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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

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Depot DI recognized for technical achievements

By Staff Sgt. Scott Dunn and Pfc. Dorian M. Gardner | | October 29, 2004

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The San Diego chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association awarded a depot drill instructor and three others for job field excellence Oct. 22 during an awards banquet at the Hyatt Regency Islandia Hotel.

Staff Sgt. Andrew L. Suthers, currently a senior drill instructor for Company L, 3rd Battalion, was awarded $2,500 for his service as an aviation life-support systems technician with the 3rd Marine Air Wing, and as a drill instructor here.

Lt. Col. Robert Gates, 3rd Battalion commanding officer, who submitted Suthers for the award said, "We are extremely proud to have a Marine like (Suthers) representing not only 3rd Bn., but the entire Marine Corps at this award ceremony."

Suthers, a husband and father of two, became a senior drill instructor by his third training cycle - a fast promotion by most comparisons.

"It was an honor to receive the award," said Suthers, who also recently earned 3rd Battalion Drill Instructor of the Year honors. "It took a lot of hard work to reach this point, and it is even more rewarding for somebody to recognize it and award you for it."

Before coming to the drill field, Suthers served at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar as a night-crew production control supervisor responsible for flight equipment from seven helicopter squadrons.

"We're really proud of (Staff) Sgt. Suthers," said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Griffith, awards committee member. "He was really a great representative, and it was great to see his supervisors (at the banquet)."

A handful of 3rd Bn. officers, to include Gates, and staff noncommissioned officers attended the ceremony.

NDIA is a non-partisan, non-profit international association whose primary areas of interest are the business and technical aspects of the government industry relationship, according to the association's Web site. The association's San Diego chapter, also its largest, recognized civilian and military employees with less than 15 years in their fields.

Out of 41 nominees, the chapter's awards committee chose four winners in technical or leadership categories, and each winner took home $2,500. The chapter conducts three awards programs each year.

Maj. Gen. Griffith said the committee would have selected Suthers to win either category. The chapter also recognized Thomas Castle, a civilian Space and Naval Warfare Center employee, for technical achievement. In the leadership category, the chapter recognized Petty Officer 1st Class Raphael Arellano of Southwest Regional Maintenance Center and civilian employee Rodney Quibilan.

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