News: MAG-12 Marine honored during Tokyo ceremony
Story by Lance Cpl. Charles Clark
IWAKUNI, Japan - Cpl. Michael A. Clemens, Marine Aircraft Group 12 special intelligence communications center non-commissioned officer in charge, received the United Service Organizations Japan Service Salute Award during an award ceremony for U.S. and Japanese service members at the New Sanno Hotel in Tokyo Sept. 17.
The USO Service Salute Award honors active duty U.S. military members and those from the host-nation of Japan for exceptional performance on and off duty.
Clemens was one of 15 honorees from all branches of the U.S. military as well as the Japanese Self-Defense Force.
Vice Admiral Scott H. Swift, 7th Fleet commanding officer, was the guest speaker for the event and handed Clemens his award.
Clemens accumulated approximately 300 hours of volunteer service, was a Corporal’s Course honor graduate and is the NCOIC of his section.
Clemens volunteered for different community relation projects, such as going to Japanese orphanages and elementary schools to help children learn to read.
“It was a great honor to receive the award,” Clemens said.
Clemens’ command said his name had been put in for the award, and about a month later, he was told he won.
“Clemens is what a corporal should be in the Marine Corps,” said Gunnery Sgt. Andrew F. Causey, MAG-12 first sergeant.
“He knows his [military occupational specialty] very well and is known as the go-to guy in his shop. He mentors Marines and constantly strives in his off time to better himself.”
Causey accompanied Clemens to the award ceremony.
“It was great to see Clemens recognized for being a good Marine,” Causey said. “He sets the example, not just for junior Marines, but senior Marines as well. I am very proud of him.”
Both Clemens and Causey encourage other Marines to volunteer for the station and Iwakuni communities.
“If I could get this award, then I think anyone can win it,” Clemens said.
There are currently more than 160 operating USO centers throughout the world, including four centers on mainland Japan.
The former president, Franklin D. Roosevelt requested in 1941 to form the USO to serve America’s armed forces.
Various organizations such as the Young Men’s Christian Association, Salvation Army, National Travelers Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board merged their support by the USO to help U.S. service members.
The USO operates as a nonprofit charitable organization to provide morale, welfare and recreation activities to military personnel.