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U.S. Marine Corps
Awards of the Silver Star

for 
Conspicuous Gallantry
in Action in the
Global War on Terrorism
(2001 - Present)

A-L     M-Z

 To All Who Shall See These Presents Greeting:
This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918
Has Awarded


THE SILVER STAR
TO

 

McCARVER, ABRAHAM
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Abraham McCarver, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Rifleman, Second Platoon, Company B, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II on 13 April 2004. During an attack on enemy forces, the amphibious assault vehicle in which Lance Corporal McCarver and his platoon were riding became disabled by enemy fire, forcing them to take cover in a nearby house. During their movement, Lance Corporal McCarver expertly provided cover fire for the rest of the Marines. Upon reaching the house, it was learned that his platoon commander was severely wounded and still in the burning vehicle. Disregarding his own safety, Lance Corporal McCarver ran through a hail of enemy fire and assisted his platoon sergeant with the rescue. Over the next hour, Lance Corporal McCarver assisted the corpsman in providing first aid, and constantly moved to various locations under fire. With his ammunition supply exhausted, Lance Corporal McCarver collected ammunition from various positions and continued the assault. When the quick reaction force arrived, he secured additional ammunition and provided cover for his Marines to recover the disabled amphibious assault vehicle. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal McCarver reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Memphis, Tennessee
Home Town: Memphis, Tennessee


*McCLENNEY, DANIEL B. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Daniel B. McClenney, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Rifleman, Kilo Company, Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 24 June 2004. Private First Class McClenney's fire team was part of an ongoing operation to locate and disarm enemy militia in the Konar Province of Afghanistan. While on patrol, Private First Class McClenney's fire team came under intense enemy fire from two different ambush positions. The ambush was intended to support a much larger attack, targeting Marines and other Coalition forces at Firebase Naray. The enemy would have dealt a detrimental blow to Coalition forces had Private First Class McClenney's fire team not reacted in a quick and decisive manner. Private First Class McClenney continued to engage the enemy despite being wounded on the initial burst of enemy fire. After his team leader was killed, he took over radio communications and gave constant situation reports to the firebases and quick reaction force for 30 minutes. Private First Class McClenney aggressively exchanged fire with the enemy while simultaneously requesting medical evacuation for his entire team. With a severe wound to the abdomen and a broken arm, Private First Class McClenney displayed an indomitable fighting spirit as he fought hand-to-hand, until he was mortally wounded. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Private First Class McClenney reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Shelbyville, Tennessee
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


McCORMICK, ARMAND E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Armand E. McCormick, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Rifleman, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 25 March 2003. Lance Corporal McCormick exhibited exceptional bravery when the lead elements of his battalion were ambushed with mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and automatic weapons fire. Under heavy fire, he fearlessly drove his lightly armored vehicle directly at an enemy machine gun position and purposely crashed it into an occupied trench line. With the initial breach of the enemy defense now gained for his unit, he sprang from the vehicle and began assaulting down the berm and ambush line with two Marines. Taking direct fire, and outnumbered, he pressed forward firing his M-9 pistol at enemy forces. Moving through the trench he repeatedly came under enemy fire, each time calmly taking well-aimed shots. As the group ran low on ammunition, he collected enemy rifles and a rocket propelled grenade and continued to press the attack forward several hundred meters. As a follow on company began to make their entrance into the berm, he returned to his vehicle and backed it out of the trench. Lance Corporal McCormick's courageous and boldly aggressive actions greatly reduced the enemy's ability to inflict casualties on the rest of his battalion. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal McCormick reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Home Town: Mount Pleasant, Iowa


*McKENNA, JOHN, IV (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to John McKenna, IV, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as 3d Platoon Commander, Company B, First Battalion, Twenty-Fifth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 5, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On 16 August 2006, Captain McKenna was leading 1st Squad on a foot patrol in Al Fallujah, Iraq. As the patrol neared a friendly observation post, it was suddenly ambushed by well concealed insurgents firing sniper rifles, automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades from buildings, rooftops and cars to the north, south and east. The point man at the front of the patrol was fatally wounded by the hail of enemy bullets and fell in the middle of the intersection where the fire was most heavily concentrated. Captain McKenna instantly rushed into action, directing the fires of his men and ordering them to employ smoke grenades to obscure the enemy's vision. Ignoring the imminent peril from the heavy incoming fire, Captain McKenna ran into the intersection in an effort to save his downed Marine. Completely exposed to the enemy fire, he calmly knelt next to the stricken Marine to assess his condition. As he began to drag the Marine to a covered position, Captain McKenna was hit by enemy fire and mortally wounded. Captain McKenna gallantly gave his life in an attempt to save one of his Marines. His actions inspired his men to drive the enemy from the battlefield, and served as a true example of the selfless bravery to which all Marine leaders aspire. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Captain McKenna reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Brooklyn, New York
Home Town: Clifton Park, New York
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


