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Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

3rd MAW leader, spouse recognized for exceptional dedication at holiday party

By Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner | Marine Corps Air Station Miramar | January 07, 2014

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Tiffani Straw, center, recipient of the Bonnie Amos Award stands with Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, left, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) and a family readiness officer after receiving her award aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6. Straw was the first Committed and Engaged Spouse of the Year to be awarded.

Tiffani Straw, center, recipient of the Bonnie Amos Award stands with Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, left, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) and a family readiness officer after receiving her award aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6. Straw was the first Committed and Engaged Spouse of the Year to be awarded. (Photo by Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner)


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A poster displayed announces the Committed and Engaged Leader of the Year and recipient of the first Cpl. Mario Arias Award at a holiday party aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6. Major General Steven Busby, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), hosted the party to bring people together to recognize committed and engaged spouses and leaders.

A poster displayed announces the Committed and Engaged Leader of the Year and recipient of the first Cpl. Mario Arias Award at a holiday party aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6. Major General Steven Busby, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), hosted the party to bring people together to recognize committed and engaged spouses and leaders. (Photo by Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner)


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Sergeant Michael Burgess receives the Cpl. Mario Arias Award naming him the first Committed and Engaged Leader of the Year aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Morgan, center left, former commanding officer of Marine Light Attack Training Squadron (HMLAT) 303, and Sgt. Maj. Donna Dunbar, left, sergeant major of HMLAT-303, attended to commend their successful Marine.

Sergeant Michael Burgess receives the Cpl. Mario Arias Award naming him the first Committed and Engaged Leader of the Year aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Morgan, center left, former commanding officer of Marine Light Attack Training Squadron (HMLAT) 303, and Sgt. Maj. Donna Dunbar, left, sergeant major of HMLAT-303, attended to commend their successful Marine. (Photo by Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner)


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A poster displayed announces the Committed and Engaged Spouse of the Year and recipient of the first Bonnie Amos Award at a holiday party aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6. Major General Steven Busby, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), hosted the party to bring people together to recognize committed and engaged spouses and leaders.

A poster displayed announces the Committed and Engaged Spouse of the Year and recipient of the first Bonnie Amos Award at a holiday party aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6. Major General Steven Busby, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), hosted the party to bring people together to recognize committed and engaged spouses and leaders. (Photo by Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner)


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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --

Major General Steven Busby, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), held a holiday party to give thanks to those recognized in the Committed and Engaged Leadership and Committed and Engaged Spouses initiatives aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 6.

The party served as a venue for bringing more than one hundred Marines and spouses to honor the Committed and Engaged Spouses of the Year and Committed and Engaged Leader of the Year. Both awards, called the Bonnie Amos Award and Cpl. Mario Arias Award respectively, were awarded to Tiffani Straw and Sgt. Michael Burgess by surprise.

When entering the party, Burgess and Straw were surprised to see their names and citation on signs near the door, explained Busby. Only a few guests knew the party was meant for more than just holiday fun.

They were each given an award and Sgt. Maj. Patrick Kimble, sergeant major of 3rd MAW, read their award citations at the end of the dinner.

“I won’t talk much about Committed and Engaged Leadership and Committed and Engaged Spouses, all I need to say is that [the room was] filled with them,” said Busby. “I really gathered everyone here to recognize them, there just happen to be a holiday party at the same time.”

Burgess, noncommissioned officer in charge of fire control with Marine Light Attack Training Squadron (HMLAT) 303, earned the title of the Committed and Engaged Leader of the Year for his work preparing multiple Marines in his squadron for meritorious boards ultimately helping many of them win and earn recognition and meritorious promotions. Similarly, Straw also worked to make sure Marines were taken care of by volunteering at multiple squadrons.

Both Burgess and Straw were the first to receive these awards, and they are not to be the last. Busby plans to begin this tradition for years to come and hopes it stays after he leaves the command.