MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Feb. 13, 2013) -- Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 received the Chesty Puller Award for medium-sized unit outstanding leadership Jan. 28.
The award is given to small, medium, and large units within II Marine Expeditionary Force in recognition of outstanding leadership regarding force preservation, safety, and other programs that benefit the well-being and readiness of the unit’s Marines.
“You have one hell of a good unit, and you have a good unit for one reason: you take care of each other,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Fox, the commanding general of II MEF. “You have great NCOs, you’ve got great Staff NCOs and you have great leadership up at the top, or you wouldn’t have gotten this award.”
Sgt. Patrick B. Reynolds, the supply chief for the squadron, described their programs. The squadron checks the maintenance and fire extinguishers in the buildings they work and live in on a regular basis, they conduct operational risk management to address potential problems as well as regular safety briefs, vehicle inspections and more.
“If you keep your Marines safe, out of trouble, set the example and mentor them, it helps out overall readiness to get the mission completed,” said Reynolds. He said the programs were created for the well-being of the Marines and guiding them to where they want to be professionally.
Keeping Marines safe is an active team effort to which every member contributes.
“We have a very proactive safety council where the supply officer meets quarterly with all the safety (representatives),” said Maj. Ellyn M. Wynne, the executive officer of the squadron. “All of our safety reps are usually NCOs and below, which is good because the NCOs are the backbone of the Marine Corps and they know their junior Marines best.”
Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 exists to support other units under the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Sgt. Maj. Robert VanOostrom, the sergeant major of II MEF, said the unit’s focus is on supporting their commanding officer and the 2nd MAW commanding general, but doesn’t forget about their own Marines who need to be taken care of as well.
“When we talk about headquarters, the words that come to mind are ‘selfless service,’ because that’s what you do,” said VanOostrom. “You really knocked it out of the park when it comes to command climate. We’re doing a lot of things right. It’s a culmination of many things.”