CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan – U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Estee M. FortunatoFranco was recognized as the Marine Corps’ Fiscal Year 2023 Equal Opportunity Advisor of the Year by the selection board annually convened to review nominations.
Marine Administrative Message 409/23 announced that FortunatoFranco was selected based on her “outstanding performance” and for demonstrating a “consistently high level of performance” while serving as the EOA for III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group located on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. FortunatoFranco is the first EOA of the Year selected from Okinawa in five years.
“I’m proud of my accomplishments,” FortunatoFranco said. “I think it means more to me that my command felt I deserved recognition, even though I’ve only been the EOA for a short time.”
FortunatoFranco was appointed as III MIG’s EOA in December 2022. Since then, her focus has been on open communication and education within III MIG’s subordinate units.
As the EOA, FortunatoFranco advises Marines on prohibited activities and conduct relating to equal opportunity and readiness. Informing and mitigating these activities helps maintain order within a unit, and ensures Marines are treated with mutual respect and judged on their merits fairly.
Her ability to handle situations that other EOA’s may have had difficulty with was noted by her commanders and other Marines within her occupational field.
“I nicknamed her ‘The Hack,’” said U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Korey Phillips, FortunatoFranco’s advisor during her first few months as an EOA. “She would ‘hack’ into human systems and get incredible results like a computer programmer. Her ingenuity impacted the III MEF and III MIG by closing several cases and increasing positive command climates because of her efforts in prevention.”
After 21 years of service, FortunatoFranco draws from both good and bad examples of leadership and applies it to her job.
“My goal is having a new generation of Marines that are able to discuss their differences in a healthy way,” FortunatoFranco said. “It’s when we’re not able to communicate that these issues arise. General [John A.] Lejeune was our commandant 100 years ago and he told us this is how we treat our people. This is not new; we’re just calling it something different now. It’s important that Marines are in a healthy environment.”
FortunatoFranco will be presented her award during the FY23 Equal Opportunity Advisors Symposium on Aug. 23, 2023 at Quantico, Virginia.
|Date Posted:||08.22.2023 19:58|
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