#MARINE OF THE WEEK // “I understand that this places me in a category of Marines that I would have never imagined to be a part of.”
Upgraded from the Silver Star to the Navy Cross Sept. 14, 2017:
Staff Sgt. Eric Smith
2d Battalion 4th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF)
Operation Iraqi Freedom
April 6, 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.