MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - -- "Marines to be awarded, center!" This phrase is one of the more welcoming commands that Marines receive throughout their careers. There are many scenarios that call for Marines to accomplish extra tasks and work longer hours. Sometimes the mission demands Marines dedicate more of their time and energy to get the job done.
On March 1, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit personal received several awards and promotions to recognize their exceptional hard work.
Promotions are a basic yet one of the most important ways the Marine Corps gives recognition. Sgt. Andrew Rice, Cpl Matthew Hargrove, Lance Cpl. William Jones and Pfc. Alexander Eckley were all promoted to the next corresponding rank.
With rank comes more responsibility. Jones, a basic engineer electrician equipment specialist technician, understands and embraces the responsibility that comes with being a non-commissioned officer.
"First thing I think about when getting promoted is the newly added responsibility that comes with my new rank, said Jones, a Waldoboro, Maine, native. "I know I have to step up and be an NCO from now on."
Cpl. Kyle Brown, Cpl. Norman Gauthier III, Cpl. Justin Baker, Lance Cpl. Samantha Struller and Lance Cpl. Joseph Sanders all received the Good Conduct Medal. This medal is awarded to Marines for three years of active service without any misconduct.
For their outstanding performance during the Commanding General's Inspection Program, Sgt. Andrew Rice, Sgt. Bryan Johnson, Cpl. Rodrigo Ortiz, Cpl. Mitchell Zgorzynski and Lance Cpl. Joseph Lowe all received Certificates of Commendation. During CGIP Marines are inspected on proper knowledge and situation protocol in their functional areas. This program determines whether each section in the MEU is capable of contributing to the MEU's mission.
Marines who earned this award, like Zgorzynski, the 11th MEU's training NCO, had no discrepancies during the inspection due to a high level of preparation.
"I prepared for CGIP like I was one of the CGIP inspectors," said Zgorzynski, an Aurora, Co., native. "I made sure I knew as much as possible so that any question they asked me was an easy one. I did what every Marine should have done and it feels good to be recognized for it."
The 11th MEU awarded Letters of Appreciation to Maj. Brian Wilcox, Maj. Dawn Steinberg, Capt. Greg Zoellner, Capt Philipp Buckhahn, Capt. James Arrasmith, Capt Joshua Diddams, Navy Cmdr. Jon Conroe, Staff Sgt. Joshua Lindvall, Staff Sgt. Hallie Crawford, Navy Petty Officer 1st class Hatontera Willis and Mrs. Kyp Hughes. LOAs are given when personnel take the initiative to do more than what their job asks them to do.
"Fall out," yelled Maj. Michael N. Estes, the commanding officer of the 11th MEU. After the Marines were promoted and the awards were received, Estes personally congratulated those who were awarded and everyone else who helped with the achievements the MEU has attained. After that personnel with the 11th MEU returned to their sections and carried out the plan of the day