Initiative is one of the leadership traits instilled in Marines early on in their careers. Before they earn the title Marine, every recruit that steps on the yellow foot prints learns its importance.
It is initiative that proved vital in the success of Sgt. Jason Connolly, an aviation ordnance systems technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14. He recently earned the Marine Corps Aviation Association’s Ordnance Marine of the Year Award.
Connolly knew he was nominated for the award, but said he was caught off guard when he found out he won.
“I was in shock at first,” he said. “It was a little overwhelming.”
His initiative, efforts and hard work are what led to his squadron nominating him, said Gunnery Sgt. Michael Bickel, the MALS-14 ordnance chief.
“He is the go to guy,” Bickel said. “I don’t have to give him directions or tell him what needs to be done. He just does it.”
This year, Connolly helped his unit build over 14,000 pounds of ordnance and was attached to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit when they accepted more than 727 tons of ordnance.
Connolly has worked hands on with various types of ordnance daily for seven years. He said he is glad he chose his job field because he loves the camaraderie that comes along with it.
“I never would have received this award without the hard work of the other Marines I’ve worked with and the great leadership here at my squadron,” said Connolly.
Connolly said he has 17 great Marines directly under his charge, and he tries to instill the importance of initiative in them.
“Every day is filled with different tasks and we never know what to expect,” he said. “There are so many moving parts to our job from building ordnance to delivering it, so it is important that we always take the initiative to get a game plan together.”
While Connolly continues to be recognized for his accomplishments and observes his hard work and dedication to duty coming to fruition, he remains humble and focused on his goals and future endeavors.
“I don’t forget that I’m a Marine first,” said Connolly who volunteers in his community while also taking college courses.
He recently won the East Coast Aviation Ordnanceman of the Year Award and will be presented the Marine Corps Aviation Association’s Ordnance Marine of the Year award May 17.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Connolly. “I love ordnance and I plan to do 20 years in this job field.”