USS BOXER, At Sea -- A Marine with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit was selected to receive the 2008 Copernicus Award which recognizes individual contributions to naval warfare in command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, information systems and information warfare.
Major Gregory A. Wyche, the communications officer for the 13th MEU, found out during the first week of his current deployment that he was one of three Marines selected to receive the award, which is sponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).
Wyche, a Pensacola, Fla. native, said he does not know why he was selected for this award, as it was his Marines who did all the great work.
“I think he definitely deserves this award; he is good at his job and very knowledgeable,” said Lance Cpl. Brandon S. Moubray, a network administrator with the 13th MEU.
A panel of Navy judges review nominations sent in from Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Commanding Officers or Officers in Charge. The judges choose from nominations of active duty servicemembers and civilians with C4I/IT-related jobs and present them with the award at an annual conference held in San Diego each winter.
The award was established in 1997 by the then President and Chief Executive Officer of AFCEA International, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. C. Norman Wood, and the late Vice Adm. Art Cebrowski, a Navy communications officer.
It was named after the Copernicus Architecture; the blueprint for the future C4I structure of the Navy.
Constantly mentoring, Wyche has more than 50 Marines under his charge, said Moubray.
Wyche feels privileged to receive this award, but he still feels that it was his Marines’ work and that they should receive the credit.
“There are no individual awards in a team sport. It’s like in football, if the offensive line doesn’t block, it’s hard for the quarterback to look good. If the wide receivers don’t run good routes and catch a poorly thrown ball every now and then, it’s hard for the quarterback to look good. If the defense doesn’t keep the other team off the scoreboard, it’s hard for the quarterback to look good. If the running backs don’t establish a viable running game, it’s hard for the quarterback to look good. So this isn’t my award, it is the offensive lines, the receivers, the defense and the running backs. This is the team’s award,” said Wyche.