Motor transportation is one of the largest occupations in the Marine Corps and is arguably one of the most important roles in any battle space.

The Marines who operate those vehicles – moving Marines and materiel forward – are a proud group of dedicated professionals.

The Marine Corps Motor Transport Awards Program (MTAP) annually selects a single Marine who best exemplifies and honors the motor transportation community.

The 2019 Marine Corps MTAP Motor Transport Operator of the year is Cpl. Collin Kerkhoff from Combat Logistics Battalion 2, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

“When I was asked to nominate a Marine, the answer was easy. I chose the Marine with the best work ethic, that was always going to do the right thing no matter who was around,” said Staff Sgt. Luis Aguilar, a platoon sergeant with 3rd Platoon, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, Combat Logistic Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

The Morgan native has been in the Marine Corps just under three years and was recently meritoriously promoted to corporal.

“[This award] proves that if your leadership cares and is motivated, it will rub off. I love my leaders, I know they work hard for me so it’s easy to work hard for them,” said Kerkhoff.

In 2019, Kerkhoff served as the heavy lift section leader for his platoon, a position normally filled by a sergeant, while at integrated training exercise 5-19 and the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Wafighting Exercise.

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, is known for challenging and rough terrain. Kerkhoff managed to haul more than 750,000 pounds more than 200 accident-free miles, transporting approximately $4,000,000 worth of equipment.

“Cpl. Kerkhoff is incredibly proficient within his MOS, consistently demonstrating a drive and desire to become better all-around,” said Lt. Col. Scott Clippinger, the battalion commander of CLB-2. “What is most impressive is his ability to lead through force of personality and influence. It’s in this sense that Cpl. Kerkhoff has truly distinguished himself from peers – through a dedicated, humble desire to learn, he has set the bar for motor transport operators.”

Cpl. Kerkhoff is the son of Barb and Keith Kerkhoff of Morgan. 

- Photo courtesy of the United States Marine Corps