MARINE OF THE WEEK // TOOK THE GRENADE BLAST AND KEPT FIGHTING:

Cpl. Richard Weinmaster
2d Battalion, 7th Marines, Marine Corps Forces, Central Command (Forward)
Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
July 8, 2008
Award: Navy Cross

Then-Private First Class Weinmaster’s squad was conducting a dismounted patrol down a narrow side street 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.

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31 thoughts on “MARINE OF THE WEEK // TOOK THE GRENADE BLAST AND KEPT FIGHTING:”

  1. I don’t understand. Over the years I have resd of individual after individual, from WW I, through WW II, Korea, Vietnam and most recently in Afghanistan or Iraq, who have either leaped on a grenade, attempted to throw it back, or, as here, placed themselves in between the grenade and their fellow Marines. IN EVERY CASE I CAN RECALL THE INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN AWARDED THE MEDAL OF HONOR. Why was this Marine’s heroism relegated to the Navy Cross? (Note: I am not denigrating the Navy Cross, simply wondering why this Marine was treated differently.)

    1. This young Marine extraordinaire, that’s right, to me that’s what he is and will always be in my heart! This young devil dog deserved the Medal of Honor, not the Navy Cross and as the other gentleman said I to am in no way shape or form saying anything bad about the Navy Cross, but damn it, he could of lost his life protecting his fellow Marine’s and he deserves the MOH!! I bet had he died sacrificing his body to save his fellow Marine’s he’d of gotten the MOH posthumously and that’s just not fair or even right! He should be walking around today enjoying the MOH that he so deserves, instead of us talking about it after he passed away! So, from one old Marine to this Marine’s commanding officer, please do the right thing and award this young heroe what he so tightly deserves and that’s the MEDAL OF HONOR! SEMPER-FI MARINE and to all my brothers and sisters as well!

    2. THIS YOUNG MAN DESERVES THE MOH – PRAY HE GETS IT. SEMPER FI AND OOH RAH 1ST MAW VMFA 323 NAM 68-69

  2. I hope his Navy Cross is someday upgraded to the Medal of Honor. His heroic actions, not unlike hundreds of others who used their body to shield others from a destructive grenade, merits the MOH. I hope his Congressman or Congress Women, steps up and makes this happen.

  3. Navy cross or moh (which hopefully someone is working too get this outstanding devildog)just reaffirms my faith in today’s youth,and in the training of our marines.SEMPER-FI MAC

  4. He wasn’t looking for anything. He is just a Marine doing his job. We may take lives and may sacrifice our own lives to protect our brothers. I promise you he did his job and never gave his life a second thought. That’s what we do that’s why we are Marines. Semper Fi Marine

    1. L/Cpl, No one is questioning the Corporal’s intentions. He did what he did because he is a true Brass Balls bad ass hero Marine. Other Marines on here are simply questioning why his actions did not merit the MOH as opposed to the Navy Cross. I too agree with them. This Devildog threw caution to the wind, and with no regard for his own life, he leaped on the grenade to save the lives of his fellow Marines. Bottom line…..He deserves the MOH. Semper Fi. Mike Kunkel Cpl. 0331. Lima 3/8. Weapons Plt. 81-85

      1. I’m in agreement with you. I think he deserve MOH to. I’m just saying he was protecting his brothers and yes he is a true blue Brass Balls Marine.

  5. It is true that Marines and others have been awarded the MOH for their selfless attempts to save their fellow war fighters. In many st publicized cases there seems to bo a predominance on Our heros that sacrifice their all to save their comrads day so by covering to grenades entirely hence the nearly certain postumous award of the MOH. In this case this Marine had a choice of two different grenades to leap upon and chose wisely to protect those including his squad leader and others. That he survived is miraculous and though we are not part of the deliberative process and truly believe this young Marine deserves the MOH, there is perhaps such future revaluation of this Marines’ actions. On a personal level I believe that while the Cross is in itself a really proud award this Marine had been he foresight to consider beyond the sacrifice he was about to make and its consequences for his entire unit. This demonstrates a level of intelligence and foresight meriting consideration for further leadership training and perhaps a commission as well. But then what does this old Korea Vet know about our Modern peps except they are still carrying on the same traditions we the few the proud and I might add the old still hold dear. Semper Fidelis Corporal you are one fine Marine in my book.

  6. Even though I have never met you, I feel I know you very well. You are a true Marine who carries on our tradition proudly, just like the many who I was with in 1970 in the Que Sons with 3/7 & 3/5. You make me proud!

