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Sgt. Lindsey Schindler, commander of troops and crew master with Marine Aerial Refueling and Transportation Squadron (VMGR) 352, stands at parade rest during an evening colors ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., June 10. The ceremony recognized the San Diego Chargers for their service to military members in surrounding communities. The event featured 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and MCAS Miramar noncommissioned officers as part of the Committed and Engaged Leadership initiative, originated by Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, 3rd MAW commanding general.

Photo by Cpl. Michelle Piehl

Struck by bolt of service: San Diego Chargers recognized

11 Jun 2014 | Cpl. Michelle Piehl

Marines, Sailors and esteemed guests recognized the San Diego Chargers in an evening colors ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., June 10.

The ceremony featured noncommissioned officers selected to represent the Committed and Engaged Leadership initiative, started by Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general.

The Committed and Engaged Leadership initiative highlights the roles and duties of NCOs in the Marine Corps. Busby refers to these leaders as VIPs of 3rd MAW and encourages them to assume greater, more challenging responsibilities.

Staff noncommissioned officers traditionally assume the role of reviewing officer; however, Busby’s initiative tasks noncommissioned officers with coordinating the event and commanding the ceremonial formation.

Sgt. Aaron J. Hutson, an aviation ordnance specialist with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 101, served as the reviewing officer for the ceremony.

“[Committed and Engaged Leadership] just reminds Marines of what they are supposed to do in the first place,” said Hutson. “I think it’s great that we have someone who cares enough to provide that mentorship and that opportunity for leadership.”

Hutson explained that he selected the theme of the ceremony to fit the Chargers’ theme coined “struck by the bolt of service.” The ceremony recognized the Chargers efforts in the military community through a variety of mediums, to include music by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, quotes about their service and words of appreciation.

“[We had] a very touching testimony from a very die-hard San Diego Chargers fan, Mrs. Haskins, [who] really added great value to the ceremony,” said Hutson.

As a special guest, Busby invited retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Melissa Haskins to speak about her personal experience with the Chargers.

Haskins served as a hospital corpsman in the Navy and was diagnosed with leukemia during her 24th year of service and was in need of a bone marrow transplant.

“In the middle of my [chemotherapy] at Naval Medical Center San Diego, one of the admirals got wind that I was a huge Chargers fan,” said Haskins.

Upon hearing her story, the Chargers invited her out to watch a practice session and to eat lunch.

“It just changed the whole course of my treatment,” said Haskins. “It was really something special. I’m a die-hard Chargers fan and it meant the world to have them there for us.”

Haskins departed the ceremony with an appropriate sign-off in honor of the team: “Go Chargers!”

Hutson also expressed his gratitude for support the San Diego Chargers give to military members in the community.

“It is our pleasure to honor them this evening for honoring us,” said Hutson.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing