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Marine earns Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for actions in Afghanistan

During the week of April 21, 2008, first platoon, Charlie company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine came under heavy fire from rockets, small arms and machineguns in southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan while serving in support of Operation Azada Wosa.


By Sgt. Alvaro Aro,
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Cpl. Victor H. Ramirez, who was a lance corporal and a team leader for the platoon during the firefight, rushed forward into the enemy fire to direct his team and ultimately formed an action which silenced the enemy fire and allowed his platoon to systematically destroy the enemy’s remaining positions.

For his display of bravery and courage, Ramirez, range coach, Edson range, was presented with the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a Combat Distinguishing Device during a ceremony at Edson Range on Camp Pendleton, July 23.

Ramirez, who has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, dedicated his award to three fallen Marines he served with.

“During my first deployment, I lost three great friends who were all senior to me and they are the reason I know what I know now,” he said.

According to the citation, Ramirez saw a 30-meter-wide danger area that needed to be covered by members of his platoon.

Ramirez employed himself and two automatic riflemen to cover the danger area. Ramirez then coordinated the fires of the two automatic riflemen, and ensured that any Marines maneuvering across the ground had covering fire from friendly forces. He engaged the enemy with an anti-tank rocket after coordinating the suppression of his fire team.

“Ramirez’s actions have set an example for all Marines to follow,” said 1st Sgt. Joseph Rocha, Range company first sergeant. “This is a Marine whom junior Marines can look up to and emulate.”

Because of Ramirez’s instant initiative, his platoon was able to return fire and eliminate the enemy’s threat.

“I am happy to watch a deserving Marine get recognized for not only doing his job, but exceeding the standards,” Rocha said.