2012 MCA&F Ammo Tech Awards Dinner

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 18:00 to 21:00

The third annual MCA Ammo Tech Awards Dinner, co-sponsored with Marine Corps Systems Command, was held at the Springfield Hilton on Tuesday, 23 May 2012 in Springfield, Virginia. The dinner provided the occasion to honor the top performing Marine leaders in the Ammunition Technician field during 2011.

LtGen Richard Mills, Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, served as the evening’s guest speaker and assisted in presenting the award trophies to the four recipients honored for their service during the award ceremony portion of the dinner.           

LtGen Richard P. Mills           

The dinner was preceded by a no-host reception for guests and also by a VIP reception for the award’s recipients and families. Musical support was provided by a quintet from the President’s Own Band who serenaded the guests as they gathered for the dinner and, a color guard detachment of the Quantico Ceremonial Platoon performed the traditional presentation and retirement of the colors after the guests assembled in the banquet hall.           

Quintet from the President’s Own

Color Guard Ceremony

Colonel Walt Ford USMC (Ret), Editor and Publisher of Leatherneck Magazine, took the stage and welcomed the dinner guests.  He thanked the band and the ceremonial detail, thanked the evening’s sponsors and singled out Platinum Sponsor, Rheinmetall Defence for their support. Recognizing the VIP’s in attendance and then singled out Tasha Johnson, wife of the Awards namesake, the late GySgt Wayne Johnson USMC and thanked her for her support for the evening.  

Colonel Walt Ford Welcomes the Dinner Guests

Following welcoming remarks, the chaplain, Lt Paul Hyder USN, provided an invocation which included recognition of the achievements of the Ammo Tech community as well as those of the evening’s award recipients and the guests sat down to dinner.           

Chaplain’s invocation

Towards the end of the desert course BGen Francis Kelley, Commander, Marine Corps Systems Command took the stage to make some administrative remarks and to introduce the evening’s guest speaker.  During his brief remarks, he thanked the evening’s sponsors and acknowledged the many young Marines in attendance at Ammo Tech School who were in attendance at the dinner and recognized GySgt Johnson’s wife Tasha for her participation.  He mentioned that the evening felt like a family reunion as the Ammo Tech community is small and he finished his remarks by touting the expertise of MARCORPSYSCOM’s entire Ammo Tech community and then introduced LtGen Mills.

BGen Kelley remarks and guest speaker intro

LtGen Mills started his presentation by stating that it was an honor and privilege for him to be there to honor the 4 exceptional Marine award recipients that evening.  He thanked the Marine Corps Association & Foundation for organizing the dinner and awards and also thanked the evening’s many sponsors and pointed out that the event and the awards would not be possible except for their support.  He talked briefly about the late GySgt Edwin Johnson, and acknowledged the presence of his widow, GySgt Tasha Johnson, mother of three who is currently serving as a Marine GySgt also in the Ammo Tech community. Pointing out that all Marines are trained as riflemen, he stated that GySgt Johnson was acting in that capacity when he fell and that the Bronze Star medal awarded to him did not adequately cover his actions and sacrifice.

Turning to the substance of his remarks, he stated that the Marine Corps makes a strong effort to buy what makes us successful but that ultimately we have the BEST material for success – United States Marines. He related that it is the job of successful leaders to listen to the creative ideas of those Marines and that doing that at MCCDC and MARCORSYSCOM has led to some innovative, war winning gear including a new and more effective holster and dramatic improvements to our infantry mortars along with other items that help make Marines more successful.  He pointed out that the purpose of the evening was to honor some of the best of those Marines, the Ammo Tech Award recipients for 2011.  He said he was proud to honor some exceptional Marines in a tough field doing a tough job.  The award presentations followed his brief remarks.

Ammo Tech Awards

The following awards were presented during the ceremony and were sponsored by Rheinmetall Defense General Dynamics (Ordnance and Tactical Systems), ATK and L3 Communications:

The 2011 Gunnery Sergeant Edwin W. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Ammunition Technician Marine of the Year Award for Superior Achievement was presented to Lance Corporal Nicolas G. Salgado-Jimenez

LCpl Salgado-Jimenez onstage with GySgt Tasha Johnson

The 2011 Gunnery Sergeant Edwin W. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Ammunition Technician NCO of the Award for Professional Excellence was presented to Corporal Michael A. Covey.

Cpl Covey receiving his award

The 2011 Gunnery Sergeant Edwin W. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Ammunition Technician SNCO of the Year Award for Distinguished Service was presented to Staff Sergeant Joseph J. Giacomelli Jr.

SSgt Giacomelli onstage with GySgt Tasha Johnson, award sponsor representative and LtGen Mills

The 2011 Ammunition officer of the Year Award for Exceptional Management was presented to Chief Warrant Officer 2 John J. Scholten. 

Warrant Officer-2 Scholten with Award

Click HERE to see the Dinner program which includes the guest speaker and award recipient bios, a bio of GySgt Johnson the award namesake and also a history of the Marine Ammo Tech community.