News: 8th ESB receives Engineer Support Battalion of the Year award
Story by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines and sailors with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group formed up to receive the Marine Corps Engineer Association, or MCEA, Engineer Support Battalion of the Year award during a ceremony here Oct. 2.
The unit received the award for its actions in support of U.S. Marine Forces Command and U.S. Central Command during Operation Enduring Freedom between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013.
Brig. Gen. Edward D. Banta, the commanding general of 2nd MLG, presented the award to Lt. Col. Ferdinand F. Llantero, the commanding officer of 8th ESB, standing before a formation of his troops.
“I’ve been in the Marine Corps almost 28 years and I have never received an award like each and every one of you just received today,” Banta told the battalion. “You should be proud of having received this award as a battalion. Marines in 8th ESB are supporting 2nd MLG all over the place right now, and you’re going to continue that.”
The battalion sent 87 Marines to assist the humanitarian and disaster relief operations in New York City following Superstorm Sandy and provided personnel for all three East Coast Marine Expeditionary Units.
“I noted in [retired Col. James A. Marapoti’s] remarks [that] 8th ESB has received this award eight times in the past 16 years,” said Banta. “Clearly, I was in the wrong unit.”
A congratulatory letter from Marapoti, one of the founders of MCEA, was read to the unit, citing the many positive contributions of the battalion.
The award extends to all the Marines and sailors who served with 8th ESB during that the specified time period.
“The positive global impact of the Marines and sailors of 8th Engineer Support Battalion throughout this period reflected great credit upon themselves, the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service,” the award citation read.