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    Michigan Native Awarded 2023 Marine Corps Motor Transport Maintenance Technician of the Year

    Michigan Native Awarded 2023 Marine Corps Motor Transport Maintenance Technician of the Year

    Photo By Cpl. Marcus Melara | U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Michael N. Hawley, an automotive maintenance technician with...... read more read more

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CA, UNITED STATES

    03.12.2024

    Story by Cpl. Marcus Melara 

    I MEF Information Group

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Ground transportation is critical to all Marine Corps operations. To recognize top-performing Marines within the motor transport field, the Marine Corps awards select individuals for their exceptional performance in their duties.

    This year, Cpl. Michael N. Hawley, with 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, is awarded as the 2023 Marine Corps Motor Transport Technician of the Year.

    To be recognized for this award, individuals are nominated by their leaders and evaluated by Marine Corps Motor Transport Awards Program board members. The board members evaluate the Marines performance based on four categories: problem solving ability, mission accomplishment, leadership, and impact on their unit.

    Motor transport operators and technicians leverage their expertise to provide necessary mobility and logistical support for moving troops, equipment, and supplies across various environments, aligning with Force Design 2030 initiatives. These Marines are vital in delivering essential resources and equipment, sustaining operations, enabling Marines to deploy and accomplishing tasks in any clime and place.

    "Marines like Cpl. Hawley, who fulfill support roles in logistics, plays an important role in ensuring the operational readiness and effectiveness of fields like the infantry or wing assets," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Cesar Bocanegra, a service company operations officer with 9th Comm. "They are responsible for maintaining equipment, vehicle, and convoy operations, and coordinating various logistics functions that are vital for the successful execution of missions."

    Hawley, a Lowell, Michigan native, initially researched and considered joining the other military branches, but ultimately decided to enlist in the Marine Corps in August 2021. He joined with the intention of wanting to excel from the very beginning.

    “I was all about it,” said Hawley. “I was super motivated. I knew what I was made of and knew I could do more, so I decided to go with the Marine Corps.”

    Hawley was familiar with mechanics and worked part-time with trucks before his enlistment, making for an easy decision to choose motor transport as his military occupational specialty. He states that his experience in the Marine Corps helped him increase proficiency in something that he is passionate about while also working in a dynamic environment.

    “I love trucks, when I joined, I had a [motor transport] contract, and it was up to the Marine Corps to decide whether I would be assigned as a mechanic or an operator," said Hawley. "I was used to smaller engines, now I know how to work on a lot of the bigger equipment."

    Hawley was selected for meritorious promotion to corporal in September of 2023. Meritorious promotions are granted to Marines demonstrating leadership attributes consistent with the next higher grade. As a noncommissioned officer of Marines, Hawley assumed a greater level of responsibility within the motor pool.

    "I might have to do maintenance, but then I go do a service request to order parts,” said Hawley. “There’s an administrative piece apart from the hands-on work: making sure things get here on time, making sure the vehicle gets pushed out for the operator and the mission it's supporting… A day in the motor pool goes by very quickly with how busy we are.”

    Hawley thanked his mentors within 9th Comm for helping him on the path to success.

    “They told me stuff isn’t just handed to you,” said Hawley. “Keep trying, and you'll get it… I never gave up, and it paid off.”

    “Cpl. Hawley’s [nomination was a result of his] exceptional leadership qualities, commitment to teamwork, consistent demonstration of initiative and dedication, and a track record of going above and beyond what is expected," said Bocanegra. "His leadership recognized his consistent professionalism and reliability, which set him apart from his peers and made him a worthy candidate for the nomination. Despite a dynamic environment in an ever-increasing operational tempo, his selfless actions spoke volumes."

    Hawley was surprised to receive the award from his leadership and proud to see that his efforts had not gone unnoticed.

    Bocanegra noted the importance of leaders nominating their top performers for awards and recognizing the outstanding work they do. He further stated that motivating Marines to continue excelling in their roles is an important aspect of talent retention, boosting morale within a team, encouraging healthy competition and fostering a culture of excellence.

    When reflecting on the taxing nature of the motor transport field, Hawley credits good morale to the culture the Marines of 9th Comm created.

    "What keeps me passionate is working with Marines by my side," said Hawley. "We've got some great people in the motor pool. Sometimes you have to embrace the suck, and it's who you're with that makes it so much better. We can make good out of bad. It's a great thing, and it keeps me motivated working with people that can always make you laugh."

    Hawley prioritizes leadership growth and strives to embody the whole Marine concept. Currently, he has orders to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, where he will serve as the example to the newest generation of Marines as a drill instructor.

    "I was on the Commandant's Retention Program...I reenlisted early and volunteered to become an 0911 Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island," said Hawley. "That's where I trained, and I want to give back to those whose shoes I was once in."

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.12.2024
    Date Posted: 03.27.2024 19:50
    Story ID: 467204
    Location: MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
    Hometown: LOWELL, MI, US

    Web Views: 273
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN