Okinawa based Marine awarded Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device
CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan -- Cpl. Brandon K. Moore received the Bronze Star Medal with a combat distinguishing device March 14 during a ceremony at Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan.
Moore was awarded for his heroic actions during a firefight with enemy combatants while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
The Bronze Star Medal is the fourth highest individual military award and the ninth highest by order of precedence in the U.S. military. It is awarded for acts of heroism or meritorious service in a combat zone.
The combat distinguishing device, also known as a Combat “V,” which is awarded for heroism to those who are exposed to personal hazard involving direct participation in combat operations, according to the Department of Defense Manual of Military Decorations and Awards.
“Moore’s dedication to his Marines on that deployment was unquestionable,” said 1st Sgt. Cristo Gomez, the first sergeant with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program “He is a humble, quiet man who puts a lot of heart and soul into preparing his Marines for any contingency.”
On June 23, 2012, during a clearing mission against resilient enemy forces in the Nahr-e Saraj district of the Helmand province, Afghanistan, Moore’s squad was pinned down by precision medium machine gunfire and suffered two urgent casualties, according to the award citation.
With disregard for his own safety, Moore immediately moved more than 100 meters under heavy enemy fire to reach the location of the casualties. Once he arrived, he calmly and clearly reported the situation and enemy positions.
He then coordinated the casualty evacuation and simultaneously directed his squad’s actions against the enemy. In spite of the intensity of the enemy’s fire, Moore repeatedly exposed himself to gunfire to identify and mark enemy positions for close air support, assess the effects of fires, and adjust artillery fire onto the enemy, continued the citation.
When an enemy force maneuvered behind Moore’s squad, he quickly worked to coordinate additional fires against the new threat. Through his skill and leadership, as well as his expert control of fires and coordination with adjacent units, the enemy suffered multiple casualties and was forced to egress.
“Moore was given the opportunity to lead his squad,” said Maj. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Division. “He stepped up and got it done.”
Most Marines act to ensure their mission and Marines are taken care of, not to receive prestigious awards, according to Clardy.
“I don’t think I deserve it,” said Moore. “The citation and summary of action made it sound like I did everything on my own. Everyone from my squad and the supporting elements helped. I wish I could (share this award), so that other Marines can be recognized for some of the extraordinary things they did.”
The Marines who served with Moore feel the medal reflects both his actions and the lasting impact he will have on the unit for years to come, according to Gomez.
“I feel it is very well deserved for the situation that he and his platoon were in during that particular operation,” said Gomez. “He has a great reputation in the company as a skilled warfighter who takes care of his men. His calm demeanor, extraordinary leadership and skillful execution of his duties under fire have left a mark on the company and battalion.”