MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The Marine stands at attention, silvery hair trimmed close to the scalp, green eyes staring into the distance. The general steps forward, places a medal above his left pocket, shakes his hand, and steps back.
On the Dallas native’s chest now hangs a five-point bronze star. It shines like a new penny, glittering out from the mottled green and black of his camouflage uniform.
Col. Glenn T. Starnes, former commander of 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, was awarded the Bronze Star with the Combat Distinguishing Device, Oct. 29, by Maj. Gen. Stephen Johnson, Commanding General of 2d Marine Division. He received the award for his actions during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom from January 15 to June 15, 2003.
While attached to Task Force Tarawa, he directed over 170 artillery missions, 36 of them in the first 36 hours of engagement.
“Those first few hours were intense. We used four days worth of ammunition in a day and a half of continuous firing,” Starnes said.
As the infantry units advanced, so did Starnes’ artillery units, ensuring that the forward units had accurate and effective suppressing fire. Then, as the battle changed to urban combat, he deployed one of his companies as a rifle platoon, reinforcing the front line.
“We heard over the radios that they were getting stretched thin, so I volunteered one of my units to help hold the flank,” he said.
Starnes and his command continued performing at a similarly high level throughout of their time in Iraq.
“You could ask anyone over there who the best commander was and everyone would say the same thing - Lt. Col. Starnes,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Barry L. Walker, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force operations chief.
The news of his success came as no surprise to Connie Stokes, Starnes’ wife.
“I wouldn’t expect any less from him,” she said. “Success comes naturally to him.”
Currently, Starnes is preparing to head back to Iraq in February, this time as the head of the 2nd MEF operations section.
“I’ll miss working with 1st Battalion but this job gets me back in the fight again,” he said.
Starnes plans to maintain the same attitude this deployment that helped him succeed in the last one.
“I’ve got a job to do, and I’m going to do it right,” he said.