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U.S. Marine Corps Col. Steven Sutey, 2d Marine Regiment commanding officer, presents Lance Cpl. Ryan Liston with the Navy and Marine Corps Medal at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, July 26, 2022.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Megan Ozaki

Lance Cpl. Ryan Liston awarded the Navy Marine Corps Medal

26 Jul 2022 | Staff Sgt. Akeel Austin 2nd Marine Division

Lance Cpl. Liston was awarded for heroic actions during a training accident in Oman while deployed with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2019. Lance Cpl. Liston led his team of Marines through a breach clearing during a night live-fire range where they began to take friendly fire from a support-by-fire position. Immediately, Lance Cpl. Liston recognized something was wrong as he witnessed rounds impacting the concertina wire around their position. Lance Cpl. Liston realized shortly after, that Cpl Perez, a combat engineer from 2d Combat Engineer Battalion, had collapsed after receiving multiple gunshot wounds. The position safety officer moved to assess the wounded Marine and was grazed by the incoming fire. Lance Cpl. Liston relied on the tough, realistic training he had at Camp Lejeune to assess the situation and provide life-saving care to Cpl. Perez.

"…you know, obviously you're never going to be 100% prepared for when something does happen, but the more stress you put yourself through while training, the more prepared you are for it, so we definitely had some stressful training, and you know PT, and it definitely helped contribute towards that day you know, it kind of made you sit back and think for a second, this is what's happening, this is what I got to do, I can't just sit here and not move," said Liston.

At the risk of his own life, Lance Cpl. Liston moved into position to apply a tourniquet to Cpl Perez, ultimately saving his life. After using tactical combat casualty care, Liston attempted to call for a cease-fire over the radio but was unsuccessful. Lance Cpl. Liston then placed himself in the line of fire; knowing that more Marines were bound to get injured or killed, he, using a flashlight strobe, signaled to the entire range, "cease-fire." The firing stopped, and a corpsman was called to evacuate the Marines to the next echelon of care.

"It was more like a shock at first obviously 'cause you know it was training, so you know no one was expecting that, and then once I realized he was hurt, it kind of clicked," Liston said. "That's a guy I consider to be a brother, he was attached to my team, and I just want to make sure he got out of it."