Tradition of strong Marines carries on

1 Feb 2008 | Lance Cpl. Thomas J. Hermesman

Sywnayk’s Scarlet and Gold Traditions is not only a gathering place for Marines active and retired alike to congregate and socialize, but it is also a one of a kind museum full of Marine Corps and Navy memorabilia.

 To go along with the museum and all of its history, once again a historic award presentation has taken place at Sywanyk’s. The C.A. “Mack” McKinney award is presented to those in the military and civilian community who have demonstrated professionalism, dedication and service to our country and its military. This award is not only reserved for only military members; it is awarded to the civilian community as well. Civilians who receive the award will have demonstrated a strong support for our military community and their families.

 This year, Lt. Col. Timothy A. Maxwell was the military recipient of the “Mack” McKinney award. Maxwell has had a massive effect on the Marine Corps and now his ideas are spreading through the entire U.S. military. Maxwell was instrumental in the evolution of the Wounded Warrior battalion. The Wounded Warriors Battalion was a Marine Corps original idea, which has now caught on, and being duplicated by most of the other services.

 “To receive an Award with his name on it (Mack McKinney) is really impressive,” said Maxwell. “I have received a lot of awards in my career and this is the best one I have ever gotten.”

 On the civilian side of the award ceremony, Army MSgt. Matthew H. Daily (Ret.) was given the award for his work in the Noncommissioned Officers Association. Dailey is the Associate Director of Military Affairs for the NCOA.

 “I Met Mack in the 1980’s,” said Daily. “I never expected this to happen.”

 McKinney enlisted in the Marine Corps at age seventeen in 1942 and served the Marine Corps honorably for almost 30 years. He retired as the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in 1971.

 McKinney’s service to the Corps didn't stop when he retired, for the next 34 years he spent his time improving the recruiting, retention and readiness of the Armed Forces. He petitioned Congress for military compensation and benefits packages.

 In 1987, McKinney was appointed a member of the Veterans Administration Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials, a position he held until 1993.

 NCOA recognized his accomplishments and established this Award in his name. All recipients have proven themselves through selfless and inspirational acts and this year’s award winners have carried on in that tradition.