Marine Corps Association & Foundation 2011 Ground Awards Recipients

The Marine Corps Association & Foundation, in conjunction with HQMC PP&O Division, conducted the 9th Annual Marine Corps Association &Foundation Ground Awards Dinner on Thursday, 28 June at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, in Arlington, Virginia.

The Marine Corps Association & Foundation, in conjunction with HQMC PP&O Division, conducted the 9th Annual Marine Corps Association &Foundation Ground Awards Dinner on Thursday, 28 June at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, in Arlington, Virginia.

The dinner served as the opportunity to recognize the four Marine Divisions' Marines of the Year, the recipients of the 2011 Leftwich Trophy, Hulbert Trophy, Zembiec Trophy, the Chambers Award, and the MARSOC NCO/Critical Skills Operator of the Year.

The evening's guest speaker, Lieutenant General Dennis J. Hejlik, Commander, United States Marine Corps Forces Command; Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic; Commander, United States Marine Corps Bases Atlantic; Commander, United States Marine Corps Forces Europe helped recognize  the following Marines that best exemplified outstanding leadership and professionalism in their respective fields:

2011 Marine of the Year Awards:

Lance Corporal Daniel Godina- Recipient of the 2011 Marine of the Year Award-1st Marine Division. This award is sponsored by Battelle and the Marine Corps Association Foundation.  A San Antonio, Texas native, LCpl Godina is currently stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA. He was full of excitement and was honored to be recognized at his first MCA&F event.  LCpl Godina joined the Corps to be challenged and to set an example for his two younger brothers. “Since I have joined the Marine Corps, every second of it has been great. It has brought the best out of me.”


LCpl Godina and his wife, Antonia Anna.

Sergeant Jeremy D. Butler- Recipient of the 2011 Marine of the Year Award – 2d Marine Division. L-3 Communications and the Marine Corps Association & Foundation sponsored this award. A Jackson, Mississippi native, Sgt Butler joined the Marine Corps to “better myself and join in a time of war.” Sgt Butler served as an Infantry Squad Leader in combat in Marjah, Afghanistan. His bravery earned the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a Combat Distinguishing Device. On another deployment, Sgt Butler received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his gallantry. Sgt Butler’s Commanding Officer, Capt Steve Kosnik, accompanied him to the awards dinner as well as fellow Marines 1stSgt Mike Eversole and Sgt Jose Alfredo Murillo. Sgt Butler subscribes to MCA&F’s Leatherneck magazine, which he stated, “gives us great updates on the Marine Corps, past and present.”


Sgt Butler with his Commanding Officer, Capt Steve Kosnik and fellow Marines, 1stSgt Eversole, and Sgt Murillo.

Sergeant Jeff Majka-Recipient of the 2011 Marine of the Year Award-3d Marine Division. ITT and the Marine Corps Association Foundation sponsor this award. Sgt Majka is from Chicago, IL and currently serves in Scout Sniper Platoon, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, Kaneohe Bay, HI. He was deployed to Afghanistan, Helmand Province twice and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon and Good Conduct Medal along with several other awards while deployed. Sgt Majka joined the Corps because of the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan. He was honored and felt humble to be recognized and stated that three years ago a Lance Corporal from his platoon received the same award and that he wanted to continue to represent the great work of his Platoon.


Sgt Majka with his wife, Lauren and their son

Sergeant Brian A. Phillips- Recipient of the 2011 Marine of the Year Award – 4th Marine Division. General Dynamics and the Marine Corps Association and Foundation sponsored this award. Sgt Phillips is from Salt Lake City, Utah and is currently serving on the Inspector-Instructor staff with Fox Company, 2d Battalion, 23d Marines. He deployed to Iraq twice and performed duties such as MRAP driver, gunner, vehicle commander, navigator, patrol leader, and section leader in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt Phillips chose military service because his father was in the Army and he wanted to follow in his footsteps. Sgt Phillips was accompanied by his wife, Stacia Phillips, and his father, Jack Phillips. His sister, Tiffany and brother-in-law, David were also present.


Sgt Phillips with his wife, Stacia, father, Jack, sister, Tiffany, and brother in law, David.

Gunnery Sergeant Timothy Hogan-Recipient of the 2011 MARSOC NCO/Critical Skills Operator of the Year Award. This award is sponsored by General Dynamics ATP and the Marine Corps Association Foundation. GySgt Hogan was born in Illinois and currently serves as a Marine Special Operations Team Chief for 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion (MSOB).  He joined the Corps to follow in the footsteps of his father, who has been a part of the Corps since the 50’s. GySgt Hogan was extremely humble and did not view the award as an individual award, but as a team award. His recognition would not have been possible if it wasn’t for support from his battalion. In his spare time, GySgt Hogan likes to play the guitar, spend time with his family, and play with his son 4, and daughter 9.