MENDOZA, MICHAEL A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Michael A. Mendoza, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with Company B, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On 7 April 2004, Sergeant Mendoza's platoon was patrolling in the Al Anbar Province when ambushed by the enemy in well-fortified positions. After a rocket-propelled grenade disabled his vehicle, Sergeant Mendoza organized and led five Marines in a charge across an open field, up a 10 foot berm, and across a deep and muddy canal to firing positions within hand grenade range of the enemy. The vigor of this first assault eliminated 10 insurgents, while forcing others to retreat. Observing that injured Marines were still under fire in the enemy zone, he continued the assault with complete disregard for his own personal safety. During this assault, his commander fell wounded at his side from an enemy combatant concealed in a nearby trench line who Sergeant Mendoza decisively engaged and neutralized. Unwilling to subject his comrades to further danger, he knelt in the open and signaled Marines to remain where they were while another attended to a wounded officer. Avoiding rocket and machine gun fire directed at him, Sergeant Mendoza held his position until an armored vehicle arrived to evacuate the wounded officer. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Sergeant Mendoza reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Tinley Park, Illinois


NAVARRETTE, JASON L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jason L. Navarrette, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, Combat Service Support Battalion, First Force Service Support Group, in support of Second Battalion, Second Marine Regiment, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Forces Central Command, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II on 9 April 2004. Enemy insurgents ambushed Staff Sergeant Navarrette's Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team in the town of Lutafiyah, Iraq. With automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades exploding around him, he left the safety of his armored vehicle to engage the enemy. Staff Sergeant Navarrette and his fellow Marines eliminated and severely wounded several insurgents, and the ferocity of their defense held the enemy at bay. Finding themselves greatly outnumbered, they fought their way to the rally point where they realized one vehicle team was pinned down and had been unable to egress from the ambush site. Once again exiting the relative safety of his armored vehicle, Staff Sergeant Navarrette attacked the enemy and was subsequently wounded in the left arm. Ignoring his bleeding and immobilized arm, he continued to engage the enemy until all personnel and vehicles were ready to move. With enemy fire focused on the unit from both sides, he again exited his armored vehicle to provide covering fire as the vehicles began to leave town. His actions inspired fellow Marines to continue to repel the enemy attack, ultimately leading to their safe withdrawal. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Staff Sergeant Navarrette reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


NIEDZIOCHA, CHRISTOPHER P.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Christopher P. Niedziocha, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Battalion Landing Team ONE SIX Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, First Battalion, Sixth Marines, Twenty-Second Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed with Commander, United States FIFTH Fleet on 8 June 2004. When his convoy came under heavy rocket and small arms fire in an enemy ambush near the village of Sandabuz, Afghanistan, First Lieutenant Niedziocha pushed his vehicles through the kill zone as far forward as possible to confront the enemy's main ambush site. With his vehicles caught in a crossfire, he led his Marines from the front by engaging enemy positions with devastating heavy machine gun and small arms fire. First Lieutenant Niedziocha aggressively engaged the enemy at a distance of less than 100 meters and negated the enemy's advantage of standoff and surprise. Seeking to regain the initiative, he led his Marines in a bold flanking maneuver, trapping some enemy forces who were later found and eliminated, causing others to break contact. He then led his Marines in pursuit of the fleeing enemy, neutralizing the remaining enemy forces with direct fire and close air support. By his bold leadership, wise judgment and complete dedication to duty, First Lieutenant Niedziocha reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Elizabeth, New Jersey
Home Town: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania


PARKS, THOMAS F., III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Thomas F. Parks, III, Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Battalion Infantry Weapons Officer, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 3 April 2003. When the Battalion's forward command element was engaged by enemy forces with intense small arms and rocket fire, Chief Warrant Officer Parks dismounted to direct the security operations. Exposing himself numerous times to enemy fire, he moved from position to position, encouraging Marines and directing the employment of their fires to neutralize enemy strong-points. During the fighting, Chief Warrant Officer Parks personally dispatched three enemy personnel, including a sniper. Amidst a hail of machine gun and sniper fire, Chief Warrant Officer Parks destroyed an enemy T-55 tank with an AT-4 rocket and proceeded under heavy small arms fire to direct the employment of an American tank. As a result of his orders, the tank was able to destroy several enemy bunkers and strong- points. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, ultimate courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Chief Warrant Officer Parks reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Dover, New Hampshire


PENNELL, TRAVER D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Traver D. Pennell, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Squad Leader, Company I, Third Battalion, First Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 14 and 15 November 2004. Sergeant Pennell displayed unyielding personal courage while leading his attacking squad through sustained high intensity urban combat in south Fallujah, Iraq. As an adjacent squad entered a house occupied by nine fanatical insurgents, the squad came under heavy enemy fire and sustained numerous casualties. Demonstrating great presence of mind, he unhesitatingly led his squad in an assault into the house to assist his fellow Marines. Locating a Marine shot in the face, Sergeant Pennell, under intense grenade and small arms fire, rescued the Marine and carried him to safety. He immediately called for assistance and courageously re-entered the house with another Marine. With bullets impacting all around them, Sergeant Pennell directed his Marines to lay down suppressive fire as he searched for the remaining wounded. Immediately, the enemy PKM machine gun fire struck Sergeant Pennell's comrade. Ignoring this intense machine gun fire, he proceeded to suppress the enemy with lethally accurate fire of his own, rescue his fellow Marine and carry him to safety. Sergeant Pennell's multiple attacks and accurate fire repeatedly drew the enemy's attention and allowed a supporting attack from an adjacent platoon to clear the house and rescue the remaining wounded. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Sergeant Pennell reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Smyrna, Tennessee


