MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- A Marine with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., was awarded the Enlisted Aircrewman of the Year Award for 2014.
The Enlisted Aircrewman of the Year Award was established in honor of Master Gunnery Sgt. Danny L. Radish, who served in Marine aviation with distinction and heroism for over 23 years, for the most outstanding contribution by a Marine enlisted aircrewman.
Sgt. Nathaniel Lubinus, a helicopter crew chief with HMH-366 exemplified those attributes and thus was presented the prestigious award.
As an aircrew member, Lubinus’ daily tasks include preparing aircraft, briefing Marines and completing post maintenance on aircraft after flights.
“I ensure the integrity of the aircraft,” said Lubinus, a native of Ames, Iowa. “I ensure all gear and equipment in the cabin is secure before flights, so when the pilots come out all they have to do is look at a couple of things and fly.”
As a sergeant of Marines, Lubinus guides his Marines and ensures assigned tasks are completed.
“I am a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps,” said Lubinus. “I run the night crew, which is about 20 Marines and I make sure my Marines are getting trained to the proper standard.”
Lubinus is humbled that his command nominated him for the award.
“I never thought I would win an award of this caliber,” said Lubinus. “It’s hard to compare myself to a Marine like Master [Gunnery] Sgt. Danny Radish.”
On more than one occasion, Lubinus has proven to be an exemplary aircrewmen.
While deployed to Afghanistan during combat operations, Lubinus identified a deficiency with an aircraft, immediately notified the Quality Assurance Division and prevented a catastrophic loss of the main rotor system and personnel scheduled to be on the flight, according to an interview with The Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Safety Magazine.
“An award of this caliber is significant because it honors a Marine that is mission oriented, and would risk life and limb to accomplish the mission at hand,” said Staff Sgt. James Rankin II, the flight line division chief with HMH-366. “As a member of an aircrew you must be committed to mission accomplishment. Everything we do as aircrewmen, whether it is training junior aircrewmen or preparing for a high risk combat mission revolves around mission accomplishment.”
Sgt. Lubinus is valued at HMH-366 because of his superior work ethic and his dedication to not one but all tasks that are assigned to him.
“Sgt. Lubinus’ character and actions contribute to the overall mission readiness of the squadron, because he pushes all the Marines of the same grade or lesser to better themselves in everything that they do,” said Rankin, a native of Washington, Pennsylvania. “Failure is not an option for him or anyone under his charge; he leads from the front, and is quite possibly the best crew chief that I have ever worked with.”