|03-15-2006, 08:19 AM||#1 (permalink)|
MSgt USMC Ret
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Diego
Best in 1st MAW
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (March 14, 2006) -- “The few, the proud.” For Marines across the globe, this slogan embodies the soul of the Marine Corps. But even within the Marine Corps’ ranks there are some who strive to be the few among the few and the proudest of the proud.
For Cpl. Judith Willis, Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 embarker and Antioch, Calif. Native, the goal of becoming one of the best among an already elite group was realized when she was named the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Marine of the year recently.
“I was actually really surprised when I found out I took the board,” said Willis with her trademark beaming smile. “Working with (MWSS-171) has taught me a lot about the Marine Corps, my MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) and basically just how to be a good Marine, but this caught me off guard, in a good way.”
The long road to the 1st MAW Marine of the year honor began last spring when Willis was nominated for the 1st MAW Marine of the quarter board for the second quarter of the fiscal year 2005.
Following a series of Service Record Book reviews, Willis distinguished herself among her peers to be named the 1st MAW Marine of the quarter, which automatically entered her into the annual board.
Although most would assume there’s undoubtedly one trait or characteristic which separated Willis from the pack of Devil Dogs, she has her own opinion as to what made her 1st MAW Marine of the year material.
“I don’t think that there’s really one specific thing that stands out about me. What I’ve tried to do in the Marine Corps is think about the whole package instead of just focusing on my next PFT (Physical Fitness Test) or the next MCI (Marine Corps Institute). I guess what sets me apart is that I’m a well rounded Marine,” said Willis who recently earned her green belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
Although Willis doesn’t hold any one quality over the other, her command noticed a couple things about her right off the bat.
“No matter what the task, she takes ownership and accomplishes it,” said Chief Warrant Officer Melissa A. Tafoya, MWSS-171 embark officer. “She maintains a professional military appearance at all times, and continues to improve both mentally and physically.”
Even though Willis’s tenure aboard Station is nearly up, she plans to continue her pursuit of excellence at her new home, Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Center 29 Palms.
“One thing I definitely want to start focusing on is college courses and off duty education. I want to start working toward a degree in multi-media,” said Willis who is considering a lateral move into combat camera.
“She has unlimited growth potential,” said Tafoya, who has been an unwavering role model according to Willis. “Cpl. Willis will be missed, but the mission will continue to be accomplished.”
Before her departure, Willis had just one piece of advice the junior Marines aboard the Station.
“The biggest piece of advice I would give new Marines is to keep a positive attitude. A positive attitude and willingness to learn can take you a long way.”
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