Master Sgt. Scott A. Hinkle
Occupation: Engineer chief
Unit: Engineer Maintenance Company, 2nd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25
Hinkle was in charge of training a group of Afghan National Army engineers at a foreword operating base between Jalalabad and Kabul. He said they went out on more than 100 combat missions and “averaged about 20-25 serious, knock-down, drag-out firefights.” Hinkle was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his actions in Afghanistan with the embedded training team 5-5.
Sgt. Michael G. Dowling
Occupation: Sniper team leader
Unit: 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment
Dowling joined the Marine Corps six days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. After five years of being in the infantry, Dowling stepped up to the challenge of becoming a scout sniper. During his deployment to the Now Zad District in Helmand province, Afghanistan, with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Dowling went above and beyond the expectations when he rescued his team from a bomb found in their hide, a hole covered with camouflage that snipers live in for days or weeks at a time. When the bomb was discovered, he made sure that all of his Marines made it out of the hide before he climbed out. Dowling was awarded the Bronze Star with valor for his willingness to put himself into harm’s way to accomplish the mission.
Cpl. Rory MacEachern
North Attleboro, Mass.
Occupation: Military policeman
Unit: Combat Logistics Battalion 6
MacEachern was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal with Combat V while at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, for showing superior performance in his duties as a machine gunner. On one occasion, MacEachern’s convoy came under heavy small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire. By keeping his cool and staying vigilant he was able to use the M2 .50 caliber machinegun to eliminate the enemy combatants. On another occasion, he used the MK-19 grenade machine gun to provide security during an evacuation of a wounded comrade. MacEachern was able to eliminate two enemy grenadiers and a mortar team with outstanding precision.