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Base selects Marine of the Year

7 Jan 2010 | Pamela Jackson

In an ongoing effort to recognize Marines for their outstanding performance and service, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., selects a Marine of the Year. Marines are given the opportunity to compete for this honor from a pool of winners from the Marine of the Quarter selections. However, it is not often that a Marine who is chosen as the Marine of the Year, wins the Marine of the Quarter – again in the following quarter.

Lance Cpl. Jason A. Womelsdorf, personnel clerk, Installation Personnel Administration Center, Manpower Division, MCLB Albany, was recently selected as the Marine of the Year and again as Marine of the Quarter.

According to Base Order 1650.4D, it is the policy of the Marine Corps to officially recognize meritorious achievement and superlative performance.  This honor is  to single out individual Marines whose performance of duty and collective standards of proficiency exceed that generally expected of all Marines.

Womelsdorf, a native of Springfield, Mo., joined the Marine Corps in January 2009, and is the second oldest of six children in his family. After finishing four years of high school at Gateway Institute in 2000, he went to work for the Assemblies of God headquarters in warehousing and shipping, world missions and ultimately youth ministries. Due to the restructuring of workflow and positions within youth ministries, he was left without work in July 2008.

“I had already been thinking about joining the Marine Corps for quite some time because my father was a Marine. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I left my comfort zone and decided to join. My father is a Vietnam veteran, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” he said.

Womelsdorf said that what made his being able to join the Marine Corps even sweeter was that for personal reasons, he graduated with a general education development certificate from Missouri State University, not a high school diploma. After losing his job, he attended Ozarks Community College from Aug. to Dec. 2008 to take 15 college credit hours to back up his GED, so he would be allowed to join the Marine Corps.

On Jan. 12, 2009, Womelsdorf reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif., for recruit training and combat training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Upon completion, he attended military occupational specialty school at Marine Corps Base Camp Johnson, N.C., and reported here July 15, 2009.

“I feel very honored to have been selected as not only the Marine of the Quarter, but the Marine of the Year. Not many Marines can say they have received such an honor, especially so early in their career. I was honored when my superiors told me I would be going on the board, but felt unworthy to compete for such a prestigious honor so early in my career,” Womelsdorf said.

Sgt. Maj. Scott C. Mykoo, sergeant major, MCLB Albany, said, “Womelsdorf is not the average young lance corporal. His maturity level, willingness to learn and take on additional responsibility is far beyond those of his grade. He maintains a positive attitude and steps up to any challenge presented.”

Womelsdorf said he enjoys his job in IPAC working with the Marines and plans to make the Marine Corps a career.

“I have very ambitious goals, which can possibly take my full career to accomplish, but I am willing to try. My short-term goal is to pick up corporal as quickly as possible, hopefully meritoriously, so I can apply for the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program to become an officer. I would like to attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, or the U.S. Naval Academy. My ultimate goal is to retire as a Marine colonel,” he said.

1st Lt. Sarah Ray, adjutant, MCLB Albany, who also serves as the officer in charge of IPAC said, “Lance Corporal Womelsdorf is an exceptional Marine with unlimited potential.  It is an absolute joy to work with him, and I am very excited to see him progress in his Marine Corps career.”

Womelsdorf said that while his career goals may be a bit lofty, it doesn’t end there. After retirement from the Marine Corps, he wants to get into politics by becoming a senator.

When asked about joining the Marine Corps later in life he said, “I think by coming into the Marine Corps, I am laying a solid foundation for my future. I believe that God ordered my steps and had the right timing for me to accomplish what his plans were for my life. Man may not understand why during the course of history things happen when they do. But who am I to ask why. I felt God wanted me to be in a position to influence government in a very real way since January 2005. It was in January of 2009 that I joined and since that time, every dream and every prayer has become my reality. I am living my dreams and my reality right now.”

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany