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Honoring excellence: Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award

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Story by Cpl Timothy Lutz on 09/17/2019
Marines and Sailors of 2nd Marine Division (2d MarDiv) stood silently in formation to honor their fellow servicemembers during a Navy and Marine Corps Association (NMA) Leadership Awards ceremony on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, August 27, 2019.

The Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award was awarded to two Marines: 1st Lt. Dillon Layman, executive officer, Company C, 2nd Tank Battalion (2d Tank Bn.), 2d MarDiv; and Sgt. Zachary Rogers Jr., communications chief, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2d MarDiv. Layman and Rogers were presented these honors by Maj. Gen. David Furness, commanding general, 2d MarDiv, for their outstanding individual performances in leadership billets.

"It's never about the individual Marine," said Sgt. Maj. Joshua Smith, battalion sergeant major, 2d Tank Bn. "It's always about the Marines, Sailors, and family members that have gotten the Marines to this place."

The actions Layman and Rogers took were not made for awards, but for accomplishment of the mission.

"It's not about you," said Layman, "but it's all up to you. At the end of the day, it's not your actions as a leader that are going to change everything, but the actions of the individuals you lead, that add up."

To be recommended for the NMA Leadership Award, Layman and Rogers had to have had written evaluations from subordinates, peers, and superiors. The influence of their actions as leaders was seen throughout their respective units, and written up for submission.

"The biggest leadership tactic is humility," said Rogers. "Just being able to talk to the Marines and understanding that they have life problems and issues that they've been going through. Then teaching the Marines ways to get through those and keep their work ethic up without sacrificing their personal life."

The 2d MarDiv aims to continue recognizing the accomplishments of deserving Marines and Sailors.

"Two outstanding Marines are getting recognized for sustaining outstanding performance," said Furness. "Any time you can do that, it provides the example of what everybody should aspire to be. It also is an example of what you can attain if you work for it."


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