News: NCOs awarded for extraordinary leadership
Story by Lance Cpl. Jennifer Pirante
IWAKUNI, Japan - Marines of Combat Logistics Company 36 had a reason to celebrate leadership when two of its noncommissioned officers were presented with Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership awards here, April 29.
Members of the Navy and Marine Corps Association select peer-nominated service members every year to receive the leadership awards. The leadership awards exist to recognize outstanding service members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Maj. Andres H. Caceres-Solari, CLC-36 commanding officer, presented Sgt. James C. Dixon, CLC-36 refrigeration and air conditioning technician, and Sgt. Adislao A. Bibanco, CLC-36 automotive organizational mechanic, with large eagle statues in front of a squadron formation on behalf of unwavering dedication to the Marine Corps as platoon sergeants.
“The best thing about these two Marines is that they can operate independently,” Caceres-Solari said. “I can easily put Sgt. Dixon and Sgt. Bibanco in charge of our entire maintenance section and forget about them; I don’t have to supervise because I know they are going to do very well.”
The awards Dixon and Bibanco received were signed by the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Forces commanding general, placing recognition on a high platform for getting the job done.
“I got it just for doing my job,” Dixon said. “At the time I was submitted for the award, I was the maintenance platoon sergeant. Our job is just to make sure the Marines get fed, get done what they need to get done and make sure we get Marines to take up volunteer opportunities.”
Dixon and Bibanco also held billets as shop chiefs of their respective departments where much of their day in and day out consists of leadership, mentorship and management of junior NCOs and enlisted personnel.
“It caught me by surprise,” said Bibanco. “Not a surprise because I didn’t think I was a good leader, but to actually get it, it feels awesome. It goes to show hard work and dedication, doing what you were told, doing what you were taught, pays off in the long run.”
Dixon and Bibanco received many congratulations from fellow Marines due to their contributions, which have gone in to improving the unit as a whole, whether on deployment or in garrison. Both sergeants set the example and set a high standard by which fellow Marines are expected to follow.
“Receiving the award here in front of all the Marines, it’s incredibly valuable to be able to show if you work hard, you will be rewarded,” Caceres-Solari said. “It’s a way to say thank you and show that they are on the right course.”
Caceres-Solari said he has no doubts about the sergeants’ abilities to continue upholding the Marine Corps standards of conducts while they go on to carry out deployments in environments like Afghanistan, where their leadership and dedication will really be put to the test.
“It’s the fact they are able to work independently and make sound decisions,” Caceres-Solari said. “By sending these Marines off to do great things, other sergeants will also have a chance to step up to the plate.”
Dixon and Bibanco have shown their leadership potential during prior Western Pacific exercises such as the annual Amphibious Landing Exercise conducted to increase readiness and develop professional relationships between the U.S. and Republic of the Philippines.
“I expect for them to do great things in the Marine Corps,” Caceres-Solari said. “I expect for them to become great staff NCOs and to build great Marines. I have full confidence in both of them. I am very happy to have worked and deployed with them.”
Dixon and Bibanco said they continue to strive to be the prime examples of Marine Corps leadership like their leaders have been for them during their career.