CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Walking on the command deck of 2nd Maintenance Battalion, it is clear to see the wide range of awards they have received, murals of the unit crest, and welding projects produced by their Marines.
“We want the Marines to feel like ‘Welcome to the family, this is what you have to live up to’. The bar is set so they can reach it,” said Sgt. Maj. David M. White, the sergeant major for 2nd Maint. Bn. Their newest additions, the Chesty Puller Award, the Ground Safety Award and the Department of Defense Maintenance Award for the Marines join their collection as a result of excelling at their jobs individually and collectively.
Lance Cpl. Christopher Bigham, a metal worker with 2nd Maint. Bn., attributes earning those awards to not only putting out quality work but at an efficient rate.
The Ground Safety Award is meant to emphasize the importance of recognizing units and their military and government civilian employees for their contributions and accomplishments toward safety and mishap prevention. The battalion received the award for their safety curriculum and their “safety first” mentality.
Along with their outstanding safety curriculum, for their professional achievement and sustained superior performance, the battalion received the Chesty Puller award for the fourth time since 2009.
“When we were given the Chesty Puller award, the [commanding officer] and I were taken aback when the trophy was passed around between Marines of different companies. The Marines could physically see something they worked for and took part in.” said White. “The CO and I didn’t do that alone. We won that award on their backs, and they know it.”
Cpl. Charles Morong, a floor mechanic with 2nd Maint. Bn., believes that not being restricted to certain jobs and having the chance to work on different echelons of maintenance keeps the Marines knowledgeable on all aspects of the military occupational specialty.
In certain parts of the battalion, if Marines finish their work they are given the chance to work on something else of their own choosing.
“It’s still your work so you’re improving but [you’re getting to be] creative,” said Bigham.
Products made by the Marines are visible throughout the battalion, the most well-known, a large crest in the battalion’s center.
“There are corporals and sergeants that have been here awhile and really know their job. The Marines under them might go up to them about something and they’ll be able to say ‘okay let’s go take a look at it,” said Morong. “It helps them learn and allows the knowledge to be passed down to the junior Marines.”
First Lt. Wayne Cleary, a training officer with the battalion, says receiving the awards is a reminder of a job well done and they earned them for doing an outstanding job both on and off duty.
“While [these awards] are not a ribbon or medal that can be attributed to the actions of one or two Marines, it is noteworthy that everyone played a significant role in helping us achieve the awards given to us.” said Lt. Col. Edwin Norris, the commanding officer during the time at which the awards were received.”