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13 Years Later, A Marine’s Silver Star Is Getting Upgraded To A Navy Cross. Here’s Why
An infantry Marine’s combat heroism in Iraq is getting an upgrade this afternoon.
Former Staff Sgt. Eric Smith is set to receive the Navy Cross during a ceremony Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. CDT at the Veterans Memorial Park in Irving, Texas, the Marine Corps announced.
Smith’s decoration represents an upgrade from his Silver Star, which he previously received for courage under fire while deployed to Ramadi, Iraq, as a squad leader with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines in 2004. Smith will become the 40th Marine to receive the Navy Cross — the military’s second highest commendation for valor, surpassed only by the Medal of Honor — since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.
Smith, who will attend the ceremony along with wife, 11-year-old son and family, serves as a lieutenant and paramedic with the Irving Fire Department in Texas. But he was humbled by the honor. “I firmly believe that I was an ordinary Marine placed in an extraordinary situation,” he said in a Marine Corps statement prior to the ceremony.
On April 6, 2004, Smith and his platoon were sent to reinforce a group of Marines who were under attack from insurgents in Ramadi. Smith’s platoon was also ambushed, leaving their commander critically wounded.
According to his Silver Star award citation, Smith took command of the platoon and led its members 50 meters across open ground to cover as machine-gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades rained down. Then he turned around and sprinted back the way he came — across open-ground, with no cover in sight — to get his platoon commander to cover and call for a casevac.
The wounded Marine evacuated, Smith turned to the mission at hand — getting to the ambushed squad. Coordinating machine-gun fire from a 7-ton troop transport truck, Smith rallied his Marines and led them in a counterattack against their ambushers. As the Marines fought to break the attack, Smith coordinated fire support from newly arrived Army Bradley Fighting Vehicles before planning a withdrawal back to the unit’s command post.
The award will be presented by Maj. Gen. Paul J. Kennedy, the commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, and Smith’s former battalion commander.
Smith enlisted in the Marines in May 2001 out of his hometown of Waxahachie, Texas, and now, 13 years after that battle, he attests that his actions weren’t extraordinary — for a Marine.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the upgraded award of the Navy Cross,” Smith said. “I understand that this places me in a category of Marines that I would have never imagined to be a part of.
Few things say "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum" like a Navy amphibious assault craft absolutely covered with Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighters ready to bomb an adversary back to the Stone Age.
That's the logic behind the so-called "Lightning Carrier" concept designed to turn those "Gator Navy" amphibs into ad hoc aircraft carriers — and the Corps appears to be moving slowly but surely into turning that concept into a new doctrine for the new era of great power competition.
NTSB releases preliminary report on cause of fatal B-17 plane crash at Bradley International Airport
The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report into the fatal crash of a B-17 bomber crash in Connecticut earlier this month.
Shortly after takeoff at 9:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, the pilot of the vintage WWII-era plane signaled to air traffic control at Bradley International Airport that he sought to land.
While America's forever wars continue to rage abroad, the streaming wars are starting to heat up at home.
On Monday, the Walt Disney Company announced that its brand new online streaming service, aptly titled Disney+, will launch an all-out assault on eyeballs around the world with an arsenal of your favorite content starting on November 12th. Marvel Cinematic Universe content! Star Wars content! Pixar content! Classic Disney animation content!
While the initial Disney+ content lineup looks like the most overpowered alliance since NATO, there's one addition of particular interest hidden in Disney's massive Twitter announcement, an elite strike force with a unique mission that stands ready to eliminate streaming enemies like Netflix and Hulu no matter where they may hide.
That's right, I'm talking about Operation Dumbo Drop — and no, I am not fucking around.
US officials reportedly considered pulling nuclear weapons out of Turkey, effectively ending the US-Turkey alliance
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
On Monday, The New York Times reported that U.S. officials were considering plans to move the U.S. nuclear arsenal from Inçirlik Air Base in Turkey.
This move would be likely to further deteriorate the tense relationship between the U.S. and Turkey, which has rapidly devolved as Turkey invaded northeastern Syria in assault on the Kurdish forces that fought ISIS alongside the U.S.
Soldiers are smoking a whole lot more weed if they happen to be stationed in or near a state where it's legal, and the Army has definitely noticed.
At nine Army bases in or near marijuana-friendly states, there has been a roughly 18% increase between 2017 and 2018 in positive drug tests for THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive component in cannabis. For comparison, there has been a 5% increase in soldiers testing positive for THC across the entire Army.