MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz --
Ten Marines from Marine Attack Squadron 211 received recognition and a trip to Wash¬ington D.C. for their outstand¬ing achievements during fiscal year 2006.
Lt. Col. Eric Austin, VMA-211 commanding officer, want¬ed to reward the Marines in his unit who were doing exception¬ally well.
“It is important for us to rec¬ognize our ‘all stars,’ because the rest of the unit will see that as an example of excellence and will work harder to get that same recognition,” said Austin.
Sgt. Aaron David, VMA-211 maintenance controller, was among the ten Marines selected for the D.C. trip.
He was chosen for the hard work and effort he put into becoming the Marine Aircraft Group 13 noncommissioned officer of the quarter.
“I’m a sergeant in a staff NCO billet, my job requires me to work hard,” said David.
Another Marine who went on the expedition was Lance Cpl. Sean Zais, VMA-211 mainte¬nance administrator.
Zais was recognized for his meritorious promotion to lance corporal.
Cpl. Shane Butler, VMA-211 ordnance technician was also chosen because of his meritori¬ous promotion to corporal.
“I just kept my rifle score up and my PFT high, I did every¬thing I could, and it paid off,” said Butler.
Sgt. Macahan Corthell, VMA-211 powerline worker was meri¬toriously promoted in combat to sergeant and an honor graduate from sergeants course.
Also on the list of names of the Marines selected for the voyage were Cpl. Justin Burley, who was meritoriously promot¬ed to corporal, Cpl. Jacob Clark, combat meritoriously promoted to corporal, Lance Cpl. Dustin Putman who was squadron Ma¬rine of the quarter, Cpl. Michael Sladeck, squadron NCO of the quarter and Sgt. Seth Mercer, an honor graduate from sergeants course.
“Marines have to keep striving to be rewarded,” said Sladeck. “You have to take care of your Marines and be a mentor to them -- that’s what it’s all about.”
The Marines stayed at the Key Bridge Mariott hotel in Arlington, Va., and had the op¬portunity to visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Headquarters Marine Corps Quantico, Va., as well as watch the changing of the guard at Ar¬lington National Cemetery.
They also received a VIP tour of the West Wing of the White House, and the Pentagon.
“The trip was designed to be informative, and was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most of them” said Sgt. Maj. Alberto Aviles, VMA-211 sergeant major. “We wanted the Marines to take something out of the trip.
The planning for this tour to D.C. began in May, but it was the Marines’ hard work that made it happen.
“I had a bright idea and the X-O (executive officer) ran with it and broadened the plan,” said Austin.
“If a Marine sees another Marine getting a trip like this they strive to work harder. It is infectious,” said Maj. Shawn Strandberg, VMA-211 executive officer. “I think this set the rest of the unit up for success,” said Strandberg.