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033106-M-2607O-001 MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (March 31, 2006) -- Colonel David K. Hough, Headquarters Battalion commanding officer, is awarded a Legion of Merit from Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, division commanding general, for meritorious achievement in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Ohmen (RELEASED)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Ohmen

Headquarters Battalion commanding officer recieves Legion of Merit

31 Mar 2006 | Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Ohmen

The commanding officer of Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division was awarded the Legion of Merit from Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, the division commanding general, for meritorious achievement in Iraq in a ceremony at the II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters building on March 31.

The State College, Pa. native, Col. David K. Hough, was awarded the medal for his achievement as the battalion’s commanding officer from February 2005 to February 2006.  The Battalion was based at Camp Blue Diamond, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I got this award because of the Marines in my command,” said the 1975 graduate of State College Area High School.  “It is a reflection of the dedication and professionalism of the Marines and sailors whose mission it was to provide the commanding general and his staff communications, transportation, life support and security for the 12 months while serving in combat in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.”

In addition to his position as the battalion commander, Hough also served as the camp commander, providing support to the division command element as well as 14 other tenant commands.  He designed and oversaw the establishment of a combat operations center where actions inside the forward operating base (FOB) as well as patrols and joint missions could be monitored.

Hough supervised the development of a coordinated defensive plan including an external obstacle belt, fixed-site security, reaction forces and a patrolling effort to control the perimeter.  By dividing the camp into three defensive sectors and having a sector commander for each one streamlined communications and improved response time.

He started an aggressive defense drill program where tenants rehearsed to reduce response time to indirect and direct fire assaults on the camp.  He instilled the idea of a hard target into the Marines by instituting both offensive and defensive schemes of maneuver that made Camp Blue Diamond one of the most protected FOBS in Iraq.

To get the supplies where they were needed, Hough supervised the planning of more than 300 combat and logistical convoys throughout the Al Anbar province.  The battalion moved over 2,244 tons of gear and 73,628 personnel around the area of operation to assist the tenant commands.

“I did what any commander should do by making sure that my Marines and sailors were as safe and as prepared as I could make them in this area of combat,” Hough stated.  “It was an honor to serve with and lead those Marines in Iraq.”