CAMP KINSER, OKINAWA, Japan -- 3rd Marine Logistics Group Marines were awarded both unit and individual level Marine Corps Safety awards for their accomplishments in the field of safety management during fiscal year 2022.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Elvis R. Gonzalez received the 2022 Marine Corps Safety Excellence Award, and 3rd MLG received the 2022 Marine Corps Safety Award.
Gonzalez, the safety and environmental manager for 3rd MLG, was recognized for his exemplary accomplishments in enhancing and benefiting the Marine Corps Safety Management System. Through Gonzalez’s actions, 3rd MLG realized a reduction in mishap rates, costs, and lost time. This award is presented each fiscal year to one officer, one enlisted Marine, and one government civilian employee who have made the most significant contribution to the Marine Corps Safety Management System.
“This award is a testament to our efforts in ensuring that the units are safe on and off duty,” said Gonzalez. “It feels good to be recognized, but at the end of the day, we don’t do this for recognition, we do it to support the Marines, Sailors and Civilians of 3rd MLG.”
3rd MLG was recognized for their establishment of the most outstanding safety management system. 3rd MLG’s safety program increased mission readiness while supporting a high-tempo Training Exercise and Employment Plan which comes with the dynamic requirements of a forward-deployed Marine Expeditionary Force.
For Navy Cmdr. Nicholas Shaal, the safety environmental officer in charge for 3rd MLG, the unit award is a tribute to the hard work of his team.
“I view this group award as a team effort. ground safety officers, ground safety managers, and commanding officers are really the ones that are doing the heavy lifting on things,” said Shaal. “Ensuring that we have a culture of risk management and risk assessment is really what we want to get to, and I appreciate everyone’s support on that especially to my team. It’s not a career for any of us, safety representatives step in and must learn and become proficient in this path very quickly, so thank you to my team for all you do.”
For Brig. Gen. Adam Chalkley, commanding general of 3rd MLG, the safety management program is vital to the mission.
“In our jobs as Marines, there is going to be inherent risk and inherent new challenges to safety, but what a strong program like this does, is it looks for those risk areas and helps us to come up with mitigation strategies and implement mitigation techniques to bide that risk and recognize that we will never eliminate all the risks, but we will make it as safe as possible to ensure mission accomplishment and also the safety of our Marines and Sailors,” said Chalkley. “At the end of the day, they are our number one capital for anything we do. Thank you all very much for having such a great, dedicated, and deliberate pursuit to make the team better.”
All nominees are commended for the significant contributions made towards reducing mishaps, increasing mission readiness, and preserving our most precious assets – our Marines, Sailors, and Civilian Marines.
3rd MLG, based out of Okinawa, Japan, is a forward-deployed combat unit that serves as III Marine Expeditionary Force’s comprehensive logistics and combat service support backbone for operations throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.