Marine receives Navy League Award for actions in Afghanistan

29 Oct 2011 | Cpl. Khoa Pelczar 1st Marine Logistics Group

A Marine from 1st Marine Logistics Group was recently awarded for excellence in logistics by the Navy League.
Each year, a few individuals get recognized to join the Navy League of the United States and receive awards for the work and accomplishments they’ve done throughout the year.
Staff Sgt. Robert A. Brown, Marine Corps Community Services specialist, Service Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st MLG, recently received the Admiral Ben Moreell Award for Logistics Competence at the 2011 Annual Navy League Sea Service Awards in Chattanooga, Tenn., Oct. 29.
Brown, 26, from Boise, Idaho, is the only enlisted service member in the Department of the Navy to receive the award for logistics competence in 2011.
Founded in 1902, NLUS is a national organization established to educate and motivate the American people to support the country’s maritime capabilities and services, according to NLUS.
The league presents awards to individuals each year in recognition of their outstanding achievements – such as leadership, maritime affairs, scientific progress, engineering excellence, logistics competence, excellence in intelligence, and service to the community as well as the country.
According to NLUS, the Admiral Benn Moreell Award for Logistics Competence recognizes an officer and an enlisted service member who has made an outstanding personal contribution that has advanced the logistics readiness and competence of the naval service.
Noticing the effort and dedication Brown put in at work, his superiors recommended him for the award at the beginning of May, while he was still deployed in support of 2nd MLG, Brown explained. Brown found out he was recognized as the award recipient by the end of June.
While serving as the noncommissioned officer in charge for the Warfighter Express Services Team in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Brown improved services of the mobile exchange to more than 14,000 Marines and sailors in more than 57 combat patrol bases throughout Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
He doubled the sales by implementing simultaneous WES Team missions at once. Therefore, they were able to aid more Marines and sailors on the frontline on a more frequent basis, Brown said.
“I took my job very seriously,” he said. “As a prior infantry Marine, I’ve been where those guys have been and I know how important these few simple things are to them. So I made sure to bring these comfort items and our services to them as often as we can to support their needs.”
Having served as an infantry Marine with 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, in Fallujah, Iraq, Brown understood how important items such as snacks and a few beverages can raise morale, and how invaluable a phone call home was to those men living out of fighting holes. He made a goal to provide services to those Marines, now that he’s on the logistics side.
“As a logistics Marine, I worked harder and longer hours to service those Marines,” Brown said. “Even though I’m usually smoked by the end of the day, it’s a great feeling, rewarding, and I’m very humbled to be able to contribute.”
As the award recipient, Brown made sure to recognize another Marine who assisted with the WES Team missions.
“Even though my name is the only name on this award, Sgt. Wesley Johnson was my partner,” Brown said. “Everything I did, he was right there with me every step of the way. All the achievements that were mentioned on the award, he has contributed as much as me. I wish I could share the award with him. I don’t want his contributions and hard work to go unrecognized.”
Johnson, MCCS specialist, Headquarters Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, congratulated Brown for the award.
“Brown was always keeping all the Marines in mind before thinking about himself,” said Johnson, 29, from Provo, Utah. “He was dedicated to the job, always put effort in everything he does with positive attitude. I’m glad he got recognized for all the hard work he put in. His efforts showed through our success as a WES Team.”
During the year he was deployed to Afghanistan, Brown conducted 27 WES Team missions, spent more than 100 days outside of Camp Dwyer and gave a piece of home to thousands of devil dogs fighting on the frontline.
After receiving the award, Brown continued to work as an MCCS Marine, supervising sales for a post exchange at Edson Range, waiting for another chance to return to Afghanistan and support the warfighters that continue to fight.
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