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Marine recognized for intel contributions

18 Sep 2009 | Cpl. Shawn Coolman

Few would dispute that intelligence on the battlefield saves lives. 

   The Marine Corps Intelligence Association honored six Marines and civilian intelligence specialists, Sept. 18, for their accomplishments, during an annual achievement awards ceremony held at the Officer’s Club aboard the air station.

   Among the Marines awarded was Sgt. Paul E. Savage, an intelligence specialist with Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division.

   Savage, 29, received the Sgt. Charles Arndt Intelligence Non-commissioned Officer of the Year award, presented by the MCIA, beating out seven other Marine nominees.

   “All seven nominees had extremely strong packages and were all deserving of the award, but Sgt. Savage was the decided winner.  He blew everyone else away,” said James Biggs, Intelligence Coordination Cell Collections Officer with MCIA.

   Savage, from Boston, was nominated for the work he did with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, while deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, and following briefs he gave upon his return to Camp Pendleton, Calif. 

   “I provided life-saving information to the 2nd Bn., 7th Marines battalion commander, and small-unit leadership, with combat reports about the enemy situation,” said Savage, who has deployed three times in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

   Savage was able to translate and disseminate critical information so that the Marines conducting missions were fully prepared.

   “Savage was the senior analyst for 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment in Afghanistan, with a huge area of operations. He was my central node for all intelligence analysis,” said Capt. William V. Osborne, 31, who was the intelligence officer with 2nd Bn., 7th Marines while deployed to Afghanistan. “All the information that came to Sgt. Savage, he turned into clear and concise reports giving a clear picture of the entire area of operations prior to Marines going there.”

   Upon his return, Savage continued providing life-saving intelligence, with briefs to the higher echelon of Marine Corps leadership.

   “When I got back from Afghanistan I went back to the 1st Marine Division, and I was one of the few intelligence guys who had that type of intelligence information on Afghanistan,” said Savage. “I had to give a lot of briefs to the commanding general and staff members on the conditions in Afghanistan.”

   For his unwavering efforts providing critical information to troops on the ground, former President George W. Bush called him and ten other Marines with 2nd Bn., 7th Marines individually, on Thanksgiving Day, 2008, to congratulate them for their work.

   “The fact you receive an award by the peers in your field makes me feel very good,” said Savage. “The work I did, didn’t go unnoticed and I am very thankful.  It’s a great honor.”