MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- A Milwaukee native was awarded the Bronze Star May 19 for his loyal devotion to duty during times of danger and distress while deployed to Iraq.
Master Gunnery Sgt. James G. Apriesnig was acting as communications chief for Headquarters Company, Regimental Combat Team-8, 2nd Marine Division, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 2005 to February 2006 in Fallujah, Iraq.
Apriesnig planned and supervised the installation, operation and maintenance of a communications architecture that provided connectivity between the headquarter element, a reconnaissance battalion, three infantry battalions and three military transition teams.
He also employed a platoon of 105 Marines to provide reliable and responsive command and control capabilities critical to the commander during continuous combat operations. His courage, skills and composure during times of danger and distress provided the reassurance his Marines needed to overcome their fears and anxieties and accomplish the mission.
“I worked with a lot of good officers who set forth a good vision of what they wanted done,” Apriesnig said. “I owe a lot to the Marines I worked with during my 18-month deployment.”
“These Marines did a great job,” said Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, the 2nd Marine Division commander, who presented the award to Apriesnig. “I’m proud of each and every one of them.”
Apriesnig’s constant and aggressive enforcement of accountability and preventive maintenance procedures ensured more than $12 million worth of equipment remained constantly ready and enabled the timely acquisition and implementation of more than $2 million worth of replacement parts and equipment.
His skillful planning and implementation of non-standard communications systems led to the successful flow of information during the Iraqi constitutional referendum and national election.
“I give a lot of credit to the Marines I worked with,” said Apriesnig. “None of this could have been accomplished without them.
“I owe a lot to my wife,” Apriesnig said. “She’s been a great support my entire career.”
Apriesnig said his wife took care of business at home, while he was taking care of business in Iraq.
“I’m very proud of what he has done,” said Loy K. Apriesnig, a Tulsa, Okla., native. “This award represents everything he’s done in his Marine Corps career.”
“Apriesnig’s total effectiveness, forceful leadership, and loyal devotion to duty,” reads the award citation, “reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”