marine must serve at least 3 years of continuous active service while maintaining the Marine Corps standard for proper conduct. 

Cpl. Mitchell Zgorzynski, a 21-year-old, Aurora, Co., native, received the Good Conduct Medal for the first time and understands what this achievement means.

“Not a lot of Marines can go three years without an incident,” said Zgorzynski, an infantryman and training noncommissioned officer with the 11th MEU. “It’s an honor and I’m extremely proud that I made it this far.”

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
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Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
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LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarr enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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