LEWISTON – Capt. Marcel D. Fortier, formerly of Lewiston and an incoming commander, enlisted in the Air Force in 1986 as a telecommunications systems technician, where he served tours of duty in England, Japan, Panama and Texas. In 1992, he enlisted in the Army as a field artillery meteorologist. He earned the rank of staff sergeant prior to attending OCS and was commissioned in 1996 as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

A graduate of St. Leo University with a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, he is currently assigned to the First Battalion, 41st Field Artillery at Fort Stewart, Ga., as the battalion signal officer. Fortier graduated from Lewiston High School in 1986.

Fortier took command of HHC 327th Signal Battalion (Airborne) in May 2002. While in command, Fortier also served as a task force commander during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with the numeral 2, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with the numeral 2, Air Force NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Training Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Air Force Overseas Ribbon (long tour), Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Army Parachutist Badge and German Parachutist Badge.

Fortier and his wife, Diane, have four daughters, Meghan, Alicia, Emily and Sarah.

Sailor earns medal, receives promotion

LEWISTON – Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael A. Beeler Jr., whose wife, Christine, is the daughter of Ruth and Roy Spinner of Lewiston, recently received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and was promoted to the rank of Navy petty officer first class while assigned to 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

While serving as a religious program specialist, Beeler provided crucial physical security for his command’s chaplain under hazardous conditions in one of the least controlled areas of Kosovo.

His efforts were instrumental to the success of operational ministry during Operation Dynamic Response. His martial arts expertise directly contributed to the successful completion of several Marine Corps martial arts classes, resulting in 76 Marines and sailors earning martial arts belts.

He also recruited eight enlisted Marine volunteers to compliment an undermanned ship’s company library staff, resulting in the facility being opened for training and education for 16 hours a day while under way.

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