PILLSBURY, RICHARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Richard Pillsbury, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Platoon commander with Second Platoon, Company A, First Battalion, Eighth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 7, FIRST Marine Division, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 10 November to 10 December 2004. In Fallujah on 10 November, after successfully taking the eastern sector of the Mayor's complex and evacuating his Platoon Commander, Staff Sergeant Pillsbury found himself thrust into the role of Platoon Commander in what would turn out to be two weeks of intense house-to-house fighting. Leading with great skill, presence of mind, and calm effectiveness, he repeatedly directed his Marines and supporting arms in attacks on many buildings, under heavy enemy fires, and in direct, close combat. On one tragic occasion during a firefight, an errant 500-pound bomb landed 20 meters from his building. Although his platoon suffered three casualties, he calmly orchestrated the evacuation while continuing to fight. On 15 November, approximately 50 meters short of the limit of advance, one of his squads entered a house to clear it. As the squad came under intense small arms and machine gun fire, one of his Marines was killed. Realizing that he could easily lose his entire platoon piece by piece if they continued to enter the house, he utilized the tank main gun to destroy the house and insurgents. He then orchestrated a heroic entry into the house and was able to destroy remaining enemy fighters, and retrieve the body of the fallen Marine. Staff Sergeant Pillsbury's calmness in the face of impending hardship inspired absolute trust and loyalty from his platoon. By his courageous actions, zealous initiative, and total devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Pillsbury reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


PLACE, JOHN ETHAN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to John Ethan Place, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Team Leader, Scout Sniper Platoon, Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, Iraq, from March to April 2004 in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II. On 18 March 2004, while conducting a key leader ride-along, Corporal Place's convoy was attacked by two insurgents. He immediately located and destroyed their position, which enabled the convoy to proceed unharmed. On 26 March 2004, while conducting security patrols, Corporal Place encountered two more insurgents and neutralized their position. During these actions, Corporal Place instilled confidence in his Marines with his calm, collected demeanor under intense combat conditions. On 7 April 2004, Corporal Place coordinated with another company and engaged and eliminated enemy forces while under intense enemy fire. From 11 to 24 April 2004, Corporal Place's keen observation skills ensured his supported rifle company maintained a lethal, long-range response to enemy attacks. On 26 April 2004, an enemy force attacked a company patrol 400 meters away from friendly lines. Corporal Place disregarded his own safety and left the cover of his defensive position to close with and destroy the enemy. By his steadfast initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional dedication to duty, Corporal Place reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: St. Louis, Missouri


*POKORNEY, FREDERICK E., JR. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Frederick E. Pokorney, Jr., First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Artillery Forward Observer, Company C, First Battalion, Second Marines, Task Force TARAWA, I Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 23 March 2003. During the battle of An Nasiriyah, Iraq, First Lieutenant Pokorney expertly directed artillery fire to destroy heavily fortified enemy positions that engaged the Company with accurate direct and indirect fire. He continuously displayed courage under fire during the engagement through rapid decision-making and confident actions. First Lieutenant Pokorney's superb coordination of three artillery missions resulted in the destruction of multiple high pay-off targets, to include enemy machine gun positions that were raking his company's position. Under the heaviest enemy fire of the day, First Lieutenant Pokorney exposed himself to devastating fire while crossing several hundred meters in order to meet with the Fire Support Team Leader. After updating the Fire Support Team Leader on the status of fire missions and additional enemy targets, a volley of enemy bullets, and enemy rocket-propelled grenades hit behind his position, mortally wounding First Lieutenant Pokorney. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, First Lieutenant Pokorney reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Jacksonville, North Carolina
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


POPADITCH, NICHOLAS A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Nicholas A. Popaditch, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Tank Platoon Sergeant, First Platoon, Company C, First Tank Battalion, Second Battalion, First Marine Regiment, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 6 to 7 April 2004. While on patrol in the city of Al Fallujah, Iraq, Fox Company came under heavy enemy fire and without hesitation, Gunnery Sergeant Popaditch surged his two tanks into the city to support the Marines under fire. He led his tank section several blocks into the city, drawing enemy fire away from the beleaguered Marines. His decisive actions enabled Fox Company to gain a foothold into the city and evacuate a critically wounded Marine. For several hours, enemy forces engaged his tank section with withering rocket-propelled grenade fire until they were destroyed by accurate machine gun fire. Acting as the forward observer for an AC-130 gunship, Gunnery Sergeant Popaditch directed fire onto enemy targets effecting their annihilation. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he moved his tank forward to draw the enemy from their covered and concealed positions allowing the AC-130 to engage them. On the morning of 7 April, Gunnery Sergeant Popaditch was severely wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade blast while fighting insurgents. Blinded and deafened by the blast, he remained calm and ordered his crew to a medical evacuation site. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Popaditch reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Hammond, Indiana
Home Town: Hammond, Indiana
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


