III MEF takes three of four logistics awards
Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification Number: 2003102345821
Story by Lance Cpl. Chris Korhonen

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan (October 17, 2003) -- Thomas L. Ramer received the 2002 civilian logistician of the year award during a ceremony held Oct. 17, here.

Brigadier General James F. Flock, commanding general, Marine Corps Base Smedley D. Butler, presented Ramer, Garrison Mobile Equipment (GME) operations manager, the award.

Ramer introduced and implemented numerous operational logistics initiatives that significantly improved and enhanced base motor transports ability to support the Marine Corps operating force.

"I was tasked to create a plan for transforming the old bus system and meet (Brig. Gen. Timothy R. Larson's) desires to have a world-class bus service on Okinawa," Ramer said.

According to Capt. Samar K. Spinelli, GME fleet manager, Headquarters and Service Battalion, MCB, Ramer's work on the Green Line was invaluable.

Ramer was able to bring a fleet of 12 buses that was not supporting the Marines the way they should have been, up to 46 buses and 72 employees, according to Spinelli.
"He really put in the phrase 'World Class' into the bus system," Spinelli said.

Ramer himself is very happy with the outcome achieved with the Green Line.

"The results of the Green Line alone are phenomenal because it is two years ahead of schedule," Ramer said. "We have done monumental things in two years and I'm just tickled to be a part of it. The procurement of 32 buses in two years is a feat within itself."

Before the Green Line, there was a camp-to-camp shuttle bus that was operated by a pool of 26 drivers and 12 buses. The system had no regular timetable for stops and the limited schedule was not well publicized, according to Ramer. The buses would also be pulled and used to suit other missions of GME, leaving Marines stranded.

Now the Green Line has 42 signature buses and 76 employees, including four Green Line buses at Fuji, and operates seven days a week, including holidays and typhoons.

Spinelli said Ramer is very deserving of the annual award.

"I can tell you it's one of the hardest awards to get," Spinelli said. "For Mr. Ramer to actually receive the award says a lot about him and his accomplishments. He's got a can-do attitude, his initiative is great and he is always thinking ahead of the game."

Despite his commanding officer's accolades, Ramer remains very low-key about the award.

"I feel humble because so many people have contributed so much towards the mission of MCB and GME," Ramer said. "It's a worldwide award and there are a lot of people in the logistics field. There were a lot of people who were involved in moving troops, supplies and materials and equipment to a war zone. I once told the captain that I don't feel like I rate, but obviously somebody feels I do."

In addition to the civilian award, MCB G-4 was chosen for the logistical unit/organization award for its logistical support and quality-of-life programs while contributing to the operational readiness of supported commands. With a staff of 869 and annual budgets over $45 million; its mass transit bus service saves a projected $9 million a year.

Also, the officer logistician of the year award went to 1st Lt. Tad R. Scott, currently executive officer, 6th Marine Corps District, for his work in the 9th Engineer Support Battalion. Scott managed budgets totaling $5.7 million and provided support for 1,700 Marines during 11 operations throughout the Pacific Theater.

The enlisted logistician of the year went to Gunnery Sgt. Mario A. Marquez, for providing highly responsive combat service support for multiple training missions and operations with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.