View Full Version : U.S. Marco Martinez , Navy Cross, Iraq

08-12-2009, 03:51 PM
Navy Cross

Authorized February 4, 1919, the Navy Cross was the Navy's third highest award for combat heroism and other distinguished services. On August 7, 1942, Congress made the Navy Cross a combat only decoration with precedence over the Distinguished Service Medal, making it the Navy's second highest award ranking below only the Medal of Honor. It shares its position with the Army's Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross

Marco Martinez

* Place of birth: Las Cruces, N.M.
* Home of record: Las Cruces, N.M.

The only son of an Army Ranger dad and homemaker mom, and brother of triplet sisters, Marco Martinez spent his early years around military bases in Texas and New Mexico. In his 2007 autobiography "Hard Corps: from Gangster to Marine Hero," he describes himself as a Hispanic juvenile delinquent from New Mexico who turned his life around by joining the Marines in 2001. Honorably discharged as a Marine Corps sergeant, Marco Martinez settled in Southern California to work full time in nuclear security while attending college classes in pursuit of a business degree from San Diego State University. In the action for which he earned the Navy Cross, Corporal Timothy Tardif and Staff Sergeant Adam Sikes earned the Silver Star.

Awards and Citations

Navy Cross

Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Corporal Marco A. Martinez, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as 1st Fire Team Leader, 2d Squad, 1st Platoon, Company G, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, First Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 12 April 2003. Responding to a call to reinforce his Platoon that was ambushed, Corporal Martinez effectively deployed his team under fire in supporting positions for a squad assault. After his squad leader was wounded, he took control and led the assault through a tree line where the ambush originated. As his squad advanced to secure successive enemy positions, it received sustained small arms fire from a nearby building. Enduring intense enemy fire and without regard for his own personal safety, Corporal Martinez launched a captured enemy rocket propelled grenade into the building temporarily silencing the enemy and allowing a wounded Marine to be evacuated and receive medical treatment. After receiving additional fire, he single-handedly assaulted the building and killed four enemy soldiers with a grenade and his rifle. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Corporal Martinez reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Corporal

08-12-2009, 03:52 PM
he Story:

In the spring of 2003, the 1st Marine Division drove north toward Baghdad the tip of the spear that would lead the American assault against Saddam Husseins elite Fedayeen and Republican Guard throughout central Iraq. It was no easy road. Then-Cpl. Martinez actions during the battle of Tarmiya dealt the regiments forces a serious blow so much so that he was awarded the Navy Cross, the second-highest decoration in the United States armed forces.

On April 12, 2003, Martinez, serving with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, responded to a call to reinforce a platoon that had been ambushed. Under fire, Martinez moved his team into supporting positions to assault the enemy force. He eliminated two hostile fighters on the initial attack after his squad leader was wounded by a grenade blast. Martinez took control and led the assault into the area where the ambush had originated. Martinez and his outnumbered men moved through and cleared a nearby building occupied by enemy fighters. As they entered another compound they took stronger small-arms fire from the hostile forces inside. Martinez and his men fought their way through the building and into a courtyard, where the Fedayeen continued to engage the Marines from a garden shed.

Martinez saw that the enemy left a rocket propelled grenade launcher and two rounds on the ground on their way to the bunker. As his team provided cover fire, Martinez ventured into the open and grabbed the RPG launcher and sprinted behind a palm tree. After enemy fire wounded a member of his team, Martinez fired an RPG, 15 yards from the shed. The hostile forces continued targeting Martinez but his assault had allowed his men to safely evacuate the wounded Marine. While the rest of the team took care of the injured man, Martinez single-handedly attacked the bunker. Dodging bullets, he ran up to the shed and lobbed a grenade into the building, killing four enemy forces and ending the firefight.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England presented Martinez with the Navy Cross in May 2004. The first Hispanic-American to receive the Navy Cross since the Vietnam War, Martinez repeatedly credits the Marine Corps for turning his life around. Having been a member of a gang for several years as a teenager, Martinez became drawn to the Marines after an encounter with a recruiter as a high-school senior. Today, Martinez emphatically states that All I ever am, or will become, I owe to my beloved Corps.

08-13-2009, 03:52 AM
Wow how fortunate for this man. Glad to see this warrior made it home. Hope his wounded team mate did to.