MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- He stood in front of the American and Marine Corps colors while fellow Marines and friends watched as he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal. He received this award April 13 from 2nd Marine Division’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, during a ceremony here.
Maj. Patrick M. McGee, who served as the Division Assistant Air Officer in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, from February 2005 to February 2006, received his award for meritorious achievement in coordinating thousands of air assault and support missions.
“Patrick is a fine air officer and made Col. Gary Denning look good,” Huck explained. “That’s the secret to it, to get good people to work with you out there.”
McGee had many requests coming to him during his year of working in Iraq. He coordinated 2,064 immediate joint tactical air requests where troops were in enemy engagements. Quick actions, along with unwavering support from the air office, enabled the ground forces to successfully engage the enemy.
“He was always working the landing zones,” Huck stated. “He had this unbelievable knack of being capable of watching the horizon and seeing rotary wing aircraft inbound, and then act as if he had gotten it over the radio.”
Troops were on the ground fighting the enemy and in some cases there were casualties. Some were in need of an air medical evacuation. McGee oversaw 2,352 of these air evacuations ensuring the Marines were given the proper medical attention in the quickest possible way. He was always doing all of this no matter what time of day these calls came in.
“He was out there at four in the morning and sometimes until five at night,” Huck said. “In this, he was able to give support to everyone who was at Camp Blue Diamond and later at Camp Fallujah.”
McGee provided overall support for 16 battalions, two Army brigade combat teams, and introduced nearly 15,000 Iraqi Army soldiers to the Al Anbar province. These accomplishments were not possible without the help of all his fellow Marines both in country and back here, he said.
“I am so thankful to receive this award,” McGee explained. “It’s not for me though, it’s for everyone who helped with the missions.”