Marines Magazine

The Official Magazine of the United States Marine Corps

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Faces in the Ranks

Gunnery Sgt. John Mosser

Gunnery Sgt. John Mosser
Dripping Springs, Texas

Age: 32
Occupation: Platoon sergeant
Unit: 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion

Mosser was the team sergeant for a team of 20 Marines with 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion in Afghanistan June 26, 2009, when insurgents opened fire from the top of the valley that the group was patrolling. Mosser dragged one of his injured Marines 35 feet to safety and provided initial first aid, then exposed himself to enemy fire to help the rest of his Marines get to safe positions. In an effort to get accurate close air support, Mosser again exposed himself to reveal the positions of the enemy. His courageous actions saved the lives of many of his Marines, and for this Mosser was awarded the Navy Cross.

Staff Sgt. Mark Robinson

Staff Sgt. Mark Robinson
Great Bend, Kan.

Age: 29
Occupation: Machine gunner
Unit: Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

On Oct. 28, 2008, 17 Marines, sailors, and Afghan National Security Force soldiers with Marine Special Operations Team 5 were patrolling in Baghdis province, Afghanistan, when 40 to 50 Taliban insurgents ambushed the group. Robinson, who was a sergeant at the time, immediately returned fire with his M249 Squad Automatic Weapon at the surrounding enemy. He provided cover to the rear, allowing his fire team to reach the rest of the patrol and the support of the corpsmen. Robinson continued to provide covering fire even when the blast from a rocket propelled grenade launched him against a wall. Four Marines and a sailor were awarded for their actions that day, but only Robinson received the Silver Star for his valor and saving the lives of his fellow Marines.

Staff Sgt. Dustin Velzeboer

Staff Sgt. Dustin Velzeboer
Irvine, Calif.

Age: 28
Occupation: Explosive Ordnance Disposal team leader
Unit: 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group

Driving a flaming vehicle carrying 45 rocket propelled grenades is the last place anyone would want to be. Velzeboer decided he had no choice in Iraq April 30, 2009, because that vehicle was near several of his team members who were immobilized from an initial blast. He used his right hand to steer, unable to grip the wheel because of the shrapnel from the blast, and his left hand to write a note to his wife and children. Velzeboer drove a safe distance, and then returned to help provide aid to his injured Marines before the vehicle exploded. For his heroic actions, the staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V for valor under fire.

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    April 5th, 2010 // By Mariens Staff

    To Marine Corps recruits, the face of a drill instructor could make you pop to attention and bust a sweat immediately. But the mission of these men and
    women isn’t to intimidate. Their mission is to make America’s finest and most elite fighting force, U.S. Marines. And just like all drill instructors, the job of being an outstanding Marine doesn’t stop inside the depot under the campaign cover.

7 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    I am, like the others about, so very proud of all of you. I went to the Police Academy with a Marine and he motivated me more than words can describe. After the academy, years later, while I was working as a homicide/missing person detective the Marine encouraged me again. My police officer husband shot me, then he was killed (24 years old). That Marine related to my thoughts, my terror, my “P.T.S.D” better than any doctor who tried to help. I got over my tragity, well I can MANAGE my tragity because of a Marine who took it upon himself to help.

    He wants to remain nameless for this. I honor that request.


  2. Dick Kelley says:

    Semper Fi !!

    Mainstream media need look no further for heroes…

    But they never do…


  3. guadalupe says:

    So very proud of the Marines who put their lives at risk on a daily bases..I could only say Thank you for your valor and I’m sure your loved ones are very, very proud of you..

  4. Jim Coffey says:

    All Marines Fight the enemy and also fight for each other.
    God Bless all our troops who are in harms way or not.

  5. Stephen D Flynn USMC 79-82 says:

    It made my chest swell with pride to read the exploits of these brother Marines and their extreme act of courage and valor while under fire with enemy combatants. They are definately in keeping with the long proud traditions that have been established by those who came before and are legends and a credit to their Corps. Semper Fi

  6. Yvonne Lamott Brodeur says:

    My deepest Thank You to all military members (past, present and future). Your courage and sacrifice does not go unnoticed. As the mom of two active Marines I know how much you give to ensure our freedom. God bless and God speed.

  7. Gail Oliver says:

    I would like to thank ALL the marines, active & non active that have served to protect our freedom! I have a best friend who is a former marine & brother who was in beirut in 1985……love you all & many many thanks