Gunnery Sgt. John Mosser
Dripping Springs, Texas
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
Great Bend, Kan.
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
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.
// 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.