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Quantico, VA – Two Marines and two Sailors were presented the 2023 Expeditionary Warfare Excellence Awards at a dinner hosted by the Marine Corps Association Sep 7.
“These awards are highly competitive and showcase exceptional leadership within our ranks,” said BGen Marcus Annibale, Director of Expeditionary Warfare (OPNAV N95). “This year’s recipients are a direct reflection of selfless dedication to mission accomplishment by our Marines and Sailors.”
Capt Casey Lamar, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was recognized as Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare Officer of the Year for enhancing the effectiveness of surface surveillance through experimental non-program of record collection capabilities and synchronizing complex, multi-domain operations.
“We were challenged to make a scalable and operationally relevant maritime sensing team. With the investment and trust of our leadership, we took that challenge from concept to reality, ultimately employing a full rehearsal of the capability during Balikatan ’23,” said Capt Lamar. “Working with Philippine partners, we proved that expeditionary maritime sensing teams can provide unique value to the maritime picture and improve lethality of the joint force.”
In addition, Capt Lamar authored comprehensive reports to assess the suitability of locations ashore for Marine Expeditionary Unit operations. “This award affirms my team’s hard work and creativity,” he said.
GySgt Jeremy Kofsky, 2d Intelligence Battalion, was recognized as Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. “This award to me is akin to being recognized for the epitome of being a Marine. We have been an expeditionary organization throughout our history, and this award is a recognition of the importance of being 'expeditionary', in the myriad definitions of that word,” he said.
GySgt Kofsky led 130 Joint personnel operating in Iraq, Syria, and Kuwait, directing cross organizational integration to fuse information operations with human intelligence operations and a first-of-its-kind anti-terrorism red team initiative. In addition, he initiated a $1.2 million artificial intelligence project with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Air Force that will have theater-wide, persistent counterintelligence implications supporting force protection.
“My most significant experience was being centrally focused on my primary job but having the trust and confidence within a two-star combat command to do things not traditionally done in theater, especially in a joint/coalition environment, things a SNCO does,” GySgt Kofsky said. “Being a Marine was a tremendous advantage and allowed me to forge bridges and kick in doors where needed to get these programs running in the right direction.”
LCDR Ryan Cornforth, Expeditionary Strike Group 7, was recognized as the Navy Expeditionary Warfare Officer of the Year. “It's truly humbling to be receiving this prestigious award. Being on the Navy and Marine Corps team is an honor,” he said. “Expeditionary Strike Group Seven (ESG 7) provided me with an opportunity with leeway to do everything I could to increase command and control of the amphibious force, and I am grateful for that.”
LCDR Cornforth worked to enhance interoperability throughout Task force 76/3 and increased capabilities between Joint forces and allied partners. This established the ability to command and control in the Integrated Littoral Warfare Center Watch Floor. “I was able to coordinate the first-ever expeditionary Link-16 network capability on USS MIGUEL KEITH (ESB 5), which provided a real-time tactical air picture. This was critical to proving the platform's utility as a command and control Flagship.”
Chief Boatswains Mate Alfred Martinez, USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49), was recognized as Navy Expeditionary Warfare Enlisted Sailor of the Year. BMC Martinez led the deck department through 94 launches and recoveries of landing craft with zero mishaps in a challenging joint amphibious environment. His efforts enabled the Harpers Ferry to successfully execute Joint Field Training Exercises Valiant Shield-22, Steel Knight-23 and San Francisco Fleet Week.
“Our Marines and Sailors continually demonstrate the determination, initiative and innovative spirit that drive us forward,” said LtGen Karsten Heckl, Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration. “I am extremely proud to be able to recognize these individuals for their hard work and dedication to the Navy-Marine Corps team.”
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