MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- More than 100 Retired and active duty Marines in the engineer fields gathered for the 13th Annual Marine Corps Engineer Association Symposium Reunion to award Marines in the engineer job fields here Oct. 13.
The group meets to renew and perpetuate fellowship of retired, former and current U.S. Marines who served with Marine Corps Engineer units and sister service members who served with Marine Corps Engineers.
“It’s been awhile since we have had something big and having World War II and Vietnam veterans here and it’s great to exchange experiences,” said Maj. Andrew Niebel, the executive officer of 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion,
The association recognized 18 individuals, from duty stations all over the Marine Corps, with plaques for their service in their respective jobs. Awards included being named the officer, staff noncommissioned officer, NCO, and Marine of their job field by the association. The association also gave awards to three different units for their work in the field.
First CEB and 2nd CEB at Camp Pendleton, Ca. received the award for most outstanding combat engineer battalion, 9th Engineer Support Battalion in Okinawa, Japan, received the award for most outstanding engineer battalion. The association also recognized Marine Wing Support Squadron-472 in Grove, Pa., which received the first reserve unit award given by the association.
“These awards don’t come from individual’s work but those under us that do the battles,” said CWO3 Richard Carmichael, who received his second award for outstanding officer in the utilities field.
Lieutenant Gen. Richard Kramlich, the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, DC presented the awards to the Marines during a formal dinner.
“I have served with engineers and I do have some engineer blood in me,” said Kramlich. “I truly know how unique engineers are.”
The association not only awards engineers for their work but the also strives to help them even when they leave the Marine Corps or are injured, according to Ken Frantz, the president of the association. The association has planned to create a fund for eligible Marines who have been injured, handicapped or killed. The fund help pay for medical supplies, renovations to a home to make it handicapped accessible or act as a scholarship for next of kin.
The association is also working on ways to help transition Marines from military engineering fields to the civilian workforce when Marines leave or retire from military service, according to Frantz. Transition programs are posted on the association’s Web site at marcorengasn.org.
The association has approximately 900 members and less than a fourth are active duty military members, according to Frantz.