CAMP LEJEUNE, NC: The Gold Disk Award program began in 1996 and recognizes the Marine or sailor who contributed the most by either the development of a home-grown test routine or by cost savings from component level repair. When the award first began the winner received $500 and today the prize is currently set at $2,000. The last time a Marine won the award was in June of 2012, at Camp Pendleton, California.
Micanko’s award was based on his cost savings during the month of April 2015. Instead of the Marine Corps spending more than $100,000, Micanko was able to repair the gear in a matter of months after discovering that multiple circuit cards had similar issues.
“I completed more than 41 repairs from January to March,” Micanko said. “Some of the equipment needed constant repairs, such as the circuit cards within, and I took the time over those few months finding common faults, such as blown capacitors or fuses and categorizing them so that we could distinguish which repairs were simple fixes.”
Though each circuit card took an average of one to two hours to fix, Micanko said the most time consuming aspect came afterward.
“Once the repairs are completed, we have to test the cards and ensure they are in an operable condition,” said Micanko. “The cards are then redistributed after testing.”
Micanko used another military occupational specialty to help explain how he was able to save the Marine Corps such a significant amount of money.
“When a Marine with motor transport fixes a transmission it takes a substantial amount of money to complete, but with a simple circuit card that costs anywhere from $600 to $6,000 to replace, I can repair it, as opposed to replacing it, for just pennies on the dollar,” Micanko said.
Though Micanko’s actions saved the Marine Corps well over $100,000, Brigadier General Robert F. Castellvi, the II Marine Expeditionary Force deputy commanding general, said the bigger accomplishment was his effect on II MEF’s warfighting capability.
“He enhanced our readiness and that is paramount to the top three priorities that the commanding general has for this MEF: Readiness, standards and core values,” Castellvi said.
In addition to the award, Micanko also received a letter of commendation.
P.H. Cullom, the deputy chief of naval operations said Micanko has set the example of how much the contribution of a determined and dedicated Marine can make to the overall readiness of the II MEF. His exceptional professionalism and superb technical skills are hereby recognized and rewarded with a $2,000 cash award.
Story by Cpl. Chelsea Toombs