News: 2013 Aviation award winners, nominees recognized
Story by Lance Cpl. Donald Peterson
CAMP FOSTER, Japan - For more than 100 years, Marine aviators have supported Marines in deployed and garrison environments. Today, Marine aviators continue to uphold the reputation and legacy their predecessors established.
In recognition of these efforts the Marine Corps Aviation Association’s Joe Foss Squadron held its 2013 MCAA awards dinner May 9 at the Butler Officers’ Club on Camp Foster.
The annual dinner honors the accomplishments of Marines and squadrons in the aviation community throughout the Marine Corps.
This year the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing received 12 individual regional awards including the A. A. Cunningham Marine Aviator of the Year, Robert F. Gibson Aviation Command and Control Officer of the Year, and Jack W. Demmond Aviation Ground Marine of the Year for Lt. Col. William L. Depue Jr., Maj. James P. Woodward, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jose R. Martinez, respectively.
Additionally, 1st MAW received nine unit-level regional awards including the Donald E. Davis Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron of the Year, John P. Giguere Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron of the Year and the Commandant’s Aviation Trophy.
“Tonight is all about recognizing 1st MAW regional award-winners,” said Col. Christopher J. Papaj, the assistant wing commander of 1st MAW, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “It is for their excellence in service and willingness to sacrifice their time to make their squadron and the 1st MAW better that we recognize these Marines.”
The guest speaker, Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., the commanding general of III MEF, noted the 1st MAW accomplishments.
“Tonight, we have the opportunity to recognize the hard work and dedication of the Marines with 1st MAW,” said Glueck. “As a fellow aviator, I am honored to be the guest speaker and be given this opportunity to award the winners.”
Without the sacrifice and effort of every member of a team, the high standards for being nominated for the awards would never have been met, according to Depue, the commanding officer of Marine Wing Tiltrotor Squadron 265, 1st MAW, III MEF.
“I am honored to receive such an award for the squadron,” said Depue, whose squadron was named the Fred McCorkle Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron of the Year. “If it wasn’t for the Marines of the squadron constantly doing their best at their job, this would not have been possible.”
Following award presentations, Maj. Gen. Christopher S. Owens, the commanding general of 1st MAW, acknowledged the diligence and professionalism of the squadrons.
“The 1st MAW is only as great as it is because of the efforts of the individual squadrons and how hard their Marines work,” said Owens. “I am proud that I am the commanding general of such a hardworking unit.”