The times sure have changed, the head Marine told a crowd of more than 500 gathered this week for the 14th annual Marine Corps Association & Foundation C4 Awards Dinner, in Arlington, Va.
Gen. Robert B. Neller reflected on the Corps' communication needs when he arrived at his first unit in the mid-1970s – when a rifle company carried radios, field phones and slash wire.
Now, the "C4" community encompasses Command, Control, Communications and Computers. Those troops now must think about networks, cyber-security threats, satellite, data, video and detecting the enemy, all while moving efficiently around the battlespace and the globe.
And that, Neller said, is the future.
"We've got to be able to find them and hide ourselves," he said. And more change is coming.
Neller noted how over the past 15 or more years much of the work has been against an enemy that is technologically unsophisticated and didn't require Marines to move the way previous adversaries might have.
"We haven't maneuvered for 15 years, we've been living on FOBs," Neller said, referring to forward operating bases.
The annual event took time to recognize Marines and civilians who have excelled within the C4 community.
The following unit and individuals received the Pfc. Herbert A. Littleton awards, by rank:
- Cpl. Jonathan Hanson for Non-Commissioned Officer Electronic Maintenance Excellence.
- Staff Sgt. Brandon W. Grzyb for Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Electronic Maintenance Excellence.
- Sgt. Zachary White for Non-Commissioned Officer Operational Communications Excellence.
- GySgt. Dustin Ramirez for Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Operational Communications Excellence.
- Capt. Richard G. Sykes for Outstanding Communications Leadership.
Michael Yearsley won the James Hamilton Information Technology Management Civilian Marine of the Year Award.
The Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force, Crisis Response, Central Command 16.2 Command Element S-6 won the Lt. Col. Kevin Shea Memorial Unit Award for most outstanding contributions to the Marine Corps C4 field.
To read more on the individual awards, visit the Marine Corps Association & Foundation website:
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.