Marine of the Week

Marine of the Week

#MARINE OF THE WEEK // “What was I thinking? Absolutely thinking about the mission, absolutely thinking about the Marines.”

Capt. Brian R. Chontosh
3rd Battalion, 5th Marines1st Marine DivisionI Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF)
Operation Iraqi Freedom
March 25, 2003
Award: Navy Cross

While leading his platoon north on Highway I toward Ad Diwaniyah, then-First Lieutenant Chontosh’s platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and automatic weapons fire. With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone. He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, First Lieutenant Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy. He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, First Lieutenant Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack. When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, First Lieutenant Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers. When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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6 comments


  • Father Richard Gorman

    I agree. This Marine merits a Congressional Medal of Honor!


  • Sgt T. K. Shimono (1959-1968)

    It takes an outstanding Marine Officer to have no regards for his life but to save his people no matter the situation. Congratulation Capt. Chontosh for the Navy Cross, like others have stated, it should have been the MOH. The 3rd Battalion 5th Marines was my outfit in 1959-1960, and it produced many Marines, like yourself, that went on to serve with valor in Vietnam. General Houghton and General Cheatham led our battalion as LtCol and Captain. Captain Chontosh, you are in excellent company of Marine Leaders. Semper Fi.


  • Geoff Welsh

    Sir! You are a certified bad-ass, Sir!


  • Ray Burrington

    Agree !!! Happened in Nam – Henderson Hall downgrades all medals by at least one level – Let’s get rid of the PC’rs wherever they are!!! Cpl 68-70


  • The Deuce

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but I agree. This rates the MOH.


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