MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The sergeant major for Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, received a Bronze Star from Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, the division commanding general, for meritorious achievement in Iraq at a ceremony in the II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters building here March 31.
The Xenia, Ohio native, Sgt. Maj. Clyde S. Smith, was awarded the medal for his achievement as the battalion’s sergeant major from February 2005 to February 2006. The battalion was based at Camp Blue Diamond, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I was very honored and proud to receive the Bronze Star,” the 2006 graduate of American Military Academy said. “It is a direct reflection of all the hard work and efforts of the Marines and sailors of Headquarters Battalion.”
Smith concentrated his efforts towards improving the morale, proficiency, and reputation of the battalion in a variety of areas. He assisted in dispersing all directives, policies and guidance on behalf of the battalion commander to the Marines and sailors.
Smith was also an essential piece to the family readiness program, as he helped mentor service members and their families in dealing with deployment issues. His experience, openness, and caring attitude had a calming and positive effect on Marines and spouses alike.
In 12 months of combat operations, Smith traveled to nearly every forward operating base (FOB) in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, motivating the Marines of the battalion operating in support of the regimental combat teams and other battalions. Additionally, during his travels he learned new enemy tactics, techniques and procedures and discovered new force protection tactics at each of the FOBs. He then applied that knowledge to the standard operating procedures on the camp to make the personnel more secure.
Smith helped mentor the guard force, comprised of the division band and individual augments, into a highly effective, tight knit and tactically-proficient unit. He was also instrumental in the coordination, conduct and evaluation of weekly force protection drills that tested all facets of the base’s defenses.
Smith provided his knowledge, expertise and wisdom to solve hundreds of issues that could have negatively impacted mission accomplishment. His impact on a camp of over 1,500 personnel assisted the battalion and the division in accomplishing its mission.
“Everyone worked very hard to enhance the force protection, safety and welfare for everyone at Camp Blue Diamond,” Smith stated. “A great job was done by all and they are all heroes for it.”