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Excellence Awarded at OCS August Graduation
September 16, 2013
Marine officer candidates practice for their OCS graduation at Marine Corps Base Quantico Aug. 16, 2013.
SSgt Christopher A. Harrison is the recipient of the Drill Instructor of the Cycle Award for Golf Company, The Basic School (TBS). Photo by Ron Lunn, Marine Corps Association & Foundation.
Candidate Louise M. Nowak is the recipient of the Honor Grad Award for highest average score and Marine Corps Association Gung Ho Award for Golf Company, 1st Platoon, TBS. Photo by Ron Lunn, Marine Corps Association & Foundation.
It takes hard work and discipline to make it through Officer Candidates School, but those traits were magnified for honor grad Louise Nowak.
"I worked hard everyday and continued to give it my all when times were exhausting," Nowak said. "The competition was tough all around the board, which made me push harder, because I'm driven by competition as well as my own self motivation."
Nowak received her framed certificate, MCA wristwatch and the book "Reminiscences of a Marine" during the OCS graduation at Marine Corps Base Quantico Aug. 16, 2013. The Marine Corps Association & Foundation presented five awards to candidates and nine awards to staff members.
It was tough competition for the candidates, Nowak said, because many were prior service or ROTC candidates. Nowak was enlisted from 2006 to 2010 as a combat engineer and completed two deployments. She is now a senior at Carroll University majoring in exercise science.
"I knew going into OCS that there was much to learn regardless of my prior service," Nowak said. "And just as for anything, you get out what you put in. Being the Honor Graduate was not my goal, my goal was to give it my all and take away as much as possible."
The candidates that the Marine Corps Association & Foundation recognized were Louise M. Nowak for the Honor Grad Award for highest average score and Marine Corps Association Gung Ho Award for 1st Platoon, Golf Company; Livingston C. Lukow for the MCA Leadership Award; Daniel F. Sandoval for the Marine Corps Association Gung Ho Award for 1st Platoon, Echo Company; and John H. Mensch Jr. for the Marine Corps Association Gung Ho Award for 4th Platoon, India Company.
MCA&F also awarded OCS enlisted staff including Echo Company D.I. of the Cycle GySgt Nicholas M. Gogol; Golf Company D.I. of the Cycle SSgt Christopher A. Harrison; India Company D.I. of the Cycle SSgt Scott Hemenway; Echo Company Corpsman of the Cycle HM3 Jason Young; Golf Company Corpsman of the Cycle HM John Master; India Company Corpsman of the Cycle HM Kenny Columbus; Tactics Instructor Sgt Michael D. Hodges for Academic Instructor of the Cycle; Sgt Paul B. Price for the Eagle Award; and Cpl Allan E. Young for Physical Training Instructor of the Cycle.
The OCS graduate awards are presented through the MCA&F Marine Excellence Awards program. Each year MCA&F gives nearly 11,000 awards to deserving Marines and provides about 97 percent of all awards distributed in the Corps outside the USMC awards system. The program offers tangible recognition of professional accomplishments and recognizes the honor graduates throughout the Marine Corps officer and enlisted formal schools.
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- OCS Charlie Company Candidates and Marines Honored at Graduation (Photo Gallery)
- TBS Honor Graduates Receive Semper Fidelis Award (Magazine Page)
- The Gung-Ho Ethic Applied (Article)
- Honor Grads Selected for TBS C Co. (Page)
- The Need for USNA Midshipmen to Attend OCS (Article)