MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- A North Brunswick, N.J. native and commanding officer of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division received the Bronze Star Medal at a ceremony here.
Captain Christopher S. Ieva, a 1996 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy received the award for heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.
During Operation Matador, Marines destroyed enemy strongholds north of the Euphrates River, in the city of Ubaydi, Iraq. From May 8 to May 14, Ieva achieved battle momentum that drove Task Force 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines through its objectives, killing insurgents and disrupting foreign fighter capabilities.
He initiated the assault into a prepared urban defense of New Ubaydi, which enabled the task force to complete construction of the Euphrates River bridge-crossing site.
With his company as the base unit, he aggressively led the assault that continued for the next 18 hours.
Over the next three days of the operation, he spearheaded the entire task force as he led his company across the bridgehead and then continued to seize six battalion objectives.
For his achievements leading his company of Marines, Ieva received the Bronze Star Medal.
The medal was originally authorized on February 4, 1944 and awarded to members of all branches of military service for combat heroism in connection with operations against an opposing armed force.
After receiving one of the highest awards a Marine can earn, Ieva described how he felt crediting the work of his Marines.
“I’m proud of the achievements of Task Force 3/2 during Operation Matador and I’m proud of the job my Marines did out there,” Ieva said after the ceremony.