MCA&F Awards OCS Staff, Candidates for Performance
Competition drives success.
It’s a point Marine Candidate Luke Boyd has seen in action as the Honor Graduate at Officer Candidate School at MCB Quantico.
Although he trained hard to earn his three awards during the 10-week school, he credits his motivation to the high achievements of his fellow candidates in 2nd platoon, Company C.
“It was a great feeling,” Boyd said of being recognized for the three awards. “The platoon is very competitive and we have a lot of support and cohesion. (The award) is a testament to them, but I’m also honored to be in that position.”
The Marine Corps Association & Foundation sponsors the three awards Boyd earned through the association’s Marine Excellence Awards Program. Each year MCA&F gives awards to more than 10,000 deserving Marines and is the largest contributor of awards given to Marines.
MCA&F Quantico Area Representative SgtMaj Kevin S. Bennett, USMC (Ret) presented the awards during Charlie Company’s graduation ceremony on Friday, 10 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.
Candidate Boyd received the Marine Corps Association & Foundation Honor Graduate Award as the candidate with the highest leadership average, 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.
Company Gunnery Sergeant Spangler said Boyd’s “enthusiasm, initiative and go-after-it-drive” helped propel him to the top grad spot in a company of very successful candidates.
“He’s an outstanding candidate and very knowledgeable,” Spangler said. “He is very motivated and very enthusiastic about being a Marine first and then being a lieutenant.”
MCA&F also sponsors the “Gung-Ho Award” for each graduating OCS class, which is voted on by peers for the Candidate who shows the most motivation during training. Bennett presented Candidate Jergen Campbell with the “Gung-Ho Award” during Friday’s ceremony.
Spangler calls Campbell a “go-getter” with “initiative through the roof.”
In addition to the four 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.
SSgt Joseph D. Whetstine, the recipient of the Drill Instructor of the Cycle was awarded for his outstanding performance while training Officer Candidates.
“His enthusiasm is day in and day out and he enjoys his job,” Spangler said. “He displays a lot of heart and he puts everything he has into what he does as a drill instructor.”
The other staff award recipients were HM2 Rolando J. Brooks as Corpsman of the Cycle, Capt Robert G. Gibson for academic Instructor of the Cycle, Sgt Justin R. Kelley as Physical Training Instructor of the Cycle and Sgt Raymond P. Woitowicz of the Training & Support Platoon who exemplified esprit de corps and devotion to duty on a daily basis behind the scenes in order to be honored for the Eagle Award.