MARINE OF THE WEEK // “And in a second all my training took over…”
At the onset of an enemy attack on Camp Bastion Airfield, Corporal Burkes quickly retrieved his rifle and proceeded to a location to set up a defensive position with several other Marines. During this movement, he noticed two enemy insurgents engage a bus with an AK-47 rifle and a Rocket Propelled Grenade. Without hesitation, Corporal Burkes engaged and neutralized the enemy insurgents allowing the driver of the bus to move out of the kill zone and receive medical attention. While under small arms fire and with grenades impacting near his position, Corporal Burkes engaged and neutralized the enemy insurgents moving his direction. He swiftly engaged and destroyed both targets before they could throw another grenade. By his decisive actions and unrelenting courage, Corporal Burkes eliminated four enemy combatants, wounding one, and effectively deterred the enemy assault on friendly forces and aviation assets. By his extraordinary guidance, zealous initiative, and total dedication to duty, Corporal Burkes reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.