2003 marine Times
Honorable Mentions

Gunnery Sergeant Charles Ridgeway, Jr.

2nd Battallion, 6th Marines 2nd Division, Camp Lejeune

GySgt Ridgeway is an example of the unsung performer in a field often overlooked in its importance to mission accomplishment. In an understaffed unit with extremely high OPTEMPO, GySgt Ridgeway is a key performer, filling in for a wide variety of essential roles to ensure his logistics section is at top operating readiness.

Recently returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom, GySgt Ridgeway is the ‘go-to guy’, a platoon sergeant responsible for a fleet of 64 vehicles that move 5 companies of Marines. In addition to this direct assignment, GySgt Ridgeway has also taken on the responsibility of overseeing the entire battalion’s stock of ammo, food and supplies, serving as the senior logistics NCO. Prior to a quick deployment order during Operation Enduring Freedom, GySgt Ridgeway’s concern for his Marines was evident. He rose to the occasion, often filling a billet normally reserved for officers, and ensured that each Marine and their families were prepared for the challenge ahead. “He goes the extra mile to find ways to make the situation be at ease for each Marine and their families,” said his section officer. “I have not known another Marine who consistently lives by the credo of honor, courage and commitment. He epitomizes the term ‘Leadership by Example’,” said his immediate supervisor.

GySgt Ridgeway is a tireless leader, who sets the highest standards for his Marines, keeps them focused and highly motivated and helps them to be their best. “He is committed to his Marines on a professional and personal basis,” said one NCO. “His personality and leadership style are contagious, and he is sought out by Marines in all matters pertaining to his MOS and Marine Corps leadership,” says his commanding officer. “Not a day goes by that GySgt Ridgeway does not make a difference in the lives of those around him.” To which we say, well done, GySgt Ridgeway, and Semper Fi!

CPL Thomas Ferguson

Gulf Company, 2nd Battallion, 5th Marines, Camp Pendleton

Cpl Stephen Thomas Ferguson is a special person, in and out of the Corps. The one-time Who’s Who in High School winner in science/mathematics is today an expert marksman presently deployed in Iraq. Cpl Ferguson exhibits leadership characteristics and responsibility unique for a junior Marine. Currently deployed in the Middle East, Cpl Ferguson is repeatedly noted as an outstanding performer by his commanding officer.

Officers from his last duty station state that he is the ultimate role-model, a top performer in the field, and “an example to young Marines everywhere.” Cpl Ferguson has represented his units and the Corps for numerous USO fundraisers and, in the spirit of jointness, opened his own home to troops from other service branches during Thanksgiving. He has for many years worked with at-risk youths, including mentoring and helping to change the lives of many gang-related teens. His kindness, concern and positive example won over these tough, troubled youths. This 21 year old Marine has also taken the responsibility of providing sole support of his mother, who has a serious disease. Cpl Ferguson demonstrated his selflessness on two occasions only weeks apart after arriving at Camp Pendleton and just before deploying. In one instance a car crashed into a flatbed truck that was ferrying Cpl Ferguson’s own vehicle, bursting into flames. He worked tirelessly to try to save the driver in the car. And weeks later, he stopped at the scene of a freeway accident and pulled a paralyzed man from his car, waiting with him until police arrived. “Stephen is very humble, will not brag, and most of the time people never even know of the good things that he does,” said a battalion chaplain. “Cpl Ferguson is truly an inspiration and a fine Marine”.