*RAPICAULT, PATRICK MARC (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Patrick Marc Rapicault, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Company Commander, Weapons Company, Second Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, from 24 September to 15 November 2004. Captain Rapicault courageously led his Marines on the streets of Ar Ramadi, Iraq through 50 firefights and 27 improvised explosive device ambushes. Always leading from the front, he directed the fire and maneuver of his company with complete disregard for his own personal safety. Despite being the first Marine in the Battalion wounded and his company suffering the heaviest casualties during daily street fighting, Captain Rapicault always displayed an infectious enthusiasm that motivated every Marine to fight hard and recover quickly from battle. On every mission, Captain Rapicault's intuitive and calm combat leadership ensured success on the battlefield, with limited damage to vehicles and friendly casualties. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom. Captain Rapicault's bold leadership, courageous actions, and complete dedication to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: March 27, 1970 at France Home Town: St. Augustine, Florida
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


*REYNOSO, YADIR G. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Yadir G. Reynoso, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as 3d Squad Leader, 81 millimeter Mortar Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, Eleventh Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 5 August 2004. Ordered to clear a 200-meter section of An Najaf cemetery, Sergeant Reynoso's squad engaged a reinforced platoon-sized enemy unit at ranges of 10 to 30 meters and was immediately pinned down by a heavy volume of rocket-propelled grenade and AK-47 fire. Sergeant Reynoso responded by throwing a fragmentation grenade that eliminated three insurgents. He then directed the fires of an AT-4 rocket team on a pocket of four insurgents, destroying their position and all personnel. While providing suppressive fire against the enemy to enable his squad to withdraw from its position and maneuver against the enemy, Sergeant Reynoso was mortally wounded. Sergeant Reynoso's bold leadership, wise judgment, and unyielding dedication to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Wapato, Washington
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


RUSSELL, DAVID T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to David T. Russell, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as First Platoon Commander, Weapons Company, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, Second Brigade Combat Team, SECOND Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 3 May 2005. While Lieutenant Russell led his platoon in the operation of an entry control point in the city of Ramadi, 13 insurgents assaulted his position with small arms, machine guns, and grenades. Realizing the gravity of the attack, he ran to assess the situation from the second deck. First Lieutenant Russell quickly identified an insurgent with a machine gun hiding behind a barrier and killed him with one shot. When he discovered that a Marine isolated in a bunker needed ammunition, he raced to supply him by crossing 75 meters of open area while under fire from at least six insurgents. First Lieutenant Russell purposefully subjected himself to enemy fire to allow one Marine to maneuver and other Marines to destroy the insurgents. He was then knocked to the ground when an enemy round struck his helmet. Suffering from a concussion and bleeding profusely from wounds to his face and arms, First Lieutenant Russell rushed back to direct the fight and establish accountability. Finding two men missing, he rushed across the open area to retrieve a wounded Iraqi soldier. Despite explosions from more than twelve enemy grenades and a stream of machine gun and small arms fire, he moved across the kill zone to personally direct the battle and kill the enemy. Only after being ordered to accept treatment did he submit. First Lieutenant Russell's bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Georgetown, Texas
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


SAGREDO, ISMAEL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Ismael Sagredo, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Platoon Sergeant, Second Platoon, Company B, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II on 13 April 2004. Staff Sergeant Sagredo realized the dire nature of the situation when, during an attack on the enemy, elements of the Second Platoon became isolated deep within enemy territory and were forced to abandon their burning Amtrak. He then led his Marines to a nearby house. As his fellow Marines provided cover, he exposed himself to fire as he returned to the burning vehicle to evacuate his platoon commander to safety. Despite continuous rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire, Staff Sergeant Sagredo moved from position to position to establish radio contact with the quick reaction force. His leadership and calm demeanor under fire reassured the Marines and inspired them as they ran low on ammunition. His perseverance was instrumental in gaining radio contact and directing the quick reaction force to his position. Once the reaction force arrived, Staff Sergeant Sagredo moved with complete disregard for his own safety until his platoon commander was evacuated, the Amtrak recovered, and all forces moved to safe positions. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and loyal devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Sagredo reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps an the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Lansing, Michigan


SANTOS, DANNY S.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Danny S. Santos, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Squad Leader, Third Squad, Third Platoon, Kilo Company, Third Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 7, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II on 17 April 2004. Lance Corporal Santos performed heroically during Third Battalion's attack against militia forces when the lead element of Kilo Company came under intense automatic weapon and rocket-propelled grenade fire from multiple enemy strong points arrayed in two-story houses. Despite sustaining serious wounds to his shoulder and stomach, Lance Corporal Santos led his squad against the enemy in order to destroy their fortified positions. As the squad's point man lay wounded in the street, Lance Corporal Santos disregarded his own safety, exposed himself to enemy crossfire and destroyed an enemy position using an AT-4. Under the suppressive fires of his assault man, he dashed into enemy fire and dragged the wounded point man back to the safety of a covered position. Despite his wounds, he remained calm throughout the engagement, consolidated his squad into a defensive position and triaged the wounded. Refusing medical attention until his men were properly treated, he continued to check his squad's position, and engaged the enemy in adjacent buildings and streets. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Santos reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Los Angeles, California
Home Town: Los Angeles, California
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


