Recruit Honor Grad Awarded

“Chesty” Puller’s legacy of leadership continues to inspire today’s generations of new Marine recruits.

“Chesty” Puller’s legacy of leadership continues to inspire today’s generations of new Marine recruits.

The Marine Corps Association & Foundation awards the “Chesty” Puller Recruit Company Honor Graduate Award to each graduating company at the Parris Island and San Diego Recruit Depots.

LCpl Eric D. Washa Cruz of Ogallala, Nebraska was recognized with the award at the Nov. 2, 2012 for Company H graduation for 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego.

The “Chesty” Puller Recruit Company Honor Graduate Award is presented to the Marine of each graduating company who demonstrated the highest potential for future leadership and responsibility in the Marine Corps. Approximately 90 recruit training companies graduate each year and one recruit honor graduate is selected from each company.

LtGen Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller was the most decorated U.S. Marine in history, and is the only Marine to be awarded five Navy Crosses. He received the nation’s second highest military decoration a total of six times, and in addition to the five Navy Crosses he was also awarded the United States Army Distinguished Service Cross.

The “Chesty” Puller Recruit Company Honor Graduate Award, other honor graduate awards and awards for all the Marine Corps’ formal schools are presented through the MCA&F Marine Excellence Awards Program. Each year MCA&F gives awards to recognize nearly 11,000 deserving Marines and provides about 97 percent of all awards distributed in the Corps outside the USMC awards system.


LCpl Eric Washa (center) holds the “Chesty” Puller Recruit Company Honor Graduate Award during graduation. Washa is with his Senior Drill Instructor, Sgt George A. Dulalwhiteway (left) and his recruiter SSgt Russell J. Mihely (right). Photo by Sgt Jose E. Castellon.


The “Chesty” Puller Recruit Company Honor Graduate Award.
Photo by Ron Lunn.