News: Marine Corps Base Hawaii represented at Navy League convention
Story by Kristen Wong
HONOLULU — Marine Corps Base Hawaii was well represented during the national convention of the Navy League of the United States, June 19-24.
On June 21, Marines from Wounded Warrior Battalion West — Detachment Hawaii attended a wounded warrior reception at the Pacific Aviation Museum. The event commemorated the Battle of
Midway’s 70th anniversary and honored all wounded warriors. There was entertainment and tours of the museum during the evening.
On June 22, the Navy League held its Sea Services Awards Luncheon, awarding service members in the sea service military branches for outstanding leadership and performance. Two Marines from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment each received an award during the luncheon.
Capt. Byron Owen, company commander and battalion intelligence officer of Headquarters and Service Company, 1/3, received the Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune Award for Inspirational Leadership. The award recognized his efforts during his deployment to Afghanistan last year.
“As the Headquarters and Services Company commander, he commanded a 434-man Combined Arms Force that dominated a 169-kilometer area of operations and supported 56 Marine positions distributed in the Helmand province of Afghanistan,” his citation reads.
Owen, who is from San Diego, is currently transitioning to a new position at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“I am indebted to the Marines in Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment for all their hard work and sacrifice in Garmsir, Afghanistan,” Owen said of his award. “The success our company experienced on deployment is a direct reflection of their technical proficiency, exceptional performance, and unwavering commitment to supporting the battalion. I am humbled and honored to have served with Marines of such a high caliber, and I accept this award on their behalf.”
Master Sgt. Jason Bruce, the operations chief for Weapons Company, 1/3, received the Gen. Gerald C. Thomas Award for Inspirational Leadership.
Bruce, a native of Rocky Mount, Va., said he was excited and honored to receive the award. He was pleased that the award also reflected the accomplishments of his unit during their last deployment to Afghanistan.
“[Bruce] effectively trained and led the most proficient and most diverse platoon in the battalion,” his citation reads. “He demonstrated superior technical and tactical proficiency by creating standard operating procedures, which were adopted by two regimental combat teams, and by planning and completing more than 145 mounted and dismounted combat patrols throughout Helmand province, Afghanistan.”
“I think Master Sgt. Bruce’s and Capt. Owen’s selection are two great examples of the Marines that are helping to write the current chapter in the history and legacy of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines. Each of these Marines have made significant contributions on the battlefield and are equally dedicated to training the future of our Corps as they prepare to write the next chapter in our history,” said Sgt. Maj. Dennis J. Collins, sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. “From raids to parades, 3rd Marines can do it all.”
Collins extended his congratulations to all the recipients of this year’s sea service awards.
On June 23, the American Patriot Awards Convention Banquet had representation from MCB Hawaii, including Col. Brian P. Annichiarico, commanding officer, Collins, and members of the Wounded Warriors.
“[The American Patriot Awards Banquet was a] very professional event recognizing two great Americans who have continued to make significant contributions to our country and to those who defend it,” Collins said. “I’m familiar with the Navy League’s work. [The league has] a great reputation and is a well-respected organization. I don’t think the nominees could have been two better chosen recipients, especially Sen. John McCain, who dedicated his entire life both in uniform and in Washington, D.C. ensuring the United States of America is well protected and remains a nation that we can be proud of.”
The evening celebrated the two recipients of the 2012 American Patriot Award, Mildred Courtney and McCain. Courtney, who works for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, has been instrumental in various efforts that benefit service members. Among many of her accomplishments, Courtney has helped arrange for shaved ice to be delivered to 3rd Marine Regiment’s annual holiday party, so service members and their families could romp in “snow” in Hawaii.
“There isn’t anything that gives me more joy, more honor than improving the quality of life for all service men and women through efforts such as these I want to thank Dr. Richard Kelley for giving me this opportunity and David Carey for allowing me to do what I love
every day,” Courtney said as she addressed the guests at the banquet. “Although very much appreciated, this recognition pales in comparison to the gifts of freedom and security that our military men and women provide us all, often under the most difficult conditions and circumstances and sometimes at the greatest personal sacrifice. It is thanks to them that I will donate my time, my service and my aloha, for as long as I am able to our U.S. military. It has been a great ride and one that Outrigger and I take great pride in fulfilling. Mahalo from the bottom of my heart.”