MSSG-26 houses "Logistics Marine of the Year"

7 Jun 2002 | Sgt Thomas Michael Corcoran 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The Marines and Sailors of MEU Service Support Group-26, already the 2001 recipient of the Marine Corps' Logistics Unit of the Year Award, carried home another piece of well deserved hardware as one of their own was recently named the Corps' Enlisted Logistician of the Year for his impressive support of U.S. and coalition forces while deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Gunnery Sgt. Timothy Weber, the operations chief for MSSG-26, was selected not only for accomplishing his mission by supporting forces spread across 600 miles inland in several locations in the heart of Al-Qaida and Taliban resistance, but also for his leadership and commitment to his Marines, always ensuring that "everyone was taken care of." The annual award, presented by the Commandant of the Marine Corps at Marine Barracks, 8th & I, Washington D.C., is given to an individual Marine for his or her superlative achievements in the logistics field. "This was the second time he was deployed as the [operations] chief," said Lt. Col. William M. Faulkner, MEU Service Support Group-26 commanding officer. "What he learned the first time, he implemented while on his second float. It is his unique ability to manage and carryout multiple tasks simultaneously that sets him apart. He did a superb job!" Faulkner explained that Weber's career path couldn't have had more perfect timing, allowing him to gain the knowledge he needed and put it to work for one of the most logistically complex operations in military history. Although Weber has had very little time-in-grade as a gunnery sergeant, Sgt. Maj. William Bly, MSSG-26 Sergeant Major, noted Weber's exceptional leadership as an asset that will carry him far in the Marine Corps. "He's a good, all-around leader; he can do it all." Given his exceptional job proficiency and knowledge, Weber probably had more to do with receiving and distributing supplies in Kandahar, Afghanistan than anyone, Bly said. "He is a step above the other staff [non-commissioned officers] I've known and worked for," said Sgt. Josh Green, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the Field Military Police Detachment, MSSG-26, who worked for Weber during Operation Enduring Freedom. "He goes above and beyond what's expected to see that everyone is taken care of." "Initially, we [26th MEU (SOC)] went in and secured the airport," said Weber. Then, as coalition forces came in, it became quickly evident that there was no other unit who could provide the amount of sustainment that was rapidly becoming necessary, he explained. What many deemed impossible, Weber's young Marines would find a way to deliver, he said. Weber explained that by the time the MEU relinquished control of the airport to the Army, they were supporting more than 4,000 servicemembers a day. During those 47 days in arid Kandahar, he received more support request forms than he has collectively received in the past two years. "They were waiting in line," said Faulkner. "They came in with all their international accents looking for a man named Weber who could give them food and water. We called him the 'Coalition Gunny.'" Faulkner further explained that the name, "Weber," spread back to many coalition countries as the man to look for when you get there. Everything from batteries and bottled water to heavy equipment and concertina wire; if a unit needed anything during the first two months, "Gunny Weber" was the man to see, Faulkner explained. For a while, they were getting very little supplies flown in because the airlift efforts were focused more on troop movement, Weber said. "Our sustenance supply was getting low so we had to drop the meals from three down to two a day." Although Weber won the individual award, he won't forget to mention all that his Marines did to make "the team" successful. "They willingly worked through the night at the beachhead in Pakistan, some of them doing so for nearly 80 days," Weber said. "They have my utmost respect and admiration for their commitment to making it all happen." When asked why he felt that he was selected for the award, Weber humbly described himself as being " the right place, at the right time. I was near the end of the 'funnel.' I was just the middle man."