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Major General William F. Mullen III, base commanding general, Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center presents a Marine with an award in recognition of his exemplary service aboard MCAGCC, Jan. 16, 2018. The Marines were being awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for above-and-beyond service both in and out of uniform. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Rachel K. Porter)

Photo by Pfc. Rachel K. Porter

NCO and Marine of the Year awarded NAM

16 Jan 2018 | Cpl. Christian Lopez Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Four years ago in Grand Junction, Colorado, Cpl. Branden Nickolas Shaver, Trial Services Clerk, Legal Services Specialist Team, Alpha Company, never saw himself joining the Marine Corps, and he opted to attend college after high school. Despite that, Shaver was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for outstanding service in a ceremony aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center on Jan. 16, 2018.

Shaver attributes his success to the guiding hand of his parents growing up, and saw real-life examples in his father’s work ethic, who put in long hours at work to earn Salesman of the Year, he said.

“I didn’t see myself earning this type of recognition before I joined the Marine Corps,” Shaver said. “I didn’t have the same mindset that I do now. I was focused on being a kid rather than growing up.”

The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal is awarded to those who exemplify an elevated level of service or achievement in combat or noncombat situations for a steady period of time, or a specific act that doesn’t warrant a commendation medal or higher.

“All I’ve done is what I’m told, and tried to do the best I could,” said Shaver. “I’m trying to be a leader, and to better myself while I’m at it. You have to put in the work, but the good comes with that.”

The kind of work that Shaver is referencing is going to the gym every night, reading books on the Commadant’s reading list, completing his MCIs, keeping his uniforms in check, taking part in community service hours, working on his Marine Corps knowledge and most importantly, Shaver says, is excelling at his day job.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms