CAMP KINSER, OKINAWA, Japan -- CAMP KINSER, OKINAWA, Japan - “Everyone has a different reason for joining the Marine Corps,” said Cpl. Nelfi Tineoferreiras, an inventory management specialist with Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 35 (CLR-35), 3rd Marine Logistics Group (3rd MLG). “You have to stay focused on that reason, and let it motivate you. That’s how you stay successful.”
Tineoferreiras was recognized as the Marine Corps Association and Foundation's 2017 Marine of the Year Jan. 12, 2018 during a dinner hosted at the Butler Officer's Club, Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan.
“When you work hard, it always feels good to know that someone is paying attention,” Tineoferreiras said.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Tineoferreiras earned her citizenship during Marine Corps boot camp in 2016 and has since worked hard for every accomplishment she has achieved.
“I have two brothers,” said Tineoferreiras. “One is in jail; neither graduated high school. I didn’t want to follow that path. I wanted to pave a way for myself and to be an example.”
As the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the Receiving Section, Headquarters Co., CLR-35, Tineoferreiras verifies and routes over 659,000 items every year for distribution to all units within III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“Being entrusted with the job of handling so many important items that are essential to the MEF is a great honor to me,” said Tineoferreiras, the 22-year-old who has been on the job for fewer than two years. “When I first started the job, I wasn’t very good at it.”
Tineoferreiras said she was determined to improve, so she asked a lot of questions and paid attention to how the Marines in her chain of command managed the day-to-day tasks of running the Receiving Section.
“Studying the job was an important step in becoming successful,” Tineoferreiras said. “I knew that if I wanted to excel, I had to put in the time to learn how to do every part of my job to the best of my ability.”
Tineoferreiras studied the ins and outs of her job to build her technical proficiency, while simultaneously completing two college courses, adding to the five that she completed before enlisting.
Tineoferreiras was meritoriously promoted to corporal Dec. 2, 2017 for her demonstration of maturity, initiative, and unmatched technical proficiency, according to her award citation. She attributes her success to having great leaders who guided her development as a corporal of Marines.
According to Sgt. Edmanuel Williams, acting noncommissioned officer in charge of Storage Supply Company, CLR-35, 3rd MLG, Tineoferreiras is an awesome Marine, an even better human being, and she deserves every promotion and award that comes her way.
“It’s hard to describe her,” Williams said. “I could never sum up a Marine of her caliber in just a few words. I need paragraphs for her. I need pages and pages to write about her. She’s incredible.”
Williams said Tineoferreiras is a great leader and has successfully managed large areas of responsibility for a long time.
“She’s the best of both worlds,” Williams said. “She’s humble, she’s caring. But she’s not afraid to be fierce. She’s got that Devil Dog blood. You can see it pumping through her veins. She’s been taking charge of her section ever since she was a private first class.”
Tineoferreiras’ dedication has caught the eyes of many inside and outside of the organization. Prior to becoming the MCA&F’s Marine of the Year, 3rd MLG named Tineoferreiras its Marine of the Year. She is currently in the running to become the III Marine Expeditionary Force Marine of the Year 2017. Tineoferreiras said her main focus is not the awards and accolades, but her Marines.
“I know that when I was new to this unit, I had leaders who I would respect and look up to,” she said. “My goal is to be the one to set that example now.”