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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
MCLB names NCO of the Year

By Pamela Jackson | | December 17, 2009

Each year, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany selects one outstanding Marine as the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

Cpl. Thomas C. P. O’Donnell , small arms repair technician, MCLB Albany, Ga., was recently selected as the NCO of the Year.

O’Donnell, the youngest of four children, graduated from Sandalwood High School in May 2007 and immediately reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. in June of that same year.  Following Marine Combat Training at Camp Geiger, N.C., and military occupational specialty school at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, he reported to MCLB Albany in December 2007.

“My dad spent 23 years in the Navy and ever since I was old enough to comprehend what the military was, I knew I wanted to join.  I was unsure which branch I wanted to be a part of even though my dad wanted me to join the Navy and I did not want to join the Army like my brother.  I eventually decided the best branch for me was the Marine Corps,” the Jacksonville, Fla., native said.

O’Donnell admits that he had considered going to college first and entering the military after Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and being commissioned, but was ready to leave home and start his career without having the debt of paying for college.

“My intent is to make this a career because I am very happy in the Marine Corps and am glad I made this choice.  What stood out the most, besides the uniforms, was the Marine Corps history and tradition of being the best, their pride and attention to detail,” he said.

O’Donnell says his favorite part of being a Marine is his job as a small arms repair technician because he loves working with his hands.  He is also a member of the color guard and burial detail.

“This is my first enlistment and I have a lot to learn, but am really enjoying being a Marine.  It is too early to know where I want to go next, but I will re-enlist before I leave, hopefully early enough to choose someplace on the west coast,” he said.

O’Donnell says he wants to travel the world after being bitten by the “travel bug” when he was selected by his high school in 2006 to travel to England for 21 days as part of a student ambassador program,  People to People. 

Sgt. Maj. Scott C. Mykoo, sergeant major, MCLB Albany, said, “O’Donnell is the poster image of a Marine.  His maturity and attention to detail is above that of many of his peers.  He holds himself to a higher standard with regards to what is expected of him.  I expect to see him meritoriously promoted to the next rank.”

I am very humbled to be chosen as the NCO of the Year and feel there are other Marines just as deserving of this honor.  To be relatively new to the Marine Corps and this command, it feels good to know that they saw something in me that I didn’t and selected me for this great honor.  I appreciate the potential they see in me, even though I have a long way to go,” O’Donnell said.