Enlisted Marines and sailors recognized for distinguished service[MIGRATE]
By Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca
| February 26, 2013
“The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce commends Cpl. Bilma J. Diaz for outstanding achievements as (noncommissoned officer) of the year at Weapons and Field Training Battalion,” according to the plaque present to Diaz.
Diaz and 17 other Marines and sailors were recognized for outstanding service during the 3rd annual Enlisted Recognition Dinner at the El Camino Country Club here Feb. 22.
The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee created the Enlisted Recognition Program in 2001 as a way for the local business community to recognize enlisted personnel achievements, said Kristi Hawthorne, the event coordinator for the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce. This event, began as a quarterly breakfast, and has evolved into an annual dinner.
Each dinner table had a local sponsor, and the 18 service members were seated among the 15 tables to give sponsors a chance to interact with them.
“I think it’s important the business community recognizes what (the service members) do,” said David L. Nydegger, the president and CEO of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce. “It will be good for our businesses to finally put a face to the uniform.”
For the second year in a row, a military spouse was honored at the event. After opening remarks and comments from a distinguished guest speaker, the three nominated enlisted spouses were asked to come to the center of the room to be publicly recognized. The top three nominees each received a small gift basket and a bouquet of flowers.
After the nominees were recognized, the spouse of the year was announced. Trish Jones, the 2013 Camp Pendleton Spouse of the Year, received a diamond necklace to symbolize her dedication to her marriage, family, and Marine Corps.
“It’s my upmost honor to present a diamond necklace wrapped in tear-drop ribbons of white gold,” said Glen Santivasci, the director of marketing for USA Discounters. Each white-gold ribbon is made to represent an important part of her journey. Both tear-drop ribbons are wrapped around a diamond that was made to represent the joy and the challenge of homecomings, deployments, missed birthdays, anniversaries and other challenges our military spouses endure.
Next, certificates of recognition were presented to the military awardees for their hard work and distinguishing service. Each service member received a customized plaque and had their picture taken with the distinguished guest speaker, Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, the commanding general for Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and the regional authority for five Marine Corps Installations in the southwestern United States.
“Tonight, we get to honor the best of the best Marines that represent some of our units,” Coglianese said.
These Marines and sailors were selected by their commands. All have made achievements such as Marine of the year, junior sailor of the year, NCO of the year and sailor of the year.
It’s important for service members to be recognized for their achievements because it helps them stay motivated and shows their peers that hard work does pay off, said Cpl. Tessa R. Sisk, an air traffic controller with the Camp Pendleton Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.
A fluffy New York Cheesecake with a strawberry topping was provided during the awards presentation.
After the ceremony concluded, the recognized service members were asked to lineup along the back wall so that each of the guests could congratulate them and shake their hands.
Contact Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca at Trevon.Peracca@usmc.mil.