- Customer Care
Debriefing with Intel Award Recipients
Award recipients were “cross-examined” about their intelligence fields at the second annual Marine Corps Association & Foundation Intelligence Awards Dinner on Friday, 21 September at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, in Arlington, Virginia.
The dinner served as an opportunity to recognize the excellent efforts of Marines in the intelligence field.
“MCA&F is proud to recognize these Marines for their exceptional achievement and duty to the Corps,” said MajGen Edward G. Usher III, USMC (Ret) and President/CEO of the MCA&F. “That’s why the MCA&F exists. We encourage continued education, first-rate leadership and career advancement. We honor the professional excellence of Marines who serve our country every day.”
Watch the Q & A video with four of the intelligence award recipients. Additional background information about the recipients and information about the awards’ namesakes are below.
Cpl Lauren Kohls
Kohls is the recipient of the Lance Corporal James E. Swain Enlisted Marine of the Year Award. She enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2008 as a Pashto Linguist. She graduated Pashto training with honors and deployed to Afghanistan in January 2011. She currently serves as a Pashto linguist with 2d Radio Battalion’s Virtual Signals Intelligence Extension watch-floor, supporting operations in Afghanistan. She received the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal for her service in Afghanistan. Kohls is also the co-founder of Hayla International, a nonprofit that provides educational materials and basic supplies to women and children in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Hayla means “hope” in Pashto.
About the award’s namesake - LCpl James Swain was an intelligence analyst and was killed in Iraq in 2004. He was manning a vehicle mounted machine gun when he identified an insurgent ambush. He engaged the enemy by fire and saved the lives of his fellow Marines, but was mortally wounded. LCpl Swain was awarded the first ever Intelligence Community Medal for Valor; the community’s second highest award for bravery.
MSgt William Benedict
Benedict is the recipient of the Master Gunnery Sergeant Samuel C. Plott Staff Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Award. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1996 and is a Russian Cryptologic Linguist. Benedict has served multiple tours in Operation Enduring Freedom Iraq and Afghanistan and currently serves as the Marine Special Operations Intelligence Company’s Senior Enlisted Advisor. Benedict is a graduate of the Radio Reconnaissance Indoctrination Program; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Course; Cold Weather Survival Course; Urban Reconnaissance and Surveillance Course; the U.S. Army Airborne School; Naval Dive School; Military Free Fall Course; and the U.S. Army Jumpmaster Advanced Course.
About the award’s namesake – MGySgt Samuel Plott served more than 40 years in the intelligence field including 26 years in the Marine Corps and then 17 years for the Office of Naval Intelligence. He served as an artilleryman and intelligence specialist during World War II, a photo interpreter in Korea and the NCOIC of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Photographic Imagery Interpretation Unit in Vietnam.
Cpl Raymond Lindsey
Lindsey is the recipient of the Master Sergeant Charles C. Arndt Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Award. Lindsey enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 2009 and graduated from the Marine Air Ground Task Force Intelligence Entry Course in March 2010 as an Intelligence Specialist. He deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan in 2011 and received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his service there. Lindsey currently serves as an instructor with 2d Intelligence Battalion’s Analytic and Methods Group.
About the award’s namesake – MSgt Charles Arndt joined the Marine Corps in 1938 and served as a scout during World War II. He earned the Silver Star as a member of the Spurlock Patrol and was one of the only three courageous survivors of LtCol Frank Goettge’s 25-man patrol. Arndt also served at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea and retired after 30 years of service.
3d Intelligence Battalion
LtCol Jordan Walzer and SgtMaj Vira Lanpolsaen accepted the Director of Intelligence Unit of the Year Award on behalf of 3d Intelligence Battalion in Okinawa. The battalion delivers a full range of intelligence collection and analytic capabilities including all-source intelligence planning, direction, analysis, production and dissemination; counterintelligence and human intelligence collection; unattended group sensor emplacement and operation; topographic and imagery analysis; and meteorological and oceanographic analysis. Elements of the battalion have participated in numerous operations and exercises throughout the 1990s and combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom since 2001. The 3d Intelligence Battalion also provided critical intelligence to support humanitarian relief operations during the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
*Biography information provided by USMC Intelligence Department
Just wanted to let you know that I got the sword yesterday with time to spare. It showed up unscathed due to the excellent packing job despite the rough postal process. And most importantly it looks great and the Bahraini’s couldn’t be happier! Thanks again for all of your assistance.
Major Wayne Phelps
3d LAAD Bn XO
Security Force, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan
Major Wayne Phelps
Colonel Ford, I have to pass this on because I'm in shock that I was able to Connect (on the first Ring), Chat and concluded my business with "Sharon" in less than 30 seconds, at the MCA-Office. I was taken by surprise. Why, I'm Not used to anyone answering the phone especially on the first ring. AND...a human being...a lovely lady with a disarming voice, which at first I thought was a recording. WOW! I commend THE MCA for doing such an outstanding service for its members...make me proud. Just think...I was not asked "if I knew my parties Extension."?
Wish I had a Blog...I would spread around how delighted I am. What transpired to me today is Rare, just doesn't happen anymore. See, I'm so impressed I'm blitzing you here.
I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone at the association for sponsoring the Ground Awards Dinner on 3 June at the Crystal City Marriott. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were tremendously pleased with the hospitality shown to us and the great accommodations. As well, I wanted to thank the association for the DVD of the event that was mailed to me. It is something that I will keep and treasure for the rest of my days. Again, thanks for everything.
Capt Chris Conner
Member saying thanks to our Customer Service Representative, Skylar Hand.
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Timothy C. Summers
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My Name is Sergeant Major Juan. M. Hidalgo, Sergeant Major of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) out of Camp Pendleton, CA. Sergeant Major (Ret.) Frank Pulley is one of my mentors and is someone that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. The MCA and SgtMaj Pulley do a phenomenal job in helping us recognize our Marines and Sailors and they continually demonstrate that they are always more than ready to support; anytime...Anyplace! And on behalf of the entire 13th MEU, I thank you very much!
Sergeant Major Juan. M. Hidalgo
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1stSgt Thomas M. Burkhard