U.S. Marine ‘Gunny’ to receive Navy Cross for heroic acts in Afghanistan

navy-crossGunnery Sergeant Brian Jacklin will receive the Navy Cross this week for his acts of heroism during a 2012 battle in Afghanistan. The gunnery sergeant endured intense enemy fire in order to save his fellow Marines, the Military Times reported. The Navy Cross is the second-highest military decoration for valor that may be awarded to a member of the United States NavyU.S. Marine Corps, or U.S. Coast Guard (when operating under the Department of the Navy) for extraordinary heroism in combat.

Gunnery Sergeant Brian Jacklin

Gunnery Sergeant Brian Jacklin

Washington Free Beacon  Gunnery Sgt. Brian Jacklin, of 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, will be presented with the Navy Cross Thursday during a ceremony at his unit’s headquarters at Camp Pendleton, California.

Jacklin earned the award for actions carried out June 14, 2012, while serving as an assistant leader of a team conducting village stability operations in the Upper Gereshk valley in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, according to his medal citation.

That morning, the Marine special operations team was in a village compound when it suddenly found itself the target of heavy enemy gunfire. The attack left the team leader and another Marine critically wounded.

“Without hesitation, Gunnery Sgt. Jacklin seized control and orchestrated a counterattack,” his medal citation states.

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After restoring communications that had been knocked out, Jacklin coordinated multiple air strikes on the enemy. At the same time, he helped evacuate the wounded. The evacuation required him to cross open terrain under enemy fire that was dangerous enough to force the aircraft tasked with rescuing the wounded to abort its first attempt at landing.

At that point, Jacklin began lobbing grenades at the enemy and directing the fire of his team. This allowed the aircraft to land and the wounded were evacuated.

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“Throughout a raging battle all the next day, he provided vital intelligence, tactical assistance and deadly accurate personal fires,” his citation reads. “Throughout 48 hours, he inspired all around him as he led a vicious fight to defeat a determined enemy force.”

Jacklin, originally from Los Angeles, will receive his prestigious award from Maj. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commander of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, officials said.

During the same ceremony, five of Jacklin’s fellow team members will be honored with the Bronze Star with combat “V” device for their role in the battle. The honored include Gunnery Sgt. William Simpson IV, Staff Sgt. Christopher Buckminster, Staff Sgt. Hafeez Hussein, Sgt. William Hall and Sgt. David Harris, all critical skills operators, officials said.

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