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Four of the five Marines praised in a ceremony Sept. 16 show their meritorious mast awards they received for going above and beyond their jobs in helping Marines of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment prepare for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Marine not present in the photo was unable to attend the awards ceremony.

Photo by Pfc. Michael T. Gams

Hard work pays off for CLB-7 Marines

25 Sep 2009 | Pfc. Michael T. Gams

Five Combat Center Marines were recognized Sept. 16 for going above and beyond the parameters of their job by training Marines bound for Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Marines from Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 7 received meritorious masts for training 10 Marines from Company K, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, to repair their own generators, refrigeration systems and to operate forklifts prior to their deployment.

Sgt. Chadd Baker, a platoon sergeant; Cpl. Israel Garza, the operations chief, dispatching noncommissioned officer and quality control NCO; Cpl. Nicholas Guljas, a generator mechanic; Cpl. Joshua Johnson, a refrigerator mechanic; and Cpl. Wesley James Hutchings, the lot foreman and licensing NCO — all with Support Company, worked together to train the Marines from 3/4 to receive their certifications.

“It’s great to finally be appreciated,” said Hutchings, a Sweeny, Texas native. “Marines across the Marine Corps do so many little things that look insignificant on the small scale, but make a huge difference in the big picture. It’s nice to be recognized for doing our part.”

Capt. Geoffrey Hollopeter, Co. K’s commanding officer, and a Yuma, Ariz., native, noticed the extra effort the CLB-7 Marines put forth in order to help him and his company prepare for deployment and did his best to give them the recognition he believed they deserved.

Hollopeter, who went to his company’s future area of operations in Afghanistan, noticed his company faced deficiencies in generator, refrigeration and forklift support.

He said rather than request personnel from CLB-7 to deploy to Afghanistan with Co. K, he requested his Marines be trained address those deficiencies.

Capt. Joshua Wells, the commander of Support Co., CLB-7, and who has coincidentally worked with Hollopeter in prior years while overseas, said he was glad his Marines could help.

“I’m proud of my Marines,” said Wells, a Hendersonville, N.C., native. “They went above and beyond their job requirements and Capt. Hollopeter was kind enough to recognize them for their efforts.

“To have Marines from a support battalion be recognized for their work by an infantry commander in a battalion we support  refocuses our Marines and helps to motivate them — it puts a name and face to the Marines we’re helping,” he said. “As Marines and as people — especially as Marines – we like to hear what we’re doing makes a difference and to have Capt. Hollopeter recognize our Marines is awesome.”

He said Hollopeter’s recognition of his Marine’s hard work closes the circle between his Marines and the various infantry battalions they support.

“We support them, and then to receive recognition for our support in turn helps our Marines and motivates them for future jobs,” he said.


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