MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Cpl. Aspen K. Thompson, training noncommissioned officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, recently received the designation “Hard Charger of the Week” from Marine Corps Installations Command.
Although Thompson received the honor for the July 23-27 time frame, it encompasses his current accomplishments both on duty and off.
Maj. Gen. James Kessler, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations Command, shared those accomplishments with staff members at the Pentagon.
Thompson’s recognition not only included how well he performed his job, but also shed light on his volunteer activities outside the fence line as well as his collateral duties as a Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor.
“I was honored just to be nominated,” Thompson said.
Not only did Thompson’s leadership nominate him for the honor, he won after beating out competition from Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla.
The Temple, Texas, native is primarily responsible for enrolling Marines into professional military education and military occupational speciality schools. However, he also seeks ways to give back to both the Marine Corps and the outside community, Thompson said.
“I get the most fulfillment out of being a Marine Corps martial arts instructor,” Thompson said. “I view this as a way of giving back to the Marine Corps, knowing that I am helping them acquire the skills they will need as Marines.”
Thompson’s love of martial arts began in high school with amateur boxing and he continued to pursue this interest in the Marine Corps by not only teaching his peers, but also performing special demonstrations for community groups and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps units.
The training NCO also spends his time off coaching Little League football in the local area, ages 9-12. Thompson noted this is just another way to give back.
Thompson can also be seen on most mornings serving as a coach on the base’s pistol range, helping Marines with the fundamentals of successful marksmanship.
Thompson’s outward disposition seems to embody the Marine Corps’ notion of silent professional. One would only know about his accomplishments if they were pried out of him.
Despite his calm reserve and record of success, an individual would probably guess Thompson wanted to be a Marine his whole life, but that isn’t the case.
“Originally I was going to join the Air Force,” Thompson said, laughing. “Every time I would call the recruiter she wasn’t there. Around this time, I was playing football with a local Marine who was a recruiter. He told me all he needed was an interview and I said ‘OK, but I’m not joining. I showed up at his office and after a few minutes he pulled out those cards. I was calling my mother a few minutes later, letting her know this was something I really wanted to do.”