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Marine of the Week // Led Men from Three Countries Through a Five Hour Firefight
#MARINE OF THE WEEK // Led men from three countries through a five hour firefight
Gunnery Sgt. Richard Jibson
1st Marine Division
Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan
Award: Navy Cross
On 28 May 2012 Gunnery Sergeant Jibson was advising a 53-man coalition force of Georgian, Afghan, and United States personnel during the clearing of an Afghan village. When some Marines who were reducing an improvised explosive device came under small arms fire, Gunnery Sergeant Jibson unhesitatingly placed himself between the Marines and the enemy, returning fire and allowing them to safely reach cover. Throughout the multiple engagements over the ensuing five hours, he bravely left covered positions and crossed open terrain many times under withering small arms and machine gun fire to provide suppressive fire, inspire his comrades, and direct the fire and maneuver of the entire coalition force. When a fellow Marine was shot in the head by an enemy sniper, Gunnery Sergeant Jibson fearlessly charged into a hail of enemy machine gun fire, pulled the exposed wounded Marine to cover, and then assisted a corpsman in rendering emergency measures to stabilize him. Amid the chaos, he arranged for reinforcements, casualty evacuation, and close air support. His courageous leadership, composure under fire, and tactical expertise led to successful extraction of the force with minimal loss of life. By his bold and decisive actions, undaunted courage, and complete dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Jobson reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.