TOP DOGS: MARFORK Marines receive best administrative service in Marine Corps

by SSgt. Anthony Kirby, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Korea
Stripes Korea

UNITED STATES ARMY GARRISON YONGSAN -- Recognized for outstanding service in taking care of the Marines of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea, the G1 administrative section received the Marine Corps Administrative Analysis Team Certificate of Excellence for achieving the best MCAAT inspection score for the past two years here, April 8.

An outstanding administrative section ensures Marines and their families have the support they need, get their pay on time, and are able to focus on their mission and purpose at their current duty station and residence.

On behalf of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps Administrative Analysis Team inspects each administrative section in the service once approximately every three years. MARFORK’s administration shop currently holds the highest inspection score for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 out of more than 30 other stand-alone administrative offices in the Marine Corps.

“Having stood MCAATs here and seen plenty of MCAATs across the Marine Corps, it means the leadership and processes of this office is superior,” said Lt. Col. David M. Blankenship, MARFORK G1 assistant chief of staff.

According to Chief Warrant Officer Vy N. Phan, MARFORK G1 personnel officer, maintaining an outstanding administrative office is a thankless job, and administration being an afterthought for a command’s Marines means the G1 is getting the job done.

“It means we’re doing our job properly, and we’re focused on taking care of the Marines,” said Phan from Houston, Texas. “If a Marine is not getting paid, they’re not going to be focused on his or her mission.”

The three-day inspection took place in February 2018. Its purpose was to ensure execution of processes and procedures in accordance with Marine Corps regulations. MCAAT analyzes the effectiveness of audit procedures, regulatory compliance, systems management, internal controls, command administrative, disbursing/finance operations, and the timely and accurate performance of pay and entitlement transactions in the Marine Corps Total Force System, travel systems, and other associated systems.

A MCAAT inspection requires months of preparation, long hours, and personal sacrifice.

“From my point of view, working hard pays off,” said Sgt. Norma Azgomez, a MARFORK G1 administrative clerk from Los Angeles, Calif. “I came in on the weekends sometimes to create turnover documents and make sure whenever a new join comes to our shop they know what they’re doing. And whenever I’m gone they know what to do or at least where to look for reference.”

Azgomez received a Certificate of Commendation for her hard work.

“I didn’t expect anything,” said Azgomez. “It’s just about taking care of your Marines. If you earn it – you earn it, if you don’t – you don’t.”

MARFORK recognized Gunnery Sgt. Juan F. Gonzalez, MARFORK G1 administrative chief, with a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for leading the G1 team. Staff Sgt. Andrene E. Castillo, MARFORK G1 personnel chief, and Gunnery Sgt. Tiffany A. Freeman, MARFORK G1 adjutant chief, also received a Certificate of Commendation for their part in making the MARFORK G1 a beacon of excellence for the service.

“It’s one less thing I have to worry about,” said Lance Cpl. Marcus Whited, MARFORK G6 Communications help desk technician. “Definitely improves my quality of life here.”

Photo Caption:

Lt. Col. David M. Blankenship, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea G1 administration assistant chief of staff, presents a Marine Corps Administrative Analysis Team Certificate of Excellence to Chief Warrant Officer Vy N. Phan, MARFORK G1 personnel officer, during an award ceremony here, April 8. (From left to right) Recognized for outstanding service in taking care of the Marines of MARFORK; Gunnery Sgt. Juan F. Gonzalez, MARFORK G1 administrative chief, received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; Gunnery Sgt. Tiffany A. Freeman, MARFORK G1 adjutant chief, Staff Sgt. Andrene E. Castillo, MARFORK G1 personnel chief, and Sgt. Norma Azgomez, MARFORK G1 administrative clerk, received a Certificate of Commendation in addition to the MCAAT Certificate of Excellence for achieving the best MCAAT inspection score in the service for the past two years.

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