MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Each year, the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee (MAC) sponsors an annual Service Member of the Year (SMOY) recognition award to recognize service members in the area who excel professionally and personally.
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Justin A. Collins, a motor vehicle operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 8, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, was recognized as the Service Member of the Year (SMOY) for 2020 at building 1 on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Feb. 8, 2021.
Collins, a Martin, Kentucky, native, joined the Marine Corps in September 2009. While Collins did not have any family members with a prior military connection, he knew he wanted to participate in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).
Collins was recognized based on his attributes for exceptional professional performance and unique service.
“I was excited and grateful for being nominated and then told I was the winner,” Collins said. “This award is important; it goes to show that there are people who appreciate your hard work and what you do for your Marines and your unit.”
According to Collins, his family, his wife and two daughters, were his main support system. Collins said he “kept looking forward and pushing to be the best leader he could be.”
“It is awesome when people see the good that you do and they show their appreciation,” Collins said. ”Thanks to my command and the MAC for everything they do for service members.”
Collins plans to continue his Marine Corps career and would like to further his professional development and hands-on approach as an instructor.
“As we find ourselves in a new year, we still are having to approach life in new ways,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Julian D. Alford, commanding general for Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “Normally we would gather at the O’Club to celebrate the selection of the Service Member of the Year, and while the venue has changed, the importance of the reason we are gathering has not.”