MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- For centuries Marines have distinguished themselves on battlefields and foreign shores. Some Marines have even earned various medals and awards for shining through when the odds were against them in battle, proving the Corps is an elite fighting force.
Although Gunnery Sgt. Adrian B. Strzyz, Headquarters Battalion logistics chief here, is not under the traditional battle conditions Marines are known to thrive in, he has still maintained the high standards of the Corps. He met those standards when he was meritoriously promoted Nov. 2 to his current rank.
Materiel Command received a quota from Headquarters Marine Corps to select one staff sergeant for meritorious promotion to gunnery sergeant. But before the 14-year veteran of the Corps even made it this far, Strzyz was first select by Headquarters Battalion. Once selected, he competed against other outstanding staff sergeants from the base on a meritorious board.
A meritorious board is made up of a panel judges who are senior staff NCOs. Marines are then questioned on topics staff noncommissioned officers should know and their entire Service Record Books are reviewed.
After Strzyz won the meritorious board for the base, he competed against another staff sergeant to represent MatCom, and proved to be meritorious gunnery sergeant material and his promotion packet was sent to Headquarters Marine Corps where it was compared to two others.
Throughout the process Strzyz never thought he would actually receive the promotion, he said. He knew he was competing against the best staff sergeants that Marine commands around the globe had to offer.
According to Marine Administrative Message 604/02, these meritorious promotions "recognize Marines for their superior potential for increased responsibility based upon their extraordinary performance, sacrifice and contribution to the success of the Marine Corps."
What does all this mean?
In Strzyz's case, it meant sacrificing time with his family to train recruits at Parris Island. Always performing to the best of his ability; achieving first-class physical fitness scores since he joined; expert rifle, 3rd award qualified; sharpshooter pistol qualified; and he is currently in training to receive his gray belt in martial arts training.
1st Lt. Jayson Durden, Headquarters Battalion operations and logistics officer here, has been in charge of Strzyz for 10 months and was not at all surprised when he was meritoriously promoted.
"If you look at his personal record book, it pretty much speaks for itself," said Durden. "When I look at him I just think of everything that really makes a Marine." When people think of Marines, the mental picture of a husky drill instructor may come to mind, said Durden. Strzyz has served as a senior drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. and has set drill records by finely tuning the recruits' movements he taught.
No matter what a Marine's job in the rear, he is always a rifleman and ready to fight the country's battles. This is no different for Strzyz who earned his combat action ribbon while fighting in Desert Storm.
Marines are also know for their amphibious duties, spending months on a ship away from their families, ready to deploy at a moment's notice. Strzyz has been on numerous floats, away from his wife and two children.
But these are things expected of a Marine, so why is Strzyz any different than the next?
According to Durden, it is his constant motivation and work ethic that sets Strzyz apart from his peers. He approaches any duty or task, no matter the size or difficulty, with enthusiasm.
Along with doing what is expected of him, Srtzyz also volunteers to help other Marines and the base community. He is a youth soccer coach, the staff NCO ball committee president, and he was a Corporals Course instructor. Besides helping others, he is also continuing his education by taking college courses.
"I'm glad I've had the opportunity to work with him, because he has helped me out a lot," said Durden. "Being a young commissioned officer, I couldn't ask for a better staff noncommissioned officer than Gunnery Sergeant Strzyz."