MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Major General Steven Busby, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), held a holiday party to give thanks to those recognized in the Committed and Engaged Leadership and Committed and Engaged Spouses initiatives aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6.
The party served as a venue for bringing more than one hundred Marines and spouses to honor the Committed and Engaged Spouses of the Year and Committed and Engaged Leader of the Year. Both awards, called the Bonnie Amos Award and Cpl. Mario Arias Award respectively, were awarded to Tiffani Straw and Sgt. Michael Burgess by surprise.
When entering the party, Burgess and Straw were surprised to see their names and citation on signs near the door, explained Busby. Only a few guests knew the party was meant for more than just holiday fun.
They were each given an award and Sgt. Maj. Patrick Kimble, sergeant major of 3rd MAW, read their award citations at the end of the dinner.
“I won’t talk much about Committed and Engaged Leadership and Committed and Engaged Spouses, all I need to say is that [the room was] filled with them,” said Busby. “I really gathered everyone here to recognize them, there just happen to be a holiday party at the same time.”
Burgess, noncommissioned officer in charge of fire control with Marine Light Attack Training Squadron (HMLAT) 303, earned the title of the Committed and Engaged Leader of the Year for his work preparing multiple Marines in his squadron for meritorious boards ultimately helping many of them win and earn recognition and meritorious promotions. Similarly, Straw also worked to make sure Marines were taken care of by volunteering at multiple squadrons.
Both Burgess and Straw were the first to receive these awards, and they are not to be the last. Busby plans to begin this tradition for years to come and hopes it stays after he leaves the command.