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Gung-Ho Training Award - USMC OCS
Officer Candidate School can be tough training, said Candidate Rahsan Johnson, but keeping a positive outlook can make all the difference.
That’s why he tries to push through the difficulty and exhaustion to lead by example.
“That’s just my demeanor and I come in and bring the heat 110 percent every day,” Johnson said. “If you have a bad day everybody in the platoon can feel defeated with their head down but I try to keep morale high and everyone happy and the effect is so candidates don’t get complacent.”
Johnson’s peers in Echo Company, OCS recognized that motivated attitude during training and voted him the Gung-Ho Award. Candidate Ryan Montgomery from Golf Company also received the Gung-Ho Award for Golf Company.
The Marine Corps Association & Foundation sponsors the OCS Gung-Ho Award through the association’s Marine Excellence Awards Program. Each year MCA&F gives awards to recognize more than 10,000 deserving Marines and is the largest contributor of awards given to Marines.
“It’s very important to show (the candidates) we still recognize when they go above and beyond because that’s what we’re looking for,” said OCS Drill Master GySgt Hill. “They want to succeed and do more than what we ask of them.”
MCA&F Quantico Area Representative SgtMaj Kevin S. Bennett, USMC (Ret) presented the awards during the graduation ceremony on Saturday, 18 Aug.
“The award process is vital for these youngsters because they need to understand from the beginning that if they work their tail off for ten weeks they will be recognized as the best of the best,” Bennett said.
Other MCA&F OCS awards are a wristwatch for the Phil Yeckel Award as the candidate with the highest overall average and a set of tailored dress blues from The MARINE Shop for the Major Harry Elms Award as the candidate with the highest overall average with prior enlisted service.
The MCA&F awards the OCS Honor Graduate for the highest overall performance average. Candidate Natalie Smith from Golf Company scored a 96.53 GPA during the six-week training and earned her spot as top candidate and company commander during the graduation ceremony.
“It’s a nice pat on the back,” Smith said. “Awards are important because it’s the Marine Corps philosophy of discipline in private and reward in public.”
Candidate Heath Gomez from Echo Company was recognized for the MCA&F Leadership Award. He said it wasn’t something he was initially aiming for, but hopefully high standards and awards create a goal for future incoming candidates.
“We don’t do it for the awards, we’re just doing our best but it’s great to set an example,” Gomez said.
In addition to the awards dedicated to Marine Officer Candidates, the MCA&F also recognizes five Battalion Awards for OCS staff including Drill Instructor of the Cycle, Corpsman of the Cycle, Instructor of the Cycle, Physical Training Instructor of the Cycle and the Eagle Award.
The Drill Instructor of the Cycle recipients were GySgt Nicholas M Romer from Echo Company, Sgt Paul Bribiesca from Golf Company and SSgt Marvin K Walker from India Company. The Instructor of the Cycle recipient was SSgt Dominic A. Easton. The Physical Training Instructor of the Cycle recipient is Sgt Brett Y. Nelson. The Corpsman of the Cycle recipients were HM2 Jefferey M. Baker from Echo Company, HN Isaac Castellanos from Gold Company and HM2 Amethyst Persechino from India Company.
The Eagle Award is earned by the junior Marine who exemplified esprit de corps and devotion to duty on a daily basis behind the scenes and the recipient is LCpl Philip S. Jimenez.
I received my Dress Blues I ordered from The Marine
Shop in the mail today. And I just wanted to write and tell everyone there
that you all did a great job! Everyone from the tailors, to the customer
service reps. I am highly impressed with the quality and tailoring of your
uniforms. I will definitely keep coming back to The Marine Shop in the
future for uniforms!
I'm so pleased to see all the great merchandise you are stocking and the awesome promotions. Your store was dissappointing a few years ago and I shopped only at Sgt Grit.
Now, I can find what I am looking for with you guys.
Congratulations. You are more responsive and informative than any other website contact I can recall. I appreciate that very much. It’s really nice to have someone like you at the MCA “front door.”
W. A. Reed King George, VA
Thank you for all your help over the phone today. Planning a Marine Corps Ball is a lot of time, energy and work.
Timothy C. Summers
Timothy C. Summers
It is ALWAYS a pleasure to work with a consummate professional such as SgtMaj (Ret.) Frank Pulley. As the company 1stSgt for Hotel Company, MCT, SOI (West), I’ve attended a number of his briefs and one can visually see a positive change in the student’s attention levels as the SgtMaj delivers his presentation. The SgtMaj truly cares about the Marines and the Marine Corps and represents the MCA in an extremely admirable manner. It has been my experience that all Marines (including myself) benefit from the experience of attending a MCA presentation. And regardless of rank or years of experience, Marines should always seek to increase their level of proficiency and knowledge and MCA briefs provide us with that opportunity.
1stSgt Scott Burton
I received the shipment of plaques, books and certificates today for
mail call. It was more exciting to me than candy or magazines! Thank
you very much.
1stSgt Thomas M. Burkhard
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
I want to relay my many thanks to everyone at Marine Corps Association and Military Historical Tours for providing me the opportunity to experience such a wonderful trip to Russia. Had I not won this trip through MCA I may have never taken advantage of such fantastic travels. The group, the Russian Tour guide (Oleg Alexandrov) and Charlie Dunn were wonderful companions during the trip. It will be a memory I will cherish all of my remaing days on this earth.
Again, Many thanks and Semper Fidelis!
1stSgt Bradshaw, USMC (Ret.)
I received my blouse last Friday and want to thank you for your efforts
in getting things done. Also, please thank the tailors involved in
making everything right and please give my sincere thanks to those who
made the decision to make the necessary corrections at no charge to me.
That in itself says a lot about your organization. The blouse fits
like a glove and actually looks and feels like new.
Thank you and all the staff who had a hand in correcting a problem and making an old man happy. Semper Fi
Charles W. (Chuck) Harpe
Thanks for the email; I purchased the two Marine Corps. Cups for my brother who served with the First Marine Div. in Vietnam . He was very pleased with the cups and I was very impressed with the purchase. The online catalog did not do the product the justice it deserved. Thanks again and I am sure you will hear from me in the future.
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