SCHAUBLE, JASON P.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jason P. Schauble, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Platoon Commander, Fourth Platoon, Second Force Reconnaissance Company, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II on 3 January 2005. While conducting a limited-scale raid on a High Value Target deep inside insurgent-controlled territory, Captain Schauble's assault element came under intense fire from small arms and hand grenades. As they entered and attempted to gain a foothold in the farmhouse, on Marine was killed. Losing their initiative, the assault element pulled back to the first room, set up a barricade, and attempted to reorganize for a second assault. Learning a Marine was killed and the assault had stalled, Captain Schauble moved forward to the barricaded position. He immediately assessed the situation and determined the Marines were in danger. With no regard for his personal safety, he threw a flash bang and entered the darkened, second room. Moving to the far wall, he engaged multiple insurgents and attempted to recover the dead Marine. The insurgents focused on Captain Schauble and engaged him at a distance of less than six feet. Moving deeper into the room, he killed two insurgents before being seriously wounded himself. Despite his injuries, he continued to move, drawing the insurgents' fire and allowing his Marines to make entry and kill five insurgents. Though seriously wounded, he held his position until all insurgents were eliminated, risking his life to protect his Marines. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Captain Schauble reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Canton, Massachusetts
Home Town: Norwood, Massachusetts
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


SCHULLER, JEFFREY W., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jeffrey W. Schuller, Jr., Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Driver, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, SECOND Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 7 May 2005. While conducting a reinforcement mission, enemy forces ambushed Corporal Schuller's platoon using a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, rocket-propelled grenades, and automatic weapons. Instantly, eleven of sixteen Marines were killed or wounded and three of four vehicles severely damaged. Finding his vehicle gunner injured, Corporal Schuller manned the damaged turret and placed the M-240G machine gun into action. Under intense fire, he alternated his fires between enemy positions and suppressed the enemy for nearly 40 minutes, enabling his fellow Marines to evacuate casualties and retrieve sensitive gear. Holding his position, Corporal Schuller expended ordnance of every type aboard his vehicle. He then dismounted and carried his vehicle commander through enemy fire to the casualty collection vehicle and then returned to guide his wounded gunner to safety as well. At the casualty collection vehicle, Corporal Schuller redistributed ammunition and continued to attack enemy positions as he accounted for wounded Marines and sensitive gear. He then mounted the casualty vehicle and continued to engage the enemy from the passenger seat as it traveled through the city back to friendly lines. By his undaunted courage, personal initiative, and complete devotion to duty, Corporal Schuller reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Monroeville, Ohio


SIKES, ADAM R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Adam R. Sikes, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Platoon Sergeant, First Platoon, Company G, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, Regimental combat Team 5, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 12 April 2003. During the Battle of At Tarmiyah, Staff Sergeant Sikes' platoon was pinned down by heavy small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire in the opening moments of the fight. Without orders, Staff Sergeant Sikes quickly rallied two of his squads and set them into position to suppress the enemy and prepare them to counter attack. With the squads in position, Staff Sergeant Sikes charged alone across 70 meters of fire-swept ground to close on the first enemy strongpoint, which he cleared with a grenade and rifle fire. Moving to the roof of a three-story building that was exposed to enemy fire, Staff Sergeant Sikes skillfully adjusted 60-millimeter mortar rounds into nearby enemy positions. The rounds isolated the town from enemy reinforcement and decimated an enemy position in the nearby tree line. Upon learning that another squad had taken casualties, Staff Sergeant Sikes moved to their position. With wounded Marines in a small compound, cut off by the enemy, Staff Sergeant Sikes signaled an assault amphibian vehicle and directed their evacuation while under a hail of small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Staff Sergeant Sikes reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Aliso Viejo, California
Home Town: Aliso Viejo, California


SMITH, ERIC M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Eric M. Smith, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Squad Leader, Second Platoon, Company E, Second Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 6 April 2004. As part of the company's quick reaction force, Corporal Smith's platoon was ordered to move north and reinforce a squad which was under attack. En route, two high-mobility multipurpose-wheeled vehicles ere ambushed leaving the platoon commander critically wounded. Under heavy machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire, Corporal Smith assumed command of the platoon, and led them 50 meters across open ground to covered positions. He then ran back across the fire-swept field to evacuate his platoon commander and his weapons. Employing machine guns and the platoon's 7-tone truck, Corporal Smith coordinated and led a counterattack against the insurgent forces and freed the isolated squad. He coordinated with an Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle Platoon upon their arrival, facilitated the evacuation of casualties and devised the withdrawal plan for all units back to the command post. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and loyal dedication to duty, Corporal Smith reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Waxahachie, Texas


