Marine recognized at Service Salute Gala

by Lance Cpl. Joseph Abrego
Marine Corps Air Station Iwaku

TOKYO, Japan -- Sgt. Johnathan M. Cobb, patrol supervisor for the Provost Marshal’s Office on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, received an award at the USO Japan Ninth Annual Service Salute Gala in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 27, 2016.

Cobb exceeded all criteria and represented MCAS Iwakuni at the Service Salute Gala as the air station’s Marine of the year.

“Sgt. Cobb is an outstanding Marine who separates himself from those around him through his impeccable work ethic and desire for the Provost Marshal's Office to succeed as an institution,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. John D. Wade, provost sergeant for PMO. “He was nominated as the United Services Organization honoree for outstanding professional development, volunteering and leadership as a result of his efforts. This recognition alone should speak volumes about Sgt. Cobb and his abilities, as only one service member per year is recognized from the air station as a whole.”

Cobb’s achievement required selflessness and dedication to not only the Marine Corps but to the community as well. The gala recognizes service members who make an outstanding difference within and outside their specific service.

“Sgt. Cobb’s selfless dedication to duty over the past year has made him an easy selection for representing MCAS Iwakuni at this year’s gala,” said Col. Robert V. Boucher, chief of staff for Marine Corps Installations National Capital Region-Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. “In addition to his demanding workload, Sgt. Cobb is still determined to serve his community by volunteering numerous hours of his off-duty time. He routinely takes part in child reading programs at the air station’s library and is active in community outreach programs.”

Cobb believes that although there are specific things that make a Marine, they aren’t defining factors to being a great individual or leader.

“I think that it’s a matter of the heart,” said Cobb. “Running fast and accurate shooting are not the ultimate qualifiers for a leader. Remember why you joined and remind yourself it’s not about you.”

Cobb said he thinks about Marines like Sgt. Joshua Ashley, a Bronze Star recipient, who came before him and gave the ultimate sacrifice so people can continue to live without fear.

While having been through Tokyo a few times, Cobb never had a chance to experience the city. Being there on behalf of the air station, representing not only himself but everyone who has worn the uniform, came as a humbling experience.

“It was an honor,” said Cobb. “I’ve flown through Tokyo a half dozen times but there was something special about having Americans and Japanese toasting each other’s leadership. Something stirred in me seeing and hearing that. It’s amazing seeing all that our countries have endured, and to see them standing united on that stage…giving honor to each other…it’s inspiring.”

Marines work toward mission accomplishment, day in and day out, and Cobb defines what it takes to become a leader.

“I think all Marines regardless of rank can learn a great deal from Sgt. Cobb in the way of selfless service and dedication to their craft,” said Wade. “It's one thing to be an outstanding Marine who is recognized for personal achievement, but Sgt. Cobb could just as easily be recognized for what he does for others on a daily basis. He’s a shining example for the Marines and is most deserving of the award. He will undoubtedly continue to do great things for this department and the Marine Corps for years to come.”

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