MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (June 11, 2011) --
In the Marine Corps, Marines don’t just receive awards – they earn them. Marines work hard for what they want, whether it is a promotion, a high first class physical fitness test score or a high rifle score. When a Marine puts his utmost effort in his everyday duties as a Marine, it doesn’t go unrecognized.
Sgt. Jose P. Sanchez, a communications operator with Marine Wing Communication Squadron 28, has been awarded the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Leadership Award for his actions and sacrifices while deployed to Afghanistan.
This award is given out annually to an enlisted service member and officer for their dedicated service to their country.
“I was humbled and honored to receive this award,” said Sanchez. “We are taught as Marines to show initiative and that is all I did.”
Sanchez’s narrative told of his actions while deployed to Afghanistan from Nov. 2, 2010 to April 30, 2011 in main support of the Combined Joint Intelligence Operations Center- Afghanistan.
While deployed to Afghanistan, Sanchez was under the command of Tech. Sgt. Shaun T. Stephenson.
“Sanchez is a very focused and motivated individual,” said Stephenson. “He is ready to go with anything that needs to be done and gets the job done extremely well.”
Stephenson said Sanchez became more independent and needed little guidance on duties and job advice as they progressed into the deployment.
“Most of the things I did over there I volunteered to do for a couple reasons,” said Sanchez. “The big reason was as Marines we’re supposed to take on challenges and roles that commanders need us to. For some of these things I was the most qualified person and the number of available personnel was low.”
According to the narrative, Sanchez personally identified and corrected critical errors in the backup servers, ensuring the safety of intelligence data in the event of a systems crash. This billet was held as well as another volunteer position as being a convoy commander.
“It was my job to make sure my convoy could carry out the objectives given to us,” said Sanchez. “It was our job to escort general and flag officers from base to base.”
Sanchez completed 98 outside-the-wire missions covering more than 920 miles, and was directly responsible for the transport of high value personnel, assets, equipment and classified materials.
“I did my duty just like I was trained to do by my NCOs (noncommissioned officers) I have served with during my career so far,” said Sanchez. “I am proud to have received this award. It finally hit me that what my mentors said was true; even the little things we do affect our job. When I received the award I was like wow, I really made a difference and all I did was my duty to the best of my ability.”