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03-15-07, 02:43 PM
Service members of the year recognized by Fallbrook Rotary Club
By Lance Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson, MCB Camp Pendleton

Fallbrook, Calif. (March 15, 2007) -- The Rotary Club of Fallbrook held an award ceremony for a group of well-deserving Marines and Sailors at the Grand Tradition Country Club Feb. 26.

The event was held to recognize the 2006 I Marine Expeditionary Force’s Marine Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Junior Marine of the Year and the Junior and Senior Sailors of the Year from the Naval Weapons Station and Assault Craft Unit 5.

Each service member was given a plaque and a certificate of appreciation for a job well done while supporting the Global War on Terrorism.

Junior Marine of the Year, Lance Cpl. Luis A. Dabdoub, a motor transport NCO with Satellite Platoon, Support Company, 9th Communication Battalion, I MEF, was introduced by his platoon’s staff NCO, Staff. Sgt. Michael R. Zamora.

Dabdoub was selected because of his proficiency, conduct, knowledge of his job and ability to lead Marines. He is held in high standards by his command while filling an NCOs’ position.

Marine NCO of the Year, Sgt. James A. Falco, a geospatial intelligence analyst with Production and Analysis Company, 1st Intelligence Battalion, I MEF, was introduced by his company commander, Maj. Richard J. Schmidt.

Falco showed motivation, mentorship and expertise while performing his job before, while and after serving two overseas deployments including one to Iraq. Because of his actions, his command selected him to receive the I MEF NCO of the Year Award.

Both Marines received a standing ovation from close to 100 Rotary Club members and attendees.

“Coming from where I came from, being raised in a rough area, I am very proud of how far I have come,” said 22-year-old Falco, from Chicago. “The best part about the award is I am able to achieve and look back and know I did my best.”

“It is the best feeling to be recognized by my battalion amongst my peers,” said Dabdoub, 20-year old native of Whittier. “Because of this experience, my morale has sky-rocketed.”

Other service members awarded during the ceremony were Naval Weapons Station Senior Sailor of the Year, Master-at-Arms 1st Class Rory W. Collins, a 29 year old from Sante Fe, N.M., and command career counselor and education services officer of Seal Beach Detachment at Fallbrook N.S.

The Junior Sailor of the Year was Master-at-Arms 2nd Class David J. Scott, 27, a patrol supervisor with the NWS and a native of Washington, D.C.

The Senior Sailor from Assault Craft Unit 5 was Gas Systems Mechanic 1st Class Rafael Macias, an assault craft engineer with ACU-5 and a native of Chicago.

The Junior Sailor of the Year from ACU-5 was Seaman Lucyna Mol, a member of ACU-5 and a 26-year-old Chicago native.
The ceremony came to a close with Rotary Club members and other attendees greeting each award recipient, thanking them for their service and ensuring the freedom of the United States.

“Today we wanted to recognize a few service members from around the area because of their accomplishments,” said Jack F. Wood, President of the Rotary Club of Fallbrook. “These service members have gone above and beyond, and we thank them everyday.”