ASYMCA Award Recognizes Military Excellence
Commanding officers said it's a big honor that boils down to the small details.
ANCHORAGE - On February 17, the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska is set to honor a dozen military men and women through its Service Person of the Year award.
While it’s a big recognition, given as part of the organization’s annual Salute to the Military event, sometimes it’s all about the details.
A motor vehicle mechanic stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson with the U.S Marine Corps Delta Company, Sgt. Jack Campbell has been named as the active duty Marine of the Year, and his commanding officers said it all came down to a reliable attention to detail and day-to-day excellence.
“The recognition comes from the fact that he handles all of his multiple tasks and duties extremely well,” said 1st Sergeant Matthew Fouss of the Delta Company’s Anti-terrorism Battalion.
Besides his primary work as a mechanic, Campbell also works as an armory custodian, substance abuse counselor and facility manager. Saturday morning, he was up before sunrise, helping the 65 Marine reservists in his battalion prepare for the long winter drill weekend ahead of them.
While the Marines lined up in the training center, adjusting their packs, cracking early-morning jokes and waiting to load up and depart for the range, Campbell remained locked in the armory, organizing ammunition and distributing guns through a small window in the steel door.
Unlocking it, he stuck his head out into the gym: “Hey! Who else needs a weapon?” he shouted.
His work in the armory was just one of the responsibilities he would carry out that day, but he said he’s learned to devote his energies to the immediate task at hand.
“You kind of set priorities,” he said. “Who it’s coming from, and on top of that, what’s important to the mission that’s on hand that day.”
By the time he’s done with his work in the armory, loading crates of ammunition into the seven-ton trucks and small-unit support vehicles, the sun had barely cracked the horizon, and it was time to begin the rest of the day and a long list of other tasks.
By Campbell said the packed to-do list is something he’s grown to enjoy after spending nearly six years with the Marine Corps.
“Each time I’m out doing any part of my job throughout the day, I’m pretty much enjoying it,” he said. “I can come into work and have a great day almost every day.”
That includes his work in the training field Saturday, where he struggled to help a handful of other Marines start a fleet of aged snowmachines donated to the company by the National Guard. This time, he’s working as a motor vehicle mechanic, a job his superiors said he also performs diligently and thoroughly with little support.
“If you give him a task, it gets done,” Fouss said.
But despite the constantly evolving job description and praise from his commanding officers, Campbell said he was reluctant to accept the ASYMCA award.
“I don’t really consider myself Marine of the Year for the sheer fact most of my Marines here, even when they’re not here, we’re here to take care of them and they take care of us,” he said.
His commanders said a strong sense of teamwork is just one more exceptional detail in Campbell’s life.