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.

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