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U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Joy Kitashima, the sergeant major of Marine Corps Installations Pacific (MCIPAC), reads the Superior Achievement Award to Shawn Curtis, the MCIPAC safety director with the Installation Safety Office, on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, April 26, 2021. The 2020 Marine Corps Ground Safety Awards recognizes commands and individuals for their significant contributions and accomplishments in the field of safety and mishap prevention during the fiscal year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Karis Mattingly)

Photo by Cpl. Karis Mattingly

MCIPAC, Installation Safety Office win 2020 Marine Corps Ground Safety Awards

2 May 2021 | Marine Corps Installations Pacific

Marine Corps Installations Pacific leaders and the Installation Safety Office personnel, formed a socially distanced gathering as they were presented the Marine Corps Warrior Preservation Award April 26 on Camp Foster.

“The commander has an obligation to protect every Marine, sailor and civilian to any known hazard,” said Shawn Curtis, the MCIPAC safety director with the Installation Safety Office. “We are that entity for the commanding general. We are the experts who come and provide consultation and enforcement to ensure we are meeting the best possible practices. We want them to go home to their loved ones every day, that's truly what it is about.”

The 2020 Marine Corps Ground Safety Awards, recognizes commands and individuals for their significant contributions and accomplishments in the field of safety and mishap prevention during the fiscal year. Brig. Gen. William Bowers, commanding general of MCIPAC, presented the unit and individual awards on behalf of the commandant of the Marine Corps.

“The pandemic was the most challenging of times,” said Hidemi Shiroma, the MCIPAC safety inspector with the Installation Safety Office. “However, we came together, and we were able to help each other out. It was a team effort, and I am very appreciative of the people I work with and their work ethic.”

Shiroma names a few ways in which they helped the installation. She explains that they supported the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, by providing respirator fit testing for every employee. For Ground Facilities employees who needed to conduct maintenance on restriction of movement barracks, they also assisted with their fit testing. Additional fit testing was done for Joint Reception Center Marines, the isolation team and the task force permanent change of station.

“We need to maintain a vibrant program that ensures those on our installation are taken care of,” said Curtis. “We did this in a global pandemic. While a lot of places were shutting down, we were in the office everyday. We gave the leadership another option with our capabilities - that if they ever need us they can call, and we will be ready”

All nominees were commended for helping to reduce mishaps, increase mission readiness, and preserve the warfighters mission and taking care of the individual Marines, sailors, civilian and local national employees.

“I am so proud of my colleagues and their resiliency is well appreciated,” said Curtis. “This award is the reflection of what everyone has been striving to do. They are always willing to give more than what they receive, and they continue to do it to protect our Marines and sailors.”


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