MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The Alfred M. Gray trophy was established by the Commandant of the Marine Corps in July 2000, named in honor of Gen. Gray, the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Every year, the award goes to a Marine Corps captain for outstanding contributions to the Marine Corps communications mission.
This year, the coveted trophy was awarded to Capt. Thomas J. Cleaver, operations officer for 8th Communications Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
He was nominated for his exemplary performance as operations officer for the Marine Air Ground Task Force Communications Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, II MEF (Forward), while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, June 2007 to February 2008.
Cleaver was nominated while deployed to Iraq but received the trophy during the Marine Corps Association’s annual Command, Control, Communications and Computers Awards Dinner in Arlington, Va., May 14.
“It was a great honor to be recognized and to be associated with this prestigious award,” Cleaver said.
Maj. Matthew Winkelbauer, the MAGTF Communications Detachment commanding officer, recommended Cleaver for the trophy.
“Captain Cleaver’s brilliant performance during his combat tour under my command has had far reaching impacts across the entire communications architecture in support of Mult inational Forces – West’s area of operations,” Winkelbauer wrote in his recommendation letter.
Winkelbauer went on to explain that Cleaver was key to the success of the detachment in the largest and most complex communication architecture in Marine Corps history.
Cleaver, with the help of his Marines, accomplished countless communications missions in Iraq, including commanding all networks, installing commercial microwave towers aboard Camp Fallujah and Camp Ramadi and developing the communication requirements for the Al Anbar Provincial Government Center.
Cleaver remained humble, showing gratitude to those who had a part in his nomination.
Cleaver said he was extremely appreciative for the diligence of the Marines that worked under him. Cleaver also expressed gratitude for Winkelbauer and the communications section at MNF-W for the award nomination.