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UNSUNG HEROES: The Marine Who Carried 3 Men Out Of Harm’s Way Under Heavy Fire
On Nov. 11, 2004, during the Second Battle of Fallujah, Sgt. Aubrey McDade Jr., was on his second deployment in Iraq as a machine-gun squad leader with 1st Marine Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment when his squad came under small arms and machine gun fire.
After taking immediate casualties McDade put himself at great risk to extract his fellow Marines from the line of fire, saving the lives of two men, according to a Marine Corps press release. As a result of his heroism, McDade was awarded the Silver Star, which he says was later upgraded to the Navy Cross at the recommendation of White House officials.
As McDade and his squad moved south into the city, McDade’s platoon entered an alley and encountered an “immediate heavy volume of small arms and machine gun fire” reads his citation. As three Marines fell, seriously wounded, McDade immediately rushed toward the kill zone and directed suppressive fire against the enemy.
The three wounded Marines were trapped under barrages of fire as repeated attempts to reach them failed. McDade abruptly told his platoon sergeant he would get them, he told Marine Corps Times in a 2007 interview.
"He just informed me that if I got hit he wasn't going to be able to help me right then," said McDade. "I wasn't just going to let them sit out there like sitting ducks. They needed me, and I went."
He ran into what he described as a “real hot” alleyway, with heavy fire flying around. Reaching the first injured Marine, McDade asked him to shed his gear, and began to haul him to safety.
"At first, he was on my shoulder, but there were a lot of rounds coming down the alleyway, so I kind of tossed him over," McDade told Marine Corps Times.
McDade ran immediately back into the fray to retrieve the second casualty, who he quickly retrieved under heavy fire from the enemy.
McDade also pulled the third Marine from the alley, however, did not survive his injuries.
McDade then assisted with the treatment and extraction of the wounded Marines. “His quick thinking and aggressive actions were crucial in saving the lives” of the two Marines who survived, according to his citation.
Now a gunnery sergeant serving as a series chief drill instructor with 3rd Recruit Training Battalion in San Diego, California, McDade uses his love for the Marines and his challenging experiences to mold stronger, more capable Marines.
Gunnery Sgt. Aubrey L. McDade, Jr. motivates football players during the Semper Fidelis All-American Football Camp at Rockhurst High School's Vincent P. Dasta Memorial Football Stadium, May 3, 2015.Photo by Sgt. Kenneth Trotter
“I feel like the recruit training process is probably the most important part of the Marine Corps,” McDade told the Marine Corps. “We have a unique opportunity to impact the Corps for the next 4-to-40 years.”
McDade told the Marine Corps Times he specifically uses what happened that day in Fallujah to help train his recruits.
“I don’t want them to listen to me because I have a medal,” McDade said bluntly. “I want them to listen to me because I’m a Marine.”
McDade illustrates his remarkably humble attitude when speaking about accepting his award. “I didn’t need to be recognized for doing what I am supposed to do,” he told the Marine Corps press. “There are a lot of fallen Marines who did not get recognized for their actions and for me getting the award; I feel like I speak for everybody. I accepted my award for them.”
The Navy Cross is second highest award for valor in combat — second only to the Medal of Honor.
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.