Face of Defense: Ammo Tech Earns Inaugural Award
By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kentavist P. Brackin
Marine Corps Bases Japan
CAMP SCHWAB, Japan, Sept. 9, 2010 An ammunition technician with Ammunition Company, 3rd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, is the first Marine selected to receive the Marine Corps Ammunition Technician of the Year Award.
Marine Corps Lance Corporal Brent A. Smith goes through ammunition clips to ensure they all have the same and correct number of rounds, Aug. 9, 2010. Smith is the first Marine to be named Marine Corps Ammunition Technician of the Year. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kentavist P. Brackin
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"I was kind of shocked really when I heard I was receiving this award,” Lance Cpl. Brent A. Smith said. “I kind of felt like I was up there with ‘Chesty’ Puller." The late Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller was a combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and the most-decorated U.S. Marine in history.
The Ammunition Technician of the Year Award is designed to recognize Marine Corps ammunition technicians, private through sergeant, who have set themselves apart from the rest of their peers through hard work, dedication and sound decision making, officials said.
"It is a great honor to have an ammo tech from 3rd Supply Battalion represent the company here on Okinawa," said Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Deering, officer in charge of Ammunition Company, who recommended Smith for the award.
Smith works with several other ammunition technician Marines to issue ammo to units across Okinawa, giving out anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 rounds of various types of ammunition in a day.
"Ammunition technicians seem to be overlooked sometimes," Smith said. "No one notices when their ammunition is delivered on time, but they sure notice when they are on the gun line and there is nothing to put downrange. You can go a few days without food, maybe a couple of days without water, but you wouldn't last a minute without ammunition."
Deering said the new award is good for the ammunition community in the Marine Corps. "I am excited to see how this award will transform our community in the future," he said. "It is a great program, and I think that through recognition, Marines may become more competitive. We all like bragging rights."
Smith said he’s proud to be the first Marine to receive the award. “I know that I have set the bar for myself and for other Marines who push for this award in the future," he said.