  7. It’s men like this that makes all of us proud of our Corps and proud of the title Marine. This young man is one of the many who serve with honor in our Marine Corps. Great job! Keep marching on Marine!! Semper Fi my brother

  8. I KNOW FIRST HAND, THAT ALL MEDALS THAT ARE AWARDED GO THROUGH OFFICIAL SCRUTINY. IN NAM WE HAD A CORPSMAN WHO THREW HIMSELF ON A CHICOM AND RECEIVED THE NAVY CROSS, POSTUMUSLY. WE ALL DISAGREED WITH THIS DECISION. HE SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE MOH. THE OFFICIAL REVUE STATED HE DID NOTHING MORE THAN THE REST OF US DURING THIS FIERCE FIREFIGHT ? I KNOW IT WAS A REACTION, BUT HE STILL GAVE HIS LIFE TO PROTECT AN ALREADY WOUNDED MARINE AND OTHERS AROUND HIM. SOMETIMES THESE REVUES DON’T GET CLEAR, POSITIVE INFO ON EVERY INCIDENT. MAYBE THIS WAS THE CASE. HOWEVER, THE MOH HAS BEEN GIVEN OUT FOR SOMEWHAT LESSER DEGREES OF HEROISM DUE TO WHO , OR WHAT RANK, PUTS THEM IN FOR IT. CPL. WEINMASTER ALSO LIVED, WHICH SHOULDN’T HAVE ANY BEARING, BUT SOMETIMES DOES. OUTSTANDING JOB CPL. WEINMASTER ! YOU ARE A TRUE MARINE AND I’M PROUD TO BE YOUR DEVIL DOG BROTHER . SEMPER FI

  9. In war, on the battlefield acts of heroism are the SOP of the Day! It comes without saying. Cpl. Weinmaster put his life on the line. Even when seriously wounded he continued to stay focused on the objective of providing covering fire to his advancing team members. For those of us who have experienced intense combat, carried our wounded to Medevacs and recovered our dead, understand that it’s not about the medals. It’s knowing that we worked together to overcome an adversary. Cpl. Weinmaster is the bookkeeper of the history of that event forever. Thank You for your sacrifice and bravery. Sgt of Marines, Disabled Vietnam Veteran, K- 2ndPlt-3/4

  10. Maybe I should have started this dialogue by saying this, I am happy that they atleast awarded you the navy cross rather than nothing for your actions. Can someone please tell me what the difference of the navy cross is over the medal of honor in relation of receiving it. The young Marine was noted for what (I hope any Marine would do for his fellow Marines) he did. Are we not a section of the Navy? I mean no disreguard to anyone by asking this, just clarification of the difference.

  11. I am always proud of our service members. They take the lives in there own hands so I can live in this great country of ours. I was never able to serve since i have epelipcy My father served in the corp. and served on Wake Island at the time of the Japanese invasion.I know he is proud to be a Marine and well as this young man.

  12. SEMPER-FI Brother! From the information that I have read in this article. I also agreed. You should have been awarded the MOH.

  13. I salute you and your bravery. You are a fine Marine and I am sure your team holds you in admiration Semper FI Marine

  14. SEMPER FI BROTHER. Maybe one day the people that rate what medals people get for doing things above and beyond for others will recognize that these people didn’t have to do what they did. But as a MARINE, you do what your trained to do and that is protect your brothers and sisters to your right and to your left. Marines don’t run from the fight we bring the fight to our enemy.

  15. I agree with the other comments. The actions by this Marine should be the Medal of Honor. Many members of various branches have protected their fellow solders and Marines by jumping pn grenades and won the MOH. Senator Inouye, having lost his right arm to enemy fire, continued fighting on and took out 3 machine gun nest before being taken to the aid station, was given the DSC. This was a racial thing in WW11, but was rectified to a MOH before he passed away. This Marine did an outstanding job and SHOULD have received the Medal of Honor. His actions should be placed before the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Congress and be upgraded to the MOH!!!!

  16. Weinmaster reminds me of Al Schmid, a tough kid from northeast Philadelphia, who landed on Gaudalcanal in the summer of 1942. Al was the low man on a 3-man machine gun crew — he was the ammo carrier. The Japanese reinforced the island with an elite regiment of experienced jungle fighters, and moved toward the Marine positions. Schmid’s machine gun crew was in the middle of the defensive line on the banks of the Ilu River which the Marines called, “Alligator Creek.” The attack was launched at about 0100. The gunner was torn in two by the first flurry of bullets. The crew chief was disabled by wounds to the shoulder. Al Schmid moved up to the gun and took charge. All through the early hours of a banzai attack, Schmid squeezed off burst after burst of machine gun bullets. The enemy regrouped and attacked again and again. It was still dark when one of the attackers threw a grenade that exploded right above the barrel of the machine gun. The blast hit Al full face. One eye was torn apart. The other eye was permanently blinded, and his face looked like hamburger. But Schmid pulled himself back up to the machine gun and continued to fire, now aided by the crew chief who told him to fire “higher,” “lower,” “left,” or “right.” When dawn broke, what was left of the enemy force retreated, leaving an estimated 200 bodies along the banks of the Ilu River in front of Al’s machine gun position. Strange as it seems, no medals were awarded to Al or the other members of his crew until the news media picked up the story from the survivors of the battle. Then, there was a book, “Al Schmid, Marine” and even a movie “Pride of the Marines.” After that publicity, Al received the Navy Cross, as did the gunner and the crew chief. Weinmaster, you are in good company!

  17. We are Marines We Know what Honor is and Who we fight for .We will stand Up in formation for our Brother and Honor him for his selfless act of courage and bravery and stand by him in his hours of need and simply say Semper Fidelis Marine your are among family and we will never leave you wanting .And your Country shall not forget you Sir . Your Navy Cross shall be upgraded to the MOH

  18. This young marine deserves the MOH because if he did not do this his whole fire team would have been killed He deserves this give it to him. His fire team is alive because of his actions.. It is a shame that some get it for the same reason and some do not.. SEMPER FI MARINE.

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