News: Marine goes above and beyond, earns Marine of the Quarter
Story by Cpl. Corey Dabney
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Private First Class Maurice Battle, a food service specialist with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and a 22-year-old native of Cortez, Colo., earned the title of Marine of the Quarter for Regional Command (Southwest), Jan. 15, 2014.
The Marine of the Quarter is a title earned by a Marine who stands out amongst their peers of privates, privates first class and lance corporals.
In order to be nominated for the award, Marines must complete the Marine Corps Institute education program courses required for their rank. Battle finished all these courses, as well as some for the next rank.
A board of senior Marines then judges the appearance, confidence and Marine Corps knowledge of the Marine submitted for the award. Physical fitness, combat fitness and rifle scores can also help Marines stand out above their peers on the board.
“This award means a lot to me because it is proof that all my hard work pays off,” said Battle.
Battle didn’t just compete against the Marines of his battalion; he competed against all the junior Marines in RC(SW).
“That’s a pretty astounding feat Battle accomplished,” said Staff Sgt. Jimmy Joyner, the food service chief with 3rd Bn., 7th Marines, and a 38-year-old native of Nashville, Tenn. “I believe he competed against more than 2,000 Marines and some of them were with their units longer than him.”
Battle joined the unit right before its current deployment and has only been with the unit for about seven months, said Joyner.
“He came to us during the last couple weeks of predeployment training motivated and ready to do his best,” said Joyner. “He paid attention to the Marines over him and began working diligently to show he was prepared to deploy.”
Battle and one other field mess Marine were in charge of preparing and serving food for more than 500 Marines at Forward Operating Base Shukvani. Battle ensured the Marines at the FOB always had something to eat, even the ones with specific diets.
Battle has stepped up and really showed what he was capable of during this deployment, according to Joyner.
“I remember there was a corporal who came into the mess hall,” said Battle. “He was very upset because he was a vegan and couldn’t eat the food we were serving that day. I felt like crap because he just walked out and didn’t eat anything.”
After that incident, Battle ensured it never happened again.
“I made some salads every day for the Marines who couldn’t eat what was being served,” said Battle. “I didn’t have to make the salads, but I wanted to. I just didn’t want to let those guys down.”
Battle said when the corporal returned the next day and saw the salads, he was overjoyed.
Battle went above and beyond in his mess hall duties, and still made time to prepare for the board to earn the title of Marine of the Quarter.
“He worked and studied hard, and he did more than what was asked of him,” said Joyner. “That’s why I recommended him for the award. The battalion has a great amount of Marines who are outstanding, but Battle won the award because he stood out from all the others.”
Joyner said he knows Battle will continue to be ambitious and strive to better himself.
“Becoming the Marine of the Quarter is a great honor,” said Battle. “I plan to continue working hard to ensure I am the right Marine to be the Marine of the Quarter.”