SMITH, JASON E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jason E. Smith, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Company Commander, Bravo Company, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II on 13 April 2004. Captain Smith led a rescue convoy through Al Fallujah to reach elements of Bravo Company that were surrounded by enemy forces and requiring support to evacuate casualties. Lacking accurate location information, Captain Smith used smoke from a burning amphibious assault vehicle to guide his convoy to the stranded platoon. When the rescue convoy slowed due to increased enemy fire, Captain Smith dismounted his vehicle, raced on foot to the front of the column, and led the convoy to the platoon. Disregarding his own personal safety and while exposed to enemy fire, Captain Smith returned fire and coordinated counter-attacks on enemy militia. As he reached the surrounded platoon, Captain Smith assessed the situation, organized a strong defensive perimeter around the platoon, and supervised the evacuation of casualties. Discovering remains of a deceased Marine inside a disabled vehicle, he ordered tanks to tow the vehicle back to the base camp. Captain Smith then coordinated the unit's withdrawal, traveling on foot at the rear of the column until all Marines crossed friendly lines. Captain Smith's calm demeanor and forceful character bolstered the fighting spirit of his Marines. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and dedication to duty, Captain Smith reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Baton Rouge, Louisiana


STAFFORD, EVAN L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Evan L. Stafford, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as a Radio Operator, 2d Platoon, Company B, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 7 April 2004. In Al Anbar Province, Iraq, Corporal Stafford's platoon was on a patrol when sixty insurgents ambushed them from well-fortified positions. When his team executed immediate action to flank the enemy machine gun positions, Corporal Stafford dismounted his vehicle and, while under enemy machine gun and small arms fire charged forward across a shallow canal and up a berm. After silencing the first enemy position, he was ordered to go back over the berm and support the withdrawal of another team. With disregard for his own safety, he assaulted over the berm under withering enemy fire for a second time, and single-handedly neutralized two insurgents at point-blank range. As he pushed forward, he came upon another insurgent preparing to throw a hand grenade, and immediately warned his two teammates to take cover. The enemy grenade exploded without causing injury to his Marines. Corporal Stafford continued to lead the assault, and destroyed the enemy emplacement. Corporal Stafford's personal heroism, indomitable spirit, and heroic devotion to duty were an inspiration to those with whom he served. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Corporal Stafford reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


STAGNER, JEREMY L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jeremy L. Stagner, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Casualty Evacuation Driver, Company L, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, 2d Brigade Combat Team, SECOND Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 1 November 2005. While he was cordoning an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), Corporal Stagner witnessed an explosion caused by a second IED that destroyed an Explosive Ordnance Disposal vehicle. Almost immediately, he saw a Marine emerge from the vehicle covered in flames, and obviously in extreme pain. Completely disoriented, the Marine attempted to put the flames out by flailing his arms wildly. As his attempts progressively failed, he began to run in circles, and cut sharply in different directions, trying to create enough wind force to extinguish the fire. Without hesitation, while he was under enemy small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire, Corporal Stagner grabbed a fire extinguisher, ran 40 meters over open terrain to the burning Marine, and extinguished the fire. Despite secondary explosions from hand grenades and C-4 in the vehicle, as well as continued exposure to enemy fire, he moved the Marine to the casualty evacuation vehicle. Corporal Stagner then located a corpsman and, exposing himself to the enemy a third time, provided suppressive fire to cover the corpsman's sprint to the casualty. His heroic actions were instrumental in preventing the loss of additional lives. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Corporal Stagner reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: St. Joseph, Missouri


STANN, BRIAN M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Brian M. Stann, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Second Mobile Assault Platoon Leader, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Second Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, SECOND Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 8 May to 14 May 2005. During Operation MATADOR, Second Lieutenant Stann led his reinforced platoon on an assault through a foreign fighter and Mujahedeen insurgent defense-in-depth to seize the Ramana Bridge north of Karabilah, Iraq. On three separate occasions, he traversed four kilometers of enemy occupied urban terrain in order to maintain his battle position. With each deliberate attack he controlled close air support and the direct fire systems of tanks and heavy machineguns destroying enemy positions along the route. At one point, the enemy massed on his platoon and fired over 30 rocket propelled grenades, machineguns, detonated two improvised explosive devices and attacked the unit with three suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive devices. Second Lieutenant Stann personally directed two casualty evacuations, three vehicle recovery operations and multiple close air support missions under enemy small arms, machinegun and mortar fire in his 360-degree fight. Inspired by his leadership and endurance, Second Lieutenant Stann's platoon held the battle position on the Euphrates River for six days protecting the Task Force flank and isolating foreign fighters and insurgents north of the river. Second Lieutenant Stann's zealous initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional presence of mind reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Scranton, Pennsylvania
Home Town: Scranton, Pennsylvania


