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2/8 Marines awarded Chesty Puller award

By Lance Cpl. Zachary W. Lester | | May 21, 2007

The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, were awarded the Lt. Gen. Chesty B. Puller Outstanding Leadership Award by Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder, commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force, in a ceremony here, May 15.

The Marines of the battalion earned the award for professional achievement and sustained superior performance in training, maintaining, equipping, fostering, nurturing and mentoring Marines and sailors as well as overall unit mission accomplishment from April 1, 2006 to Sept. 30, 2006.

“This award is a big, big deal, and to be very short and sweet about it, this is a leadership award.  It’s for units that have the best leadership at every level of every organization,” Stalder said.  “That is for all of you.” 

The unit’s Marines and sailors performed in a highly exemplary manner while engaged in or preparing for combat operations and recently returned from a seven-month deployment to the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.

The battalion’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Kenneth DeTreux, explained how he felt about his battalion’s outstanding leadership.

“First, I'm proud of every single Marine in this battalion.  Second, it's all about the team and how the team works together.  It starts with our (noncommissioned officers) who did an outstanding job in our pre-deployment work-up and in Iraq in a very challenging, complex and inherently dangerous environment,” DeTreux said.  “We were also fortunate to have a very strong stable of (staff noncommissioned officers) and officers who cared deeply about the mission and the Marines in their charge.  We assembled a great team and I'm proud to be part of this great group of Marines.”

They also maintained high training and equipment readiness, increased the effectiveness of the Key Volunteer Network, exceeded retention goals and conducted a Command Warrior Workshop and Command Climate Survey.

“The award has got pages and pages of contributions and attributes, all of which by themselves would be very impressive.  Taken all together it is a picture of an absolutely outstanding unit with exceptional leadership and exceptional leaders,” Stalder said.
Stalder also spoke about working with the battalion.

“I know you have a lot on your plate getting back in the hunt.  You did a fantastic job on your last deployment,” Stalder said.  “I am looking forward to seeing you here, working with you, helping you as you get ready to train and get out the door.   As you do that, remember to keep doing the things you’ve been doing.  Keep doing the things that got you this extremely prestigious award.”