Marine Corps Base Hawaii --
U.S. Marine Capt. Kenneth LaLonde joined the Marine Corps as a motor transportation operator in 2009 with the intention of becoming an officer. As a reservist, he attended California State University San Marcos, received a degree in Political Science and commissioned in 2013. LaLonde had originally planned on going back to motor transportation, but decided to work in logistics.
“I’m very organized,” said LaLonde, the 1st Battalion, 3d Marine Regiment logistics officer. “I like making things happen. It’s always how I’ve been, it’s my character.”
Joining the Marine Corps has not only enhanced his organized character, but it’s been recognized through his work and dedication. LaLonde was named the 2017 III Marine Expeditionary Force Logistician of the Year and nominated to be the 2017 Marine Corps Logistician of the Year.
“It was all based on his performance,” said Maj. Brian Huysman, the executive officer of 1/3. “I really think through sheer willpower, work and diligence, he made great things happen.”
Upon his arrival to 1/3, LaLonde spent his first year and a half as the maintenance manager officer. He became the assistant logistics officer and within the first few weeks of his new position, the battalion logistics officer was injured and he found himself needing to quickly fill bigger boots.
“We were throwing a lot at him,” said Huysman, a Delphos, Ohio native. “He was organizing, leading, tasking efficiently, getting out in front of problems and working his tail off.”
Upon accepting his new role, LaLonde hit the ground running. From Exercise Bougainville II at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, to Integrated Training Exercise 2-17 on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, to Okinawa, Japan under the Unit Deployment Program, LaLonde and his team successfully accomplished any mission at hand.
“He was always thinking ahead,” Huysman said. “We never lost tempo. The biggest thing you can ask of [logistics] is to gain and maintain tempo.”
With the responsibility of supplying water, food, fuel, ammunition, and overseeing movements for several units, LaLonde and his team had to plan accordingly for all of those moving parts. He said, oftentimes, requests would come in last minute and without complaint, they would find themselves ordering food to the office and pushing through long nights to see the mission get accomplished.
“It was a team, a family,” said LaLonde, a San Diego, California native. “We’d get it done one way or another.”
The Marine Corps Logistician of the Year award is still pending its announcement, but as the III MEF Logistician, LaLonde credits his success to the Marines.
“It was all [the Marines],” LaLonde said. “They’re the most deserving. They’re all great guys, and I would do anything for them.”