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Logistics Marine awarded Bronze Star

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | | January 4, 2008

A field grade officer attached to Marine Corps Logistics Command was recently pinned with one of the Corps’ highest medals for his role in the Global War on Terrorism.

  Maj. Kevin R. Scott, supply officer, Blount Island Command, LOGCOM, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during a ceremony held Jan. 3.

  Maj. Gen. Willie J. Williams, commanding general, LOGCOM, presented Scott the medal for meritorious achievement as the commander, Marine Corps Logistics Command Forward-Iraq, Marine Corps Logistics Command, United States Marine Corps Forces Central Command. He was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from July 2006 to January 2007.

  “I am thrilled that the Marine Corps and the leadership within MARCENT (Marine Corps Central Command) saw the same thing Col. James Hooks, Lt. Col. Christopher Ellis and I saw when we decided to put you in for the award,” said Williams. “I am honored to be here and present this award to you and say thank you so much for what you have done.”

  Scott’s primary mission was to retrograde excess principle end items.

  “If the Marines don’t have the equipment to train to be effective, then naturally they can’t be effective when performing their duties and responsibilities, but it’s even bigger than that,” said Scott. “Not having the equipment, the Marines lose that competitive edge that defines us. Having a great force requires equipment and if you marry the two together, you have an unbeatable force. That is why the Marine Corps is dominant. That’s what makes it all the more gratifying to be a part of something that great.”

  Four years of combat in the Global War on Terrorism had resulted in a critical equipment crisis for the Marine Corps. The inspector general of the Marine Corps identified literally thousands of excess principle end items no longer being utilized in combat with no means to return them to the United States to fill enormous home station equipment shortfalls.

  After receiving guidance from Headquarters Marine Corps, the commanding officer of Blount Island Command, later designated commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Command (Forward) by Williams, and his staff conducted a survey and decided that space aboard Camp Al Taquaddum, Iraq (LZ Dogwood) would be used to establish a lot capable of accommodating thousands of pieces of equipment.

  After traveling and briefing the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) and his staff that LOGCOM was prepared to begin receiving excess equipment turn-in, the team returned to Jacksonville, Fla.

  A week later, Scott, with virtually no notice, was deployed to Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq, with almost no resources, no facilities or place to work, and no equipment. He was armed only with a mission-type order to locate the excess Marine Corps equipment and get it back to BIC as quickly as possible to alleviate the Marine Corps equipment crisis.

  Soon after his arrival in Iraq, equipment was pouring back to the United States and getting repaired for further redistribution to the operating forces.

  According to the citation, Scott, while under enemy fire on repeated occasions, immediately set up at Landing Zone Dogwood (LOGCOM Retrograde Lot) to receive and account for more than 10,700 excess principle end items and arranged for their timely transportation to the United States via sealift and airlift.

  The base received indirect fire on a frequent basis, sometimes daily for weeks before a lull, which impacted operations at the Retrograde Lot.

  Additionally, Scott’s position required him to frequently travel between forward operating bases to coordinate operations with Marine Air Ground Task Force personnel and, on occasion, at these FOBs, he was subject to indirect fire as well.

  According to the summary of action, it was during these times that Scott displayed his leadership and calmness which was directly responsible for the calming effect that permeated to the members of his team.

  Scott worked closely with I MEF (FWD) and provided exacting support serving as LOGCOM’s single point-of-contact in Iraq as he directed all LOGCOM’s initiatives in support of I MEF (FWD).

  Scott, a 22-year Marine Corps veteran and Mount Hermon, La., native, is credited for working on several initiatives to include the forward-in-stores, contractor augmentation to the repairable issue point, and numerous other armoring related projects in country.

  The citation that accompanied the award concluded that Scott continued to refine the “retrograde” model in anticipation of the Marine Corps’ eventual retrograde from Iraq that is being used by plans officers at Marine Central Command, Marine Corps Logistics Command and Marine Corps Logistics Command (FWD).

  The system and processes Scott established have been so effective and scalable that they will be the foundation for larger evolutions like this in the future, according to the summary of action.

  Scott’s performance and that of his command, operating in an austere environment, assisted the forward deployed Marine Air Ground Task Force by “taking a rock out of their pack” by taking control of all excess equipment in Iraq and processing it for movement out of theater back to the U.S., the summary of action read.

  “Whenever anyone receives an award or a promotion, it feels great. But for an officer to receive an award or recognition, it isn’t that officer’s award, it belongs to the personnel that were with him,” said Scott as he addressed the crowd before him.

  What inspired Scott the most was, in its early stages, seeing the hard work and dedication that went into putting together the retrograde model.

  “What I found to be important during my time in Iraq was witnessing the determination displayed by the Marines and the general schedule employees and the members of Honeywell Technology Inc. which was our third party logistics provider,” said Scott. “Throughout the challenging setting, the actions of those individuals were very inspiring. At the forefront of what we were doing, we never forgot the importance of ensuring that the equipment was returned to the United States in a very timely manner so the Marine Corps units would be reset the Marine Corps maintaining its position as the world’s premier fighting organization.

  Scott said that serving in Iraq was the hallmark of his active duty career.

  “In the spirit of the great words of Nathan Hale, ‘I only wish that I had another opportunity to go and serve again,’” Scott quoted.

  Scott attributes his success in Iraq to the Marines at BIC and the detail that went into the preparation for the deployment.

  He mentioned that he could not have done his job without the support of his wife Glynda and their 7-year-old son Karsten.

  “Major Scott receiving the Bronze Star is a wonderful indication of one person’s accomplishments as part of a team,” said Col. Joseph K Haviland, commanding officer, BIC. “I am very happy that it was recognized as being a significant enabler to lighten the load for our warfighters we support. I think you will hear more good things about LOGCOM (Forward) in the future.”