*STOKES, SEAN A. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Sean A. Stokes, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Rifleman, 1st Platoon, Company L, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, from 9 November 2004 to 18 November 2004, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 03-05. Throughout nine days of high intensity urban combat in Fallujah, Corporal Stokes fought as his unit's point man, requiring him to repeatedly be the first man to engage enemy forces. On 9 and 11 November, Corporal Stokes led a four man element into a building held by armed enemy. As they entered the building, his element was engaged with automatic rifle fire from within. Fearless in the face of danger, Corporal Stokes pressed forward in the close confines of the building against the enemy fire and killed the insurgent before his fellow Marines could be injured. On 17 November, an enemy hand grenade exploded beneath Corporal Stokes as he cleared a small house, severely wounding him. Though dazed and wounded from the blast, and rather than attempting to save himself and exit the building, he chose to ensure the Marines around him were protected and began suppressing the enemy within the house with his rifle. The fire he provided allowed the rest of his team to reach a covered position outside the house, where they organized an assault and reentered the building, killing the enemy in a counterattack. Corporal Stokes fought through Fallujah with the resolve of closing on the enemy, while protecting the Marines around him at all costs. By his extraordinary heroism in the face of extreme danger, zealous initiative, and exceptional dedication to duty, Corporal Stokes reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Auburn, California
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


TARDIF, TIMOTHY C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Timothy C. Tardif, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Second Squad Leader, First Platoon, Company G, Second Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 12 April 2003. During the Battle of At Tarmiyah, Corporal Tardif and his squad reinforced First Platoon, which was pinned down in a violent enemy crossfire ambush. Immediately assessing the situation, Corporal Tardif directed Marines to return fire into enemy positions in a town. He identified the location of the enemy and determined the precise point to assault the enemy. Corporal Tardif charged across a road under intense small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire inspiring his Marines to follow his example. Engaged in an intense close-quarters battle, he received significant shrapnel wounds from an enemy grenade. Refusing to be evacuated and disregarding his wounds, Corporal Tardif gallantly led his squad in an assault on an enemy-held compound. After securing the compound, Corporal Tardif received an order to egress and he led his reinforced squad in a fighting withdrawal. After moving 150 meters, Corporal Tardif collapsed from his wounds, unable to continue fighting. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Corporal Tardif reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Huntington Beach, California
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


*TEJEDA, RIAYAN A. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Riayan A. Tejeda, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Platoon Sergeant, Second Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 5, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM from 21 March to 11 April 2003. During numerous encounters with the enemy while advancing to Baghdad, Staff Sergeant Tejeda aggressively and fearlessly led his Marines. On 3 April 2003, his Company came under intense small arms fire from entrenched Republican Guard positions outside the city of Al Azziaiyah. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Staff Sergeant Tejeda exposed himself to enemy fire and charged into the enemy fortifications, leading his Platoon's assault on enemy positions. He single- handedly cleared one position, killing two Republican Guard soldiers. He then led a fire team to destroy a second enemy position. On 11 April 2003, while conducting a foot mobile combat patrol in the Ur District of Baghdad, his Platoon was ambushed from multiple directions with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. Taking charge at the head of the formation, he inspired his Marines and directed them to positions to counter the enemy's attack. While bravely leading and fighting beside his Marines, he was stuck by enemy fire and mortally wounded. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Staff Sergeant Tejeda reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: New York, New York
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


VON KRAUS, BRIAN R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Brian R. Von Kraus, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Platoon Commander, First Platoon, Alpha Company, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II from 5 April to 1 August 2004. On 25 July 2004, while conducting clandestine Operation TROJAN HORSE, First Lieutenant Von Kraus' platoon was heavily engaged in a three-sided ambush by a numerically superior enemy force. With enemy 12.7 millimeter machine gun positions raking the long axis of the convoy and disabling vehicles, First Lieutenant Von Kraus displayed exceptional bravery as he dismounted his vehicle and entered the enemy kill zone to aid his three stricken Marines. Engaging the enemy, he heroically led three separate assaults on different enemy strong points, personally destroying insurgents with rifle fire and grenades. Under a fusillade of enemy fire, First Lieutenant Von Kraus rallied his Marines and led them in close quarters combat resulting in seven foreign fighters killed, two foreign fighters captured, and scores of enemy combatants wounded. His exemplary leadership and tenacious fighting spirit inspired all who observed his personal valor and turned the tide of battle in the face of a resolute and fanatical enemy. By his bold leadership, wise judgment and complete dedication to duty, First Lieutenant Von Kraus reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Boston, Massachusetts


WALDRON (MENDES), WYATT
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Wyatt Waldron (Mendes), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Section Leader, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon 1, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 8, SECOND Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 12 January to 31 July 2005. On 19 June 2005, outside Fallujah, Iraq, corporal Waldron's section was attacked by a 50-man coordinated Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and small arms fire ambush. He led his section into the oncoming machine gun fire, gained fire superiority, and ordered a dismounted attack on the flank of the enemy position. Corporal Waldron dismounted his vehicle and personally destroyed two enemy machine gun positions, killing three insurgents. He then killed two more armed insurgents attempting to reinforce an adjoining enemy position. Corporal Waldron's attack broke the enemy's resistance and they began to displace. He then re-mounted his vehicle and led his section in the pursuit of the fleeing enemy. During the pursuit, his platoon killed an additional sixteen insurgents, captured six, and found another six unexploded IEDs at the ambush site. Due to Corporal Waldron's heroism under enemy fire, his unit was able to seize the initiative and defeat a numerically superior enemy force without friendly casualties. Corporal Waldron's zealous initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional dedication to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Quartz Hill, California
Home Town: Quarts Hill, California


