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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MARSOC Marine Awarded Silver Star

I Marine Expeditionary Force
Story and Photo by Lance Cpl Joshua Young
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A staff sergeant from Bismarck, N.D., received the Silver Star for leading Marines and Afghans into an attack under intense fire to overcome the enemy.

Col. Steven J. Grass, the commanding officer of Marine Special Operations Regiment, presented the military’s third highest award to Sgt. Andrew K. Thompson, a critical skills operator with 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, during a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 12.

Thompson, who was an element leader with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Company A, led his team and a company of the Afghan National Army in an operation to clear a village in the Farah province of Afghanistan, according to the award’s citation. During the operation, the unit came under heavy fire. Thompson returned fire, killing and wounding several enemies and set up his team in defensive positions.

Thompson resupplied his formation twice while under fire from multiple directions. He called in air support and coordinated fires from attack helicopters and jets to break the enemy’s defense. Thompson’s example to the ANA soldiers allowed him to lead them into the attack and defeat the enemy.

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