MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --
Marines receive recognition for many reasons, but for Marines and units of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing winning awards in no joke. This year 3rd MAW won 11 of the 28 awards presented by the Marine Corps Aviation Association.
The MCAA began recognizing Marines in 1962 with the Alfred A. Cunningham Award, named in honor of the "Father of Marine Corps Aviation." The first recipient was Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., for his work as an astronaut.
The Alfred A. Cunningham Award is to recognize the most outstanding contribution made to Marine aviation, whether in combat, research and development, weapons employment or to overall Marine aviation, by an individual in Marine aviation.
Since 1972, the MCAA, with a national headquarters located in Quantico, Va., has expanded the Aviation Awards Program to include 28 awards. Each award is named in honor of a former Marine who made noteworthy contributions in his field, according to the MCAA Web site www.flymcaa.com.
The awards are portioned equally between fixed-wing and rotory-wing assets, and between enlisted Marines and Marine officers. The full spectrum of Marine Corps Aviation is included in the Awards Program.
The awards are as follows:
Alfred A Cunningham Award (Aviator of the Year): Capt. Henry Hortenstine, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton.
Earle Hattaway Award for Aviation Ground Officer of the Year: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nathan Young, Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, MCAS Yuma, Ariz.
Gaines B. Gilbert Award (Ordnance Marine of the Year): Sgt. Cleavland Smith, HMLA-169
Jack W. Demmond Award (Aviation Ground Marine of the Year): Master Sgt. Steven Lemke, MWSS-371.
James E. Nicholson Award (Non commission Officer Leadership): Sgt. Ryan Fuss. MWSS-371.
James Maguire Award (Exceptional Achievement): Cpl. William Rogers, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, MCAS Miramar.
Lawson H. M. Sanderson Award (Attack Squadron of the Year): Marine Attack Squadron 214, MCAS Yuma.
Henry Wildfang Award (Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron of the Year): Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352, MCAS Miramar.
Edward C. Dyer Award (Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron of the Year): Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268, MCAS Camp Pendleton.
James E. Hatch Award (Marine Wing Support Squadron of the Year): Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, MCAS Yuma.
Pete Ross Award (Aviation Safety): HMLA-369, MCAS Camp Pendleton.
The individual Marines and units will receive their awards at the 2010 MCAA Symposium and Reunion on May 20 in Fort Worth, Texas.