MCA&F Recognizes Excellence at the CMC Combined Awards Ceremony

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Finalists for the 2014 Commandant of the Marine Corps Combined Awards were recognized with Marine Corps Association & Foundation help during January 29 Ceremony held at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. speaking to finalists at CMC Combined Awards Ceremony

The Marine Corps Association & Foundation helped recognize the finalists for the 2014 Commandant of the Marine Corps Combined Awards during a ceremony held at The Clubs at Quantico, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Jan. 29, 2015.

The awards recognize outstanding performance and exemplary character in the following categories: Recruiter of the Year; Prior Service Recruiter of the Year; Drill Instructor of the Year; Marine Combat Instructor of the Year; Marine Security Guard of the Year; Career Planner of the Year; Reserve Career Planner of the Year; and Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

Prior to the ceremony, MCA&F, in partnership with Navy Wives Clubs of America, hosted a luncheon for the finalists and their families. The spouses’ luncheon is designed to recognize the support that spouses and other family members provide for their Marines. MCA&F provided roses and gifts for the Marines to give to their families, and individually recognized each spouse or parent by name.

“One of the MCA&F’s prime missions is to encourage excellence and then to recognize superb performance by Marines,” said Colonel John A. Keenan, USMC (Ret), Editor, Marine Corps Gazette. “No Marine succeeds without the support of his or her spouse and family, and it is important to recognize the contributions they make for the success of their Marine.”

During the luncheon, the 17th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, SgtMaj Micheal P. Barrett, spoke briefly to the families of the finalists, thanking them for their dedication and support. He then walked around the room and presented each Marine with a personalized challenge coin.

As the awards ceremony began following the luncheon, the finalists were seated in the front of the room, facing the audience. The 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., spoke directly to them, their families and a large audience.

“A leader shows what’s important by his or her presence,” Gen Dunford said, speaking to the large number of senior leaders of the Corps who attended the ceremony to recognize the superior performance demonstrated by the finalists.

“The real reason we’re successful is that we have people that join … like the ones sitting behind me,” Gen Dunford said as he gestured toward the finalists.

Finalists in all categories were awarded with Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, except for the Athletes of the Year, who were awarded with Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Two of the finalists were promoted meritoriously during the ceremony.

After the winners were announced and awards presented, Col Keenan, on behalf of the MCA&F, presented each winners with a plaque and a $250 gift card to The MARINE Shop and each runner-up was given a copy of Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC (Ret)’s book First to Fight and a $150 gift card to The MARINE Shop. Since 1913, MCA&F has supported and sponsored programs, events and awards that recognize leadership and promote excellence within the Corps.

See a picture gallery of the event here:

The Marine Corps Association & Foundation is the preeminent association and foundation for all Marines and friends of the Corps dedicated to the development and recognition of professional excellence and expanding the awareness of the rich traditions, history, and esprit of the United States Marine Corps. The MCA&F advances leadership and recognizes excellence by hosting award ceremonies, facilitating Commanders’ Forums, delivering Commanders’ Unit Libraries, publishing and distributing the Marine Corps Gazette and Leatherneck, and by providing quality uniforms and accessories at the best value. The MCA&F understands and respects the achievements and sacrifices made by Marines and their families while serving this great nation. For more information, visit

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