May 30, 2013 -- style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;">By Monique Randolph, MCSC Corporate Communications
Marine Corps officers and ammunition technicians enable everything Marines do in the field, said Brig. Gen. Frank Kelley, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command, during his keynote address May 22 at the 2012 Ammunition Awards Reception in Triangle, Va.
The event, hosted by the Marine Corps Association and Foundation, honored four Marines for outstanding performance in the ammunition field in 2012.
“It’s because of the support of ammo officers and technicians that Marines don’t have to worry about where the ammo comes from or how it gets there. They just know they have what they need when they need it,” the general said to the crowd of more than 250 ammo students, technicians, officers and industry representatives gathered at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
Every day, Marine Corps ammunition technicians handle ammunition and explosives—from small arms to artillery—that make Marine forces efficient, effective and lethal, Kelley said.
The awards are named in honor of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Johnson Jr., the husband of Gunnery Sgt. Tasha Johnson who works for MCSC’s Program Management Office for Ammunition. Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Johnson was killed in Afghanistan when his team was ambushed during a patrol.
“I was fortunate enough to serve with Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Johnson in my younger years,” said Lt. Col. Robert Emminger, deputy program manager for ammo and master of ceremonies for the event. “My memories of him are of a young sergeant, always displaying an infectious smile, one who possessed unequalled leadership skills and … was one heck of an ammo tech.”
The Gunnery Sergeant Edwin W. Johnson Jr. Memorial Awards were presented in four categories. The recipients were: Ammunition Technician of the Year Cpl. Shakeesha Bradley, Ammunition Company, 1st Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group; Ammunition Technician Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Sgt. Antonio Milord, Ammunition Company, 1st Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group; Ammunition Technician Staff Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Gunnery Sgt. James Cullen, Logistics Integration Division, Capabilities Development Directorate, Combat Development and Integration; and Ammunition Officer of the Year Capt. David Blann, Ammunition Company, 1st Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group.
This is the fourth year MCA&F has held the ammo awards. This year, more than 1,400 Marines competed in all four categories.
“These [four Marines] represent the community you are about to become a part of,” Emminger said to the ammunition school students in attendance. “They have exhibited exceptionally noteworthy performance and displayed initiative, dedication and esprit de corps. They have consistently demonstrated abilities and knowledge above what is expected of an ammunition technician or officer of their rank.”