Ground Leadership Award Recipients:

Captain Adam P. Wivell-Recipient of the 2011 Chambers Award for outstanding leadership by a company grade officer in the Marine Reserve component. This award is sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Marine Corps Association Foundation. The Chambers Award is presented annually to the Marine who best demonstrates the outstanding leadership qualities exemplified by Colonel Chambers during World War II. Col Chambers, USMC was the recipient of the Medal of Honor for his action as commander of the 3dBattalion, 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division at Iwo Jima. A native of Emmitsburg, MD, Capt Wivell currently serves as the Executive Officer of Echo Company, 2d Battalion, 25th Marines. After the Iraq War he wanted to help serve his country. Capt Wivell’s recognition was based on exceptional leadership of his unit in Afghanistan.  He was honored to receive the award and owed his success to his Marines. “It’s a great honor, I owe it to my Marines. I couldn’t have done it without their great drive and their leadership within the company. We have outstanding young officers and outstanding enlisted Marines, senior and junior, so I think it’s a great honor to myself as well as to the Marines in my company.”


LtCol Dan Whisnant and Mr. Paul Mayberry, Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton present award to Capt Wivell.

Chief Warrant Officer-3 Keith A. Marine-Recipient of the 2011 Hulbert Trophy for outstanding leadership by a Marine Gunner. Sponsored by Nammo Talley and the Marine Corps Association Foundation, the Hulbert Trophy is presented annually in memory of Marine Gunner Henry Lewis Hulbert, USMC, Medal of Honor recipient, killed in action at the Battle of Blanc Mont, France on October 4, 1918. CWO3 Marine is from Wheeling, West Virginia, and currently serves as the Battalion Gunner for 1st Battalion 5th Marines. CWO3 Marine best exemplified outstanding leadership, courage, and technical expertise within the Ground Combat Arms community and within his battalion. He was honored to receive his award and mentioned it was a great accomplishment for 1st Battalion 5th Marines.


Col Peter Baumgarten, Edgar Flossheim, President & CEO of Nammo AS, and Scott Selle, President & CEO of  Nammo Talley, Inc present award to CWO3 Marine

Captain Daniel L. Brooks-2011 Zembiec Trophy Recipient for outstanding leadership in the USMC Forces Special Operations Command. This award is sponsored by Lockheed Martin and the Marine Corps Association and Foundation. The Zembiec Trophy is presented annually in memory of Major Douglas A. Zembiec, USMC, killed in action in Iraq in May 2007. Capt Brooks was born in Birmingham, Michigan. He has deployed twice to Iraq with India Company, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, where he directed local security and training in Ramadi, and Haditha. On a third deployment, Capt Brooks and his team conducted Village Stability Operations in Mirmandab Village, Afghanistan. Capt Brooks was en route to Afghanistan during the presentation ceremony and was unable to receive his award in person. Major Andy Christianson accepted on his behalf and proclaimed, “Dan is a true combat leader who does all the right things.” He also had an entire support team present that included his parents and a group of his men. They each had something unique to say about his leadership: he looks out for his men and draws the best qualities out of them; he understands that great leadership also requires active listening. Maj Christianson also added: “He’s got superb communication skills. That’s not only with his men, but with the Afghans that he’s mentoring and providing combat leadership to.”


Col Steven Grass and Mr. Ron Richburg, Lockheed Martin representative, presenting the award to Maj Andy Christian on behalf of Capt Brook

Captain Casey Brock-Recipient of the 2011 Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership. This prestigious award is a trophy given for outstanding leadership and is presented annually in memory of Lieutenant Colonel William Groom Leftwich USMC, who was killed in action in the Republic of Vietnam in November 1970. An Oregon native, Captain Brock is currently serving as the Operations Officer for 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. He joined the Corps to continue a family history of military history and because of the aftermath of 911. He was honored to receive this award and even more honored to represent 1st Battalion 5th Marines. He stated. “To be nominated by my battalion-that in itself is an honor, but to be chosen by peers and the Marine Corps is humbling and overwhelming.” Capt Brock and CWO3 Marine are the first Marines to receive two prestigious awards from the same battalion for their outstanding leadership. “It’s an honor, the Hulbert and Leftwich Trophy came from the same battalion, which brings attention to what 1st Battalion 5th Marines has done and is doing.”


Capt Brock with LtGen Dennis J. Hejlik and Col Baumgarten

Click HERE to see more pictures, video and a full synopsis of this event!

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