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Sailors stand with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group commanding general, Brigadier General Juan G. Ayala (center), after being presented awards aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 19, 2010. To the left of the general; Navy Lt. Wilfredo Palau-Hernandez (FMF) and Petty Officer Third Class Christopher Stills (FMF) received the 2009 Lieutenant Junior Grade Weeden E. Osborne and Dentalman Thomas A. Christensen Jr., Memorial Awards and the 2009 Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award respectively. To the right of the general; Petty Officer Second Class Eric Javier Alamorosario (FMF), Chief Petty Officer Tiffany Jones (FMF) and Lt. John P. Walsh (FMF) received the Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award.

Photo by Cpl. M. Bravo

Five dental sailors receive Marine Corps Association awards

21 May 2010 | Cpl. M. Bravo

Five sailors with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group were presented awards by the units commanding general, Brigadier General Juan G. Ayala, May 19, 2010. The awards presented were the 2009 Lieutenant Junior Grade Weeden E. Osborne and Dentalman Thomas A. Christensen Jr., Memorial Awards and the 2009 Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award.

The Lt. j.g. Weeden E. Osborne Memorial Award, presented to Navy Lt. Wilfredo Palau-Hernandez, is given in memory of Osborne, a Medal of Honor recipient and dental officer, who was killed during the 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood, France, while carrying a fellow wounded officer to safety.

A pre-requisite to be nominated for the award is the individual has to be a deserving dental officer serving in a dental battalion with the Fleet Marine Force.

Recognized by their seniors, subordinates and peers, the nominee must be viewed as an outstanding leader, possessing traits that others should strive to emulate.

Palau was nominated for this award in October 2009, while he was deployed with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While in Afghanistan, Palau managed dental care for over 10,000 U.S. and Coalition forces. He also provided care to the citizens of local villages during village medical outreach missions.

His hard work and dedication led to the establishment of a permanent dental facility aboard Camp Leatherneck and mobile dental care field clinics at outlying forward operating bases. P

alau served as the triage officer, where he provided rapid triage to ten casualties after a vehicle borne improvised explosive device detonated near FOB Deleram.

The Dentalman Thomas A. Christensen, Jr. Award is given in memory of Christensen who was killed in action in 1950 during the Korean War. He was the first dental technician in history to be awarded the Navy Cross.

This award is given to a deserving enlisted hospital corpsman. As with the Osborne Award, the recipient had to deploy with a dental battalion in the Fleet Marine Force and be recognized by their seniors, subordinates and peers to be deserving of the award.

The deserving corpsman actions should show creativity and innovation in an effort to improve the efficiency of their unit.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Stills (FMF), a hospital corpsman with 2nd Dental Battalion, was nominated for this award in October 2009 because of the innovative service he displayed while he was deployed to Afghanistan with the 2nd MEB.

During the deployment, Stills distinguished himself through his outstanding performance. Among other things, he participated in the construction of dental clinics aboard FOB Deleram and FOB Now Zad assisted in patient care to over 2,000 service members and DOD contractors.

A well-rounded corpsman, Stills was assigned to a dental clinic when he provided emergency life-saving treatment to a Marine who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Palau and Stills alike set the example of devotion to duty and esprit de corps, according to those familiar with their performance.

The Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award was presented to three sailors during the same ceremony.

Navy Lt. John P. Walsh (FMF), 2nd Dental Bn, was nominated for this award for his accomplishments while deployed with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009.

Walsh provided dental care to more than 1,600 Marines and sailors at Camp Korean Village and neighboring combat outposts.

From that number, he treated 130 dental emergencies at CKV and he initiated convoy trips to various COPs throughout the Combined Area of Operation to provide emergency dental services to the Marines and sailors.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Javier Alamorosario (FMF), a hospital corspman, 2nd Dental Bn. received the award for his outstanding accomplishments while serving as the Assistant Leading Petty Officer, French Creek Branch Dental Clinic, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Some of his most significant accomplishments include implementing a validation process for health assessments, immunizations and exams, which helped to improve medical readiness. He also controlled the patient flow of the dentist department.

Alamorosario spent his off-duty time volunteering and assisting the Camp Lejeune School system in educating children on the importance of proper nutrition, diet and oral hygiene.

The final awardee, Chief Petty Officer Tiffany Jones received the leadership award for her enthusiastic service and accomplishments as the Department Head, Administrative Support department, 2nd Dental Bn. She managed command correspondence and provided guidance to her sailors.

Jones also served as the Leading Chief Petty Officer of the New River Dental Clinic, the Enlisted Fleet Marine Force Warfare Coordinator, and the Dental Hygiene Program Coordinator.

Ayala said he was proud to present these awards to such fine sailors.

“It’s a privilege for me to give you these awards,” Ayala exclaimed. “What you did in combat, in garrison, [and what you’ve done for your units is remarkable.]”

“When I run into you with your FMF pins, I see you as another Marine,” Ayala continued. “And I mean that as a compliment.”

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