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Ready in peace and war: MALS-39 Marine recognized for contributions to maintenance readiness

By 1st Lt. Fredrick Walker | 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing | May 16, 2019

For Capt. Matthew Migliori, “ready in peace and war” is more than the motto of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, it’s a culture and way of life.  As the aircraft maintenance officer for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 39, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39, 3rd MAW, Migliori and his Marines ensure that over 130 AH-1Z Vipers, UH-1Y Venoms and MV-22B Ospreys from seven squadrons are ready to fly and fight when called upon to do so.

In recognition of his significant impact on the readiness and mission accomplishment capabilities of MALS-39, Migliori was awarded the Charles J. "Chuck" Nechvatal Aviation Ground Maintenance Officer of the Year Award in a ceremony held at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, April 29.

“Aviation logistics is an occupational field that quietly conducts flight line support in the shadows,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy Brockmeier, the commanding officer of MALS-39. “Captain Migliori stands above those worthy of acknowledgement, since he has single handedly improved the mission capability of not only the MALS, but the entire MAG. Captain Migliori is amongst the finest aircraft maintenance officers that I have had the pleasure to work with, and the reason behind our readiness success at MALS-39 and MAG-39.”

Initially, Migliori was unaware that he had been nominated for the Nechvatal Award, which is awarded annually to officers from the rank of captain and below for naval aviation maintenance excellence. 

“I didn’t know my command put me in for this award.  When they told me, I was taken aback…it’s nice, it’s humbling,” said Migliori.  “This is a results-based business; you come in and you work.  It’s a great feeling to be recognized, but a lot of the work I do is not me, it’s the Marines I work with.  Together, we push forward and keep looking for the most efficient way to do business.”

A humble, but seasoned leader, Migliori has followed a unique path in the Marine Corps. After enlisting as an avionics technician, he rose to the rank of gunnery sergeant over a period of 12 years before being selected for warrant officer training.  He transitioned to the commissioned officer ranks eight years later as a chief warrant officer 3. 

As a captain in his third year at MALS-39, he continues to train and mentor both his peers and subordinates.

“Personally, I can’t think of a better person to receive this award,” said Capt. Nicholas Moeller, assistant aircraft maintenance officer for MALS-39.  “We deployed together on the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and he really helped me grow as a young officer.  He’s been a great mentor.  He brings so much to the MAG, the MALS and the maintenance department.  On a daily basis, he thinks Marine Corps-wide and how we can better improve the fleet.”

As the aviation logistics squadron for MAG-39, MALS-39 is responsible for intermediate level maintenance for all of the aircraft in the MAG.  Everything from limited repair to calibration and fabrication comes under the purview of I-level maintenance, which has as its ultimate goal the return of aviation equipment to a mission capable status.  I-level maintainers also work to keep the shelves at the squadron – or operational – level stocked with the equipment they need to keep aircraft on the flight line combat ready.

Keeping MAG-39’s training squadron, four light attack helicopter squadrons and two medium tiltrotor squadrons’ O-level maintainers well-equipped and supported requires a 24/7 commitment to excellence. 

“We have to be on call all the time for whatever comes,” said Migliori.  “Our Marines go with every detachment that goes out from MAG-39.”

Despite having more than two decades of experience and service, Migliori has no intention of slowing down now. 

“I’ll do whatever comes next.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised left and right.  I’ve seen a lot of the world and a lot of stuff I wouldn’t have thought I’d see when I first joined.  I can’t say there’s another job in the world like it,” he concluded.

3rd MAW prides itself in the professional and disciplined warriors that fill its ranks.  These Marines and Sailors continuously set and exceed high standards that enable the Wing to “Fix, Fly, Fight” across the globe.