MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Receiving Marine and Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter is quite a feat for Marines, not only for the Air Station boards but for all of II Marine Air Wing. The Air Station was able to have two Marines, one lance corporal and the other a former corporal now a meritorious sergeant, represent Fightertown and they were awarded the Marine and NCO of the Quarter for all of II MAW.
Sergeant Christopher Dunton, a forward looking infrared technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31, and Lance Cpl. Joshua Martinez, a communication navigation technician with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, were the Marines who proved themselves as the for all of II MAW to look up to for the fourth quarter of the calendar year.
Dunton’s senior Marines saw promise in him. It was his consistent diligence and initiative they saw in him that enabled his seniors to give him the kick he needed. He ran with it, all the way to Cherry Point, N.C., to the NCO of the Quarter Board.
“When he checked in, I was a corporal at the time, I could tell he had what it takes to be among us (NCOs) and be a great one,” said Sgt. Ryan Gelinski, a flair technician with MALS-31.
Dunton was meritoriously promoted to sergeant, Nov. 2 and was presented a NCO sword and a certificate of commendation on the flightline, Nov. 18. He received the sword and the CERCOM for winning the NCO of the Quarter Board in Cherry Point, N.C.
“Every quarter, MALS-31 chooses the top Marine and NCO of the Quarter and Dunton won the avionics division, MALS-31 and the Marine Aircraft Group 31 board,” said Sgt. Maj. Dwayne Farr, the MALS-31 sergeant major. “The boards are based on how to carry yourself as an NCO technically and tactically.”
Not only did Dunton receive NCO of the Quarter for Fightertown, Martinez displayed the drive necessary for Marine of the Quarter and he will be meritoriously promoted to corporal, Dec. 2.
“I felt it was my motivation and the sheer initiative I display on a daily basis drove my unit to nominate me for the award,” Martinez said. “I was really shocked I was chosen to represent the Air Station for the MOQ of II MAW. I felt all my hard work had finally paid off.”
The NCO and Marine of the Quarter boards are grueling processes. Participating Marines are drilled on Marine Corps leadership, history, first aid and a variety of knowledge Marines are taught since stepping on the yellow footprints. Dunton and Martinez carried themselves exactly how they have been trained and the results were evident.
“All of (Dunton’s) success has been attributed to his leadership, guidance and his outstanding work ethic and dedication he displays on a daily basis,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Morton, a work center supervisor for MALS-31. “He has a warrior spirit and the ability to succeed has always been in him.”
According to Dunton, he always compared himself to his peers and strived to be better than them. Always exemplifying common courtesy, esprit de corps and the simple things like maintaining his uniform or proper hair regulations are ways he tries to set the example for his peers and junior Marines to imitate.
Adhering to the basics, which are learned in boot camp, are safe ways to be a good Marine because knowing how to have respect for your seniors is a sure-fire method to success, according to Martinez.
“(Martinez) has always been a solid worker and a hard charger since he’s been with our unit,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Catalanotto, the avionics staff NCO for MALS-31. “He will be a huge asset to our unit as a corporal and I know he can handle the responsibilities that will be in store for him.”
Martinez and Dunton are only examples of Marines who do their best and want the most out of their military careers. They show Marines not only on the Air Station but throughout the entire Corps that through hard work and sheer dedication, goals can be achieved.
“To all the junior Marines and my peers, strive to be the best. Don’t accept it if you fall short of your finest effort, even if no one is looking,” Dunton said. “Our Corps has been in existence for 234 years and we should always represent it in the best way.