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AAV mechanic wins MCA’s Marine of the Year Award

18 Nov 2010 | Marti Gatlin, Public Affairs Specialist

An amphibious assault vehicle mechanic garnered Maintenance Center Albany’s 2010 Marine of the Year award because of his dedication and work ethic throughout the Buffalo Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicles rebuilding project.

Master Sgt. David E. Elliott, Program Management Department, MCA, has devoted numerous hours to implementing the wheeled vehicle’s rebuilding program, according to Harold Eidson, manager, Program Management Department. The Buffalo MRAP features several capabilities to include clearing improvised explosive devices.

“He’s working on a very high-profile project, which he volunteered for,” Eidson said. “When the Buffalo MRAP was fielded around 2003, it was rapidly sent to combat in Iraq. There have been numerous issues with parts and configurations of it and Master Sergeant Elliott has been working to stand up a rebuild program for the Marine Corps. He displayed exemplary performance on this project.”

He praised Elliott’s continual devotion to the task, and said Marines like him bring “expertise from the Fleet Marine Force to the Maintenance Center Albany, which is a multiplier to us to better serve Marines. They understand what Marines do - the reason we have them here.”

Elliott didn’t slow down his efforts on the rebuilding program when he received his award last month during MCA’s 2010 Employee Recognition Day at Covella Pond.

“I still do the same work even though I got the award,” the Lebanon, Pa., native said, noting it was a surprise to him he was nominated and won. “This is the first time I’ve won something like this.”

He added that winning the award was an example for the eight other Marines in his department because “hard work and dedication is not just for them, but for other Marines and the Marine Corps.”

Elliott, who said he felt his AAV mechanic expertise could assist in the rebuild project, began his mission in December last year.

“I love working with something as important as the buffalo, and all projects here are important to me,” he said.

Due to leave MCA in December for Okinawa, Japan, the Marine said his efforts will be continued by engineers and electrical engineering technicians, who are assisting him with the project.

“Civilian-Marines and contractors are helping me,” Elliott said. “I do most of it myself and they assist in various areas. Everyone here works very well with each other, which has been extremely helpful to me on the project. This my favorite duty station in the entire Marine Corps because the civilian-Marines, contractors and other Marines are extremely goal-oriented to help the Marine Corps.”

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany