Archive for the ‘Men of Valor’ Category

Felipe Pereira Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Sergeant Felipe Pereira, United States Army, for distinguished service and heroism with Combined Task Force Strike on 1 November. 2010. Specialist Felipe Pereira’s actions in the face of adversity and a determined enemy are keeping with the finest traditions of military valor. His dedication and commitment to duty undoubtedly saved the lives of two of his fellow Soldiers, while his leadership and distinguished service were instrumental to his unit’s successful response to a lethal attack. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, the “Strike” Brigade Combat Team, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the United States Army. Specialist Felipe Pereira distinguished himself with heroism and exceptionally meritorious service on 1 November, 2010, while under heavy enemy fire as a team leader with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division Air Assault while service in Senjaray, Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Specialist Pereira and his squad were returning from a dismounted patrol in Senjaray, when a suicide motorcycle borne explosive device detonated in the middle of his squad as they attempted to enter their combat outpost. Two Soldiers were killed instantly, while four others were severely wounded including his squad leader and fellow team leader. Specialist Pereira sustained shrapnel wounds to his spleen, liver, and left lung. While Soldiers struggled to gain situational awareness, the enemy initiated a complex ambush, firing on the patrol from an estimated seven fighting positions with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. His lung beginning to collapse, he struggled to breathe. With little regard for his own safety or care, Specialist Pereira refused medical treatment and instead commandeered an all-terrain vehicle and moved back into heavy enemy fire to provide an evacuation platform for his wounded comrades. Specialist Pereira was able to move the vehicle within 20 meters of his fellow Soldiers; who were pinned down by enemy fire, but was unable to gain effective cover. Specialist Pereira immediately provided suppressive fires from the vehicle, allowing two of his fellow Soldiers to move two casualties to the vehicle. As bullets ricocheted off the vehicle and narrowly missed Specialist Pereira, he continued to provide fire direction for the remaining Soldiers on the ground. Specialist Pereira then quickly pulled the vehicle back into the entrance of the outpost, where medics were standing by to receive the casualties. Specialist Pereira helped move the casualties to care then moved back into enemy fire a second time to continue evacuating and directing his fellow Soldiers. Specialist Pereira is credited with saving the lives of two of his fellow Soldiers, while risking his own multiple occasions. Only after all of the wounded Soldiers had been evacuated and were receiving medical care, did he accept treatment himself. Specialist Pereira’s actions during the suicide attack in Senjaray, Zhari District, Afghanistan on Nov. 1, 2010, are what define heroes. He is truly a professional who understands his commitment to duty and his fellow Soldiers despite great odds and risk of life.


fpereiraPereira is both an American and Brazilian citizen.

Posted on November 1, 2010 at 09:59 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Matthew T. Abbate Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS posthumously to

SERGEANT

MATTHEW T. ABBATE

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant Matthew T. Abbate, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Scout Sniper Section Leader, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, SECOND Marine Division (Forward), II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 14 October 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While conducting a dismounted patrol through Sangin’s northern green zone and supporting the patrol as part of a Quick Reaction Force team, the insurgents opened fire from several well-prepared positions. Unknowingly ambushed in a minefield, the patrol members were moving into cover when two Marines and the Corpsman struck explosives in rapid succession. With the patrol leader incapacitated and three severe casualties, Sergeant Abbate took charge of the situation and, with total disregard for his own life, sprinted forward through the unswept minefield to draw fire and rally the dazed survivors. Exposed and personally suppressing the enemy, he directed the remaining squad member’s fires until they effectively suppressed the enemy and could render life-saving aid to the urgent casualties. After coordinating the medical evacuation, he then swept the landing zone for additional explosives before the patrol was again forced to take cover from enemy fire. Sergeant Abbate, knowing the casualties’ survival depended upon their rapid evacuation by helicopter, again rallied the patrol’s able men, and led a counter attack to clear enemy fighters from the landing zone and allow for the critically wounded men to be evacuated. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Sergeant Abbate reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


Home of record: Fresno, Calif…. Also served in Iraq… Killed in action on Dec. 26, 2010

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 20:23 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Christopher B. Farias Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to

SERGEANT

CHRISTOPHER B. FARIAS

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Sergeant Christopher B. Farias, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an Assistant Squad Leader with First Battalion, Eleventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 5 October 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. As Sergeant Farias’ squad and another squad were preparing to depart their patrol base on a night patrol in the hotly contested Kajaki region of Helmand Province, Taliban fighters unleashed an ambush of 73 millimeter recoilless rifle fire that inflicted at least seven Marine casualties, four requiring urgent medical attention. A heavy volume of small arms and machine gun fire then poured in on the Marines from three enemy positions. Despite suffering a concussion and neck and shoulder fragmentation wounds from the 73-mm. blasts, Sergeant Farias exposed himself to the unrelenting barrage of enemy fire, climbing onto the roof of the patrol base to engage the enemy with his rifle and grenade launcher and direct suppressive fire from two machine guns onto the enemy positions. His unhesitating actions allowed a reinforcing Marine squad to maneuver into the ambushed compound, clear the kill zone, and transport the friendly casualties to a landing zone 400 meters away. Refusing to seek treatment for his own wounds, Sergeant Farias steadfastly held his position on the roof providing protection for his fellow Marines until he and the last elements safely evacuated the patrol base. By his decisive actions, bold initiative, and complete dedication to duty, Sergeant Farias reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.


Home of record: LaPorte, Texas

Posted on October 5, 2010 at 19:57 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Craig D. Warfle Distinguished Service Cross citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Sergeant Craig David Warfle, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy from August 18 to 19, 2010 during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States as an Automatic Rifleman for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this period, Specialist Warfle, with total disregard for his own personal safety, maneuvered on a fortified enemy machine gun position through effective enemy fire. Even after being wounded, Specialist Warfle continued to suppress the enemy with high volumes of effective fire in order to allow his team members to pull his unconscious element leader to safety. Specialist Warfle refused to be medically evacuated from the fight and his actions allowed the Platoon to hastily withdraw and defeat the enemy utilizing air assets. Specialist Warfle’s distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Specialist Craig D. Warfle distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous achievement as a Ranger Squad Automatic Weapons Gunner on August 18, 2010 while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Specialist Warfle was assigned to a task force, whose mission was to capture or kill Al Qaeda (AQ) and Taliban (TB) Senior Leadership. Specialist Warfle’s valorous actions under effective fire while executing an objective saved the lives of his teammates and were instrumental in the death of at least 16 Taliban fighters, the removal of two Taliban Provincial Commanders, and the recovery of a large cache of weapons intended for use against Coalition Forces. On August 18, 2010, the team received special intelligence indicating that a Taliban Commander and weapons facilitator, was meeting near a tree line with at least 17 other Taliban fighters. Information gathered indicated that the enemy was orchestrating an ambush on Coalition Forces in Logar Province, Afghanistan. The team observed the fighters in position for the attack to include multiple spotters and runners used to communicate between the various fighting locations. The Battle Space Owner was notified of the imminent threat and diverted all convoys. When the enemy fighters aborted their attack they were observed walking in a military formation back towards a meeting site along a tree line. En route to that location the enemy fighters were positively identified to be carrying weapons. The team initiated a kinetic strike on the fighter’s location from two AH-64s. The team stood ready and boarded two CH-47 helicopters for insertion once the kinetic strike was complete. Immediately after the kinetic strike, the team inserted a Ranger Element onto the hot landing zone to the West of the target area to eliminate the several remaining enemy combatants. Ranger Element 1, consisting of Specialist Warfle and five others, were tasked with isolating the Northern side of the tree line and suppressing the enemy to allow Ranger Element 2 to assault from West to East. Upon infiltration the Ranger Assault Force received effective enemy fire in vicinity of the North-South running tree line where the AH-64s had just completed gun runs. As soon as Specialist Warfle stepped off the ramp he came under fire from multiple enemy positions and without hesitation returned fire and crawled 15 meters through the muddy field towards the enemy. From this position, Specialist Warfle suppressed the multiple enemy positions with 150 rounds from his MK-46 allowing Ranger Element 1 to move to the North and Ranger Element 2 to maneuver to the South. Under fire and with no cover in the open field, Specialist Warfle continued to suppress the enemy positions permitting members of the Assault Force to get down in the prone position while the leaders determined a way to assault the enemy positions. After a couple of minutes passed, Ranger Element 2 came under heavy effective fire from enemy crew served weapons. Realizing that Ranger Element 2 was effectively pinned down in the open field to the South, Specialist Warfle moved with Sergeant Lugo to the North to flank the enemy position from the North-West. Specialist Warfle, while under heavy effective enemy fire, advanced on the enemy position to suppress the enemy and allow the Assault Force to maneuver on and destroy the entrenched enemy. As Sergeant Lugo and Specialist Warfle voluntarily maneuvered towards the enemy positions they identified two entrenched enemy personnel with automatic weapons firing on the Assault Force. Specialist Warfle continued to advance on the entrenched enemy using suppressive fire alone to protect Sergeant Lugo and himself because there was no available cover in open terrain. When Sergeant Lugo and Specialist Warfle got within 25 meters of the enemy machine gun positions, Specialist Warfle and Sergeant Lugo were both hit with a volley of machine gun fire. Although Specialist Warfle knew he had been shot in the right shoulder he disregarded his own personal safety and moved through the kill zone to Sergeant Lugo’s side to protect his incapacitated Squad Leader. Specialist Warfle purposefully positioned himself in the line of enemy fire and immediately suppressed the enemy in order to defend Sergeant Lugo and provide covering fire for the platoon medic, Sergeant Solomon, to move to and treat Sergeant Lugo. Specialist Warfle fearlessly continued to provide accurate suppressive fire from his exposed position, allowing Staff Sergeant Myers and Sergeant Kochli the ability to move forward, suppress the enemy, and then subsequently evacuate Sergeant Lugo. Specialist Warfle continued to provide suppressive fire as Sergeant Solomon, Staff Sergeant Tucker, and Sergeant Kochli pulled Sergeant Lugo back to cover. Only after the casualty evacuation aircraft evacuated Sergeant Lugo, did Specialist Warfle treat the through and through gunshot wound to his right shoulder by applying a tourniquet to his right arm. Specialist Warfle then proceeded to engage the enemy position from a position between the enemy and the Platoon for over twenty minutes while the Assault Force reconsolidated and moved back away from the enemy positions. He steadfastly remained at his forward position delivering accurate fire on the enemy until all members of the Assault Force had moved across the open field to cover 100 meters to the West. Specialist Warfle bounded back to the West over the open field while the Assault Force provided suppressive fire. Specialist Warfle’s actions allowed the Assault Force to break contact, drop ordnance on the enemy positions, and safely move to the exfiltration hot landing zone. By repeatedly risking his life for others, Specialist Warfle’s purposeful gallant actions, selfless dedication to the safety of his teammates, and demonstrated extraordinary heroism were distinctive and exemplary. He is most deserving of the distinct recognition. Through his distinctive accomplishments, Specialist Warfle’s personal actions reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.


cwarfleHome of record: Stow, Ohio… Has served four tours in Afghanistan

Posted on August 18, 2010 at 11:27 by Chris Carter · Permalink · One Comment
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Clifford M. Wooldridge Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to

CORPORAL

CLIFFORD M. WOOLDRIDGE

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Corporal Clifford M. Wooldridge, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Vehicle Commander, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon White, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, FIRST Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 18 June 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. When their mounted patrol came under intense enemy fire, Corporal Wooldridge and his squad dismounted and maneuvered on the suspected enemy location. Spotting a group of fifteen enemy fighters preparing an ambush, Corporal Wooldridge led one of his fire teams across open ground to flank the enemy, killing or wounding at least eight and forcing the rest to scatter. As he held security alone to cover his fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall. Boldly rushing around the corner, he came face-to-face with two enemy fighters at close range, killing both of them with his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon. As he crouched back behind the wall to reload, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall. Without hesitation, he dropped his empty weapon and seized the machine gun barrel. He overwhelmed the enemy fighter in hand-to-hand combat, killing him with several blows to the head with the enemy’s own machine gun. His audacious and fearless actions thwarted the enemy attack on his platoon. By his bold and decisive leadership, undaunted courage under fire, and total dedication to duty, Corporal Wooldridge reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.


Home of record: Port Angeles, Wash.

Posted on June 18, 2010 at 19:36 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Barry F. Crawford, Jr. Air Force Cross citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, U.S.C., awarded the Air Force Cross to Captain Barry F. Crawford, Jr., for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as Special Tactics Officer near Laghman Province, Afghanistan, on 4 May 2010. On that date, while attached to Army Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha and their Afghan partner force, Captain Crawford conducted a helicopter assault into Hendor Village. Upon landing, Captain Crawford received reports that multiple groups of armed enemy were maneuvering into prepared fighting positions in the high ground around the village. As the assault force initiated clearance operations, they began to receive a high volume of accurate machine gun and sniper fire from an enemy force well over 100 fighters. As the assault force was attacked, Captain Crawford took decisive action to save the lives of three wounded Afghan soldiers and evacuate two Afghan soldiers killed in action. Recognizing that the wounded Afghan soldiers would die without evacuation to definitive care, Captain Crawford took decisive action and ran out into the open in an effort to guide the helicopter to the landing zone. Once the pilot had eyes on his position, Captain Crawford remained exposed, despite having one of his radio antennas shot off mere inches form his face, while he vectored in the aircraft. Acting without hesitation, Captain Crawford then bounded across open terrain, engaged enemy positions with his assault rifle and called in AH-64 strafe attacks to defeat the ambush allowing the aid-and-litter teams to move toward the casualties. While the casualties were being moved the team’s exposed position once again came under attack from two enemy trucks that had moved into the area and were threatening the medical evacuation landing zone. As one of the aid-and-litter teams was pinned down by enemy fire, and the medical evacuation helicopter took direct hits from small arms fire, it departed with only four casualties leaving one wounded Afghan soldier on the ground. Captain Crawford developed, coordinated, and executed a plan to suppress the enemy, enabling the helicopter to return to the hot landing zone to retrieve the last casualty. While Captain Crawford’s element exfiltrated the village, the assault force conducted a two kilometer movement over steep terrain with little to no cover. During this movement the ground force commander and Captain Crawford’s element were ambushed and pinned down in the open from multiple enemy fighting positions, some as close as 150 meters away. Without regard for his own life, Captain Crawford moved alone across open terrain in the kill zone to locate and engage enemy positions with his assault riffle while directing AH-64 30-mm. strafe attacks. Continuing to move the team further over 1.5 kilometers of steep terrain with minimal cover, Captain Crawford again engaged the enemy with his assault rifle while integrating AH-64s and F-15E’s in a coordinated air-to-ground attack plan that included strafing runs along with 500 and 2,0000-pound bomb and Hellfire missile strikes. Throughout the course of the ten hour firefight, Captain Crawford braved effective enemy fire and consciously placed himself at grave risk on four occasions while controlling over 33 aircraft and more than 40 airstrikes on a well-trained and well-prepared enemy force. His selfless actions and expert airpower employment neutralized a numerically superior enemy force and enabled friendly elements to exfiltrate the area without massive casualties. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Crawford has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


bcrawfordHome of record: Philadelphia… Crawford is now serving with the Maryland Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Squadron where he intends to become an A-10 Warthog pilot

Posted on May 4, 2010 at 10:39 by Chris Carter · Permalink · One Comment
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Robert Gutierrez, Jr. Air Force Cross citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Staff Sergeant Robert Gutierrez, Jr., United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States in Heart Province, Afghanistan, on 5 October 2009. On that date, while assigned as a combat controller to an Army Special Forces Detachment, Sergeant Gutierrez and his team conducted a high-risk nighttime raid to capture the number two Taliban leader in the region. During the initial assault, the team was attacked with a barrage of rifle and heavy machine-gun fire from a numerically superior and determined enemy force. Sergeant Gutierrez was shot in the chest, his team leader was shot in the leg, and the ten-man element was pinned down in a building with no escape route. In great pain and confronting the very real possibility that he would die, Sergeant Gutierrez seized the initiative and refused to relinquish his duties as joint terminal attack controller. Under intense fire, he engaged Taliban fighters with his M-4 rifle and brought airpower to bear, controlling three “danger close” A-10 strafing runs with exceptional precision against enemy forces just 30 feet away. After the first A-10 attack, the team medic performed a needle decompression to re-inflate Sergeant Gutierrez’s collapsed lung, allowing him to direct the next two strafe runs which decimated the enemy force and allowed the team to escape the kill zone without additional casualties. Throughout the four-hour battle, Sergeant Gutierrez’s valorous actions, at great risk to his own life, helped save the lives of his teammates and dealt a crushing blow to the regional Taliban network. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant Gutierrez reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


rguttierrezRetired as Technical Sergeant… Also awarded Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Valor device and three oak leaf clusters

Posted on October 5, 2009 at 16:53 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Ademola D. Fabayo Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to

FIRST LIEUTENANT

ADEMOLA D. FABAYO

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to First Lieutenant Ademola D. Fabayo, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. First Lieutenant Fabayo and other members of his team led two platoons of Afghan National Security Forces into Ganjgal Village for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders when the dismounted patrol was ambushed by roughly 50 enemy fighters in fortified positions. With four fellow team members cut off, he pushed forward on foot into the kill zone in an attempt to regain contact, effectively engaging the enemy at close range with his M-4 rifle. When a U.S. Army Advisor was severely wounded, he moved from a covered position under heavy fire to assist in his recovery, helping carry him across several hundred meters of fire-swept ground. He drove back into the kill zone with another U.S. Army Advisor in an unarmored truck, despite enemy rounds impacting the vehicle, in an attempt to reach the separated team members. After treating and evacuating several wounded Afghan Forces, he took the gunner’s position on a gun-truck with three other U.S. personnel as they again drove into the kill zone to recover the bodies of the four fallen team members, providing effective suppressive fires with the vehicle mounted machine guns. By his decisive actions, bold initiative, and complete dedication to duty, First Lieutenant Fabayo reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Born: Nigeria… Home of record: New York, N.Y.

Posted on September 8, 2009 at 20:05 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Richard S. Weinmaster Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS

RICHARD S. WEINMASTER

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Private First Class Richard S. Weinmaster, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Automatic Rifleman, 3d Platoon, Company E, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, Marine Corps Forces, Central Command (Forward), in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 8 July 2008. Private First Class Weinmaster’s squad was conducting a dismounted patrol down a narrow side street in the Sangin District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces ambushed the squad with machine gun fire and hand grenades. Upon contact, Private First Class Weinmaster immediately began engaging the enemy positions with his squad automatic weapon. As he delivered suppressive fire and assaulted the enemy, encountering a withering volume of fire that passed within meters of his position, Private First Class Weinmaster saw two hand grenades tossed over a wall land in the middle of his patrol. Noting where one of the grenades landed, he quickly placed himself between the grenade and his fire team leader, using his body to shield both his team leader and several other Marines from the blast, which occurred immediately. Private first Class Weinmaster was seriously injured when the grenade detonated, but his valorous actions prevented his fire team leader from receiving any shrapnel. Although he was critically wounded, Private First Class Weinmaster continued to carry on the attack, engaging enemy forces with accurate automatic weapons fire and forcing them to break contact, until he collapsed from the gravity of his wounds. By his outstanding display of decisive action, unlimited courage in the face of extreme danger, and total dedication to duty, Private First Class Weinmaster reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


Home of record: Cozad, Neb.

Posted on July 8, 2008 at 16:44 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Rafael Peralta Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS posthumously to

SERGEANT

RAFAEL PERALTA

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant Rafael Peralta, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Platoon Guide with 1st Platoon, Company A, First Battalion, Third Marines, Regimental Combat Team 7, FIRST Marine Division, in action against Anti-Coalition Forces in support of Operation AL FAJAR, in Fallujah, Iraq, on 15 November 2004. Clearing scores of houses in the previous three days, Sergeant Peralta asked to join an under-strength squad and volunteered to stand post the night of 14 November, allowing fellow Marines more time to rest. The following morning, during search and attack operations, while clearing the seventh house of the day, the point man opened a door to a back room and immediately came under intense, close-range automatic weapons fire from multiple insurgents. The squad returned fire, wounding one insurgent. While attempting to maneuver out of the line of fire, Sergeant Peralta was shot and fell mortally wounded. After the initial exchange of gunfire, the insurgents broke contact, throwing a fragmentation grenade as they fled the building. The grenade came to rest near Sergeant Peralta’s head. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Sergeant Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade to his body, absorbing the brunt of the blast and shielding fellow Marines only feet away. Sergeant Peralta succumbed to his wounds. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Sergeant Peralta reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


Born: April 7, 1979, Mexico City, Mexico… Entered U.S. illegally to escape violence in Mexico… Enlisted in Marine Corps to gain citizenship… Recommended for Medal of Honor but downgraded to Navy Cross by Secretary of Defense… Efforts continue to have medal upgraded… Namesake of the future destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115)… Interred at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego

Posted on November 15, 2004 at 11:43 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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