VMFA(AW)-533 Marine earns 2nd MAW Marine of Quarter

7 Feb 2014 | Cpl. Sarah Cherry

A Marine with Marine All-weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533 was recognized as Marine of the Quarter for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014.

Sgt. Cristian Sanabria, non-commissioned officer in charge of ordnance for VMFA(AW)-533 competed with corporals and sergeants from throughout 2nd MAW .

"The competition was tough," said Sanabria, a native of Kissimmee, Fla. "Any Marine
competing could have come up the victor. This board has shown me that there are so many other areas of my persona that I can improve in."

Sanabria said there is always room for more training, a value reflected in his accomplishments. He serves as a Marine Corps martial arts instructor, collateral duty inspector and quality assurance safety observer in addition to his primary job.

He is currently attending the Martial Arts Instructor Trainer course aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, and is scheduled to begin Drill Instructor School aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in April.

"Always strive to make yourself and your resume more competitive, and to see the whole Marine concept within yourself," said Sanabria. "Try to better your green side training from previous years and pursue higher forms of education in any way possible. Involve yourself in the community, represent the Marine Corps as an ambassador in any charity event. Above all, lead your Marines with respect and fairness; the rest will always fall in line."

Sanabria said he believes he was selected because he has the fortitude, bearing and knowledge the Sergeants Major were looking for.

"I constantly try to show all Marines under my charge that quitting is never an option," he said. "No matter how difficult life, work, or finances become there is always room for guidance and ways to improve yourself. I am truly blessed that being recognized with this honor gives my Marines an example of hard work paying off."

His staff NCO, Gunnery Sgt. Javier Rodriguez, says one thing that gives Sanabria an edge is the daunting task of being a single parent.

"It takes a tremendous amount of initiative and dependability to fulfill the role of a single father," said Rodriguez. "The constant responsibilities of his son’s welfare assist him in a huge way while at work. It's kind of like a give and take; the lessons and mistakes he encounters off duty, he can apply them to situations with the Marines on duty, and vice versa."

Sanabria said Rodriguez’ mentorship helps him excel.

"He constantly pushes me to better myself," said Sanabria. "[He] never lets me stay in a comfort zone and always help[s] me better my leadership attributes."

Sanabria said this experience has taught him that there is always room to improve and that he will continue to strive to better himself and his Marines.