MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan --
Marines with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing won Marine Corps Aviation Association awards at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan on April 21, 2017. These awards are given to Marines who have shown exceptional leadership capabilities and displayed dedication to the Marine Corps in the aviation field.
“We tell the Marines, ‘You perform and your leadership will notice,’” said Master Sgt. Willie James Milline Jr., the national Kenneth W. Southcomb Aviation Supply Marine of the Year award winner, from Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st MAW, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “They will recognize you for your hard work and efforts, but at no time did I do this by myself. I have to attribute my success to my Marines.”
Each unit in 1st MAW nominated a Marine whom they believed should be recognized for their hard work. The unit’s command approved the nomination and they were then submitted to Headquarters Marine Corps, where a Marine of the year was chosen for each category.
Milline is always eager to pass on his knowledge to other Marines, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Elizabeth Campbell, the Repairable Control Branch officer in charge, assigned to Repairable Management Division with MALS 36. He doesn’t do it to gain attention, said Campbell, he does it because he’s passionate about what he does, both job wise and as a Marine leader.
From aviation supply to aviation ground, the awards are given to one Marine from each aviation military occupational specialty determined by MCAA.
Other 1st MAW winners of MCAA awards this year included:
•Maj. Christopher A. Denver- A.A. Cunningham Marine Aviator of the Year
•Sgt. Anthony M. Knapp- Danny L. Radish Marine Enlisted Aircrew of the Year
•Sgt. Shane M. Tietje- Gaines B. Gilbert Aviation Ordnance Marine of the Year
•Sgt. Justin T. Johnson- Jack W. Demmond Aviation Ground Marine of the Year
•Staff Sgt. Drew H. Christmann- James E. Nicholson Noncommissioned Officer Leadership Award
•Gunnery Sgt. Clinton J. DuClos- James Maguire Exceptional Achievement Award
•Staff Sgt. Lee F. Bennett- Paul G. Vess Avionics Marine of the Year
•Gunnery Sgt. Miguel A. Ofray- Kenneth A. Innis Aviation Command & Control Marine of the Year
•Sgt. Keanu B. Kinney- Willie D. Sproule Aviation Maintenance Marine of the Year
•Master Sgt. Willie J. Milline- Kenneth W. Southcomb Aviation Supply Marine of the Year
•1st Lt. Raquel R. Davila- Earle Hattaway Marine Aviation Ground Officer of the Year
•Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, Marine Aircraft Group 12- Donald E. Davis Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron of the Year
•Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268, Marine Aircraft Group 24- Fred McCorkle Marine Tiltrotor Squadron of the Year
•Marine Air Control Squadron 4, Marine Air Control Group 18- Edward S. Fris Marine Air Command & Control Unit of the Year
•Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, Marine Aircraft Group 12- Henry Wildfang Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron of the Year
•Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Aircraft Group 36- James E. Hatch Marine Wing Support Squadron of the Year
•Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3, Marine Aircraft Group 24- John I. Hudson Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron of the Year Award
•Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24- Keith B. McCutcheon HMH Squadron of the Year Award
•Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262, Marine Aircraft Group 24- Pete Ross Marine Aviation Safety Award
•Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, Marine Aircraft Group 36- Commandant's Aviation Award
•Marine All- Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, Marine Aircraft Group 12- Robert M. Hansen Award Marine Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year
“I hope that other Marines recognize that awards are given because of hard work, but to not be discouraged if they don’t get an award,” said 1st Lt. Raquel R. Davila, the supply response division officer in charge with MALS 36. “There’s something more to life than getting rewarded with a plaque or a trophy. The reward is in the learning you take from the experiences you have. No one can ever take that away from you.”