WEILER, ROBERT S.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Robert S. Weiler, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Commanding Officer, Weapons Company, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II from 6 to 10 April 2004. On 6 April, Captain Weiler led elements of Weapons Company against an enemy force that was attempting to isolate and destroy a squad-sized element of Echo Company. As the column moved east along Route Nova, they were ambushed by enemy forces. Despite the barrage of intense enemy fire, Captain Weiler calmly directed the tactical employment of the unit, leading to relief of the embattled squad and the destruction of the besieging enemy. On 7 April, he led the company on a mission to reinforce a unit in contact. As they moved northeast along Route Apple, the column encountered heavy rocket-propelled grenade and automatic weapons fire. During the ensuing three-hour firefight, he repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to direct the unit's counterattack, personally leading squads as they assaulted enemy firing positions. His courage and leadership were further displayed during Operation BUG HUNT. Heavily engaged by enemy forces over a four-hour period, Captain Weiler continued to fearlessly lead Marines as they destroyed a tenacious enemy. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Captain Weiler reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Woodbridge, Virginia


*WIMBERG, DAVID N. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to David N. Wimberg, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Squad Leader, Company L, Third Battalion, Twenty-Fifth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, SECOND Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, on 25 May 2005. During Operation New Market, while on patrol in the city of Hadithah, an enemy ambush pinned down Sergeant Wimberg and his Company's Command Element in the street. In an attempt to eliminate the source of the ambush, Sergeant Wimberg left his covered position, maneuvered through intense small arms fire, and scaled a wall in order to gain access to the courtyard where the source of fire was originating. Although twice driven back by high volumes of enemy fire, on his third attempt, he opened the gate and allowed his squad to enter. He then provided suppressive fire into insurgent positions in an adjacent house until his fire team was in position. After two failed attempts to breach the front door, and without regard for his own personal safety, Sergeant Wimberg kicked in the door and gained entry to the house. Finding himself face to face with four insurgents armed with AK-47 rifles, Sergeant Wimberg engaged the enemy at close quarters, firing his M-16A4 rifle until he was shot and fell to the ground unconscious. His heroic actions severely wounded one insurgent, stunned the other enemy fighters and created the momentum needed to break the ambush. Many Marines' lives were saved as a result of Sergeant Wimberg's decisive and selfless actions. By his zealous initiative, courage, and total devotion to duty, Sergeant Wimberg reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Louisville, Kentucky
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


WOULLARD, DENNIS, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Dennis Woullard, Jr., Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Radio Chief, First Section, Third Platoon, Company A, Fourth Assault Amphibian Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 2, SECOND Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) from 8 to 11 May 2005. On 8 May 2005, in Al Ubaydi, Iraq, Sergeant Woullard volunteered to assist an infantry squad conduct clearing operations during Operation MATADOR. After clearing several residences without incident, and during a breach of a front door, his team was immediately attacked with heavy machine gun and RPG fire from within. Every member of the team was wounded. Despite his wounds, Sergeant Woullard evacuated two Marines from the residence, and then joined in an assault to recover the remaining trapped Marine. Sergeant Woullard repeatedly exposed himself to heavy fire and assaulted into the house. He rescued the trapped Marine shielding him with his body as he carried him to an Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) where he administered first aid until en route to the battalion. On 11 May 2005, near the Syrian border, Sergeant Woullard's AAV was attacked with an improvised explosive device that killed or injured all 17 Marines on board. Although again wounded and disoriented from the explosion, Sergeant Woullard struggled to the rear of the vehicle and opened the personnel hatch. With complete disregard for his own safety and exposed to the intense heat and exploding ammunition, he repeatedly returned to the burning vehicle to evacuate the severely wounded Marines. By his superior leadership, unrelenting determination, and total dedication to duty, Sergeant Woullard reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Biloxi, Mississippi
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), 2@ Purple Hearts


*ZEMBIEC, DOUGLAS A. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Douglas A. Zembiec, Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Marine Advisor, Iraq Assistance Group, Multi-National Corps, Iraq, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 11 May 2007. Attacking from concealed and fortified positions, an enemy force engaged Major Zembiec's assault team, firing crew-served automatic weapons and various small arms. He boldly moved forward and immediately directed the bulk of his assault team to take cover. Under withering enemy fire, Major Zembiec remained in an exposed, but tactically critical, position in order to provide leadership and direct effective suppressive fire on the enemy combatant positions with his assault team's machine gun. In doing so, he received the brunt of the enemy's fire, was struck and succumbed to his wounds. Emboldened by his actions his team and supporting assault force aggressively engaged the enemy combatants. Major Zembiec's quick thinking and timely action to re-orient his team's machine gun enabled the remaining members of his unit to rapidly and accurately engage the primary source of the enemy's fire saving the lives of his comrades. By his bold initiative, undaunted courage, and complete dedication to duty, Major Zembiec reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart

 

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In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
.

Military Medals & Awards 

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  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

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How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
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