PACIFIC OCEAN -- Two communication Marines with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will be the recipients of prestigious communications awards at the C4 Awards Dinner, held at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Va., April 17, 2014.
Captain Jeffrey Rohman, assistant communications officer, 13th MEU, will receive the General Alfred M. Gray Trophy for outstanding communication leadership. The trophy honors a Marine captain for outstanding contributions to the Marine Corps communication mission.
Master Sgt. Bradley Faulkner, communications chief, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 13th MEU, will receive the PFC Herbert A. Littleton Staff Noncommissioned Officer Trophy for Operational Communications Excellence. This award recognizes the contributions of a SNCO performing operational communications duties in support of the Marine Corps operational communication mission.
The Marine Corps Communication Awards Program recognizes individuals for significant contributions and accomplishments in the field of Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4).
"I was definitely surprised to receive the news," said Rohman after learning that he was being recognized with the award.
Faulkner said he was "humbled" upon learning that he would receive his award, adding that it was a "great honor to represent my [Military Occupational Specialty] as a senior [staff noncommissioned officer]."
"I believe that Capt Rohman and MSgt Faulkner being recognized with awards by the Navy and Marine Corps is representative of the work that all the Communications Marines across 13th MEU accomplished in 2013,"
said Maj. Clifford Magee, communications officer, 13th MEU. "Capt Rohman and MSgt Faulkner led the ground work and communicators from the Command Element, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, VMM-166, and CLB-13 flawlessly."
The mission of a MEU is to provide a forward deployed, flexible sea-based Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations, including enabling the introduction of follow on forces and designated special operations in order to support the theater requirements of Geographic Combatant Commanders.
With deployments slowing as troops and units withdraw from Afghanistan, the role of the MEU will only become more important in the coming years.
The assets the communication field brings to an expeditionary or amphibious environment like the MEU is significantly different to that of a ground based unit.
Communication Marines assigned to a MEU face complex challenges, unique from standard ground based units.
"The design of the communications architecture must factor in the setup," said Rohman. "This is unique to the MEU because of how many missions we may potentially support and the 'unknowns' involved with how those missions could be executed."
With the 13th MEU WESTPAC 13-2 deployment nearing its end, the Marines and Sailors attached to the MEU are slowly receiving orders to other units.
"I definitely plan on sticking around the Marines for a few more years,"
said Faulkner, who recently received orders to 1st Marine Division. "I have always felt prideful when a young Marine does great things with the knowledge you have given them. I feel that I still have a lot to offer."
Rohman has been selected to attend the Army's Command and General Staff Course.
Both Marines are highly regarded in their job field and looked up to by the Marines under their charge.
"Leadership is being able to listen and know your Marines," said Faulkner. "You have to get out and work hands on with your Marines. This is where you gain their respect."