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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Formermodel airplane builder now model Marine

By | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | June 22, 2000

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --                               As a young boy, Ignacio Urzua had a fascination.
Using his hands, a knife and a bottle of glue to fashion model airplanes, he
began a journey that would take this brown-eyed Hispanic kid from Los
Angeles to the wings of $70 million military aircraft and eventually to the
title of Aviation Ordnance Man of the Year for Marine Aircraft Group 39.
The accolade in hand, he says he won?t rest on his laurels.
"I do my job because I love it. Just because I won the award is not going
to change the way I do my job," said Urzua, a sergeant with Marine Light
Attack Helicopter Squadron 169.
He not only loves doing his job, he loves teaching it. Teaching younger
Marines so they understand their jobs is the toughest part of his job, he
"The squadron goes on a lot of combined-arms exercises," Urzua said.
"Sometimes we have time to train and sometimes we don't, but we do our
Urzua has played a dynamic role in his shop, said MSgt. Roger L. Jones,
ordnance chief.
"I work hard and play even harder," Urzua said proudly. "I will continue to
do so until the day I get out of the Marine Corps."
Perhaps his most impressive attribute is his desire and demonstrated ability
to communicate his knowledge, experience and innovative ideas to
subordinates and peers.
"Your peers are watching you, they know what you are doing," Urzua
said. "It is your choice if you care what they think of you or know what
you do."
Throughout his career, his motivation and desire have enabled him to
accomplish missions and win many awards. Urzua has excelled in his
career as an ordnance technician, quality assurance safety observer and
assistant ordnance safety officer.
These assets were evident after a successful tour as the 11th Marine
Expeditionary Unit ordnance noncommissioned officer-in-charge, a billet
normally held by a staff sergeant. ?He conducted operations in four
different locations in the Persian Gulf and East Timor, said CWO2 Pete
Bailiff, ordnance officer.
He has developed a reputation as an outstanding independent worker.
"We can trust him to do anything by himself, paperwork or maintenance,"
Bailiff said. "I could leave him at the shop all night and expect nothing to go
His leadership ability and technical knowledge set him apart. Through
endless dedication to mission accomplishment, Urzua continually ensured
various weapon systems on different types of aircraft were combat-ready.
"Urzua performs solidly and has a superior work ethic," Jones said. "He is
a hard-charger and can handle almost anything by himself."

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