MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s top fliers met aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., April 18, to celebrate annual aviation awards.
The Marine Corps Aviation Association hosted a dinner to honor 3rd MAW award nominees and winners for a multitude of categories, including Marine Aviator of the Year, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron of the Year and the Pete Ross Safety Award.
These awards are parts of a Marine Corps-wide event, where 3rd MAW units and Marines competed against every other aviator and squadron in the Corps.
Of the 28 different categories, 3rd MAW Marines and squadrons were nominated in 25 different categories and 11 won national recognition.
Maj. Robert Weingart, a pilot with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, won the Alfred A. Cunningham Marine Aviator of the Year award.
“We have squadrons nominated for unit awards and individuals who were nominated to receive individual awards as well,” said Lt. Col. Robert George, the executive officer with Marine Aircraft Group 11 and a native. “To even be nominated for these awards as a squadron you need to be [at the top of your game]. Then to be nominated over thousands of Marines all over the world doing the same job is very special as well, you have to be really good at what you do. This is to show our appreciation for being competitive.”
The MCAA was chartered in 1972, following in the footsteps of the First Marine Aviation Force Veterans Association, a non-profit organization supporting the first Marine aviators from World War I.
Since the time of its chartering, the program has expanded and now allows nominees the chance to earn one of 28 different awards.
“It’s always good to celebrate outstanding achievement,” said George. “To let hard working Marines, who set the example, know that we see what they’re doing, that they are doing good things for the Marine Corps and their country and let them be recognized for it.”
After the ceremony concluded, Marines and guests enjoyed each others’ company and spoke about how they looked forward to competing again next year.