Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Marines can be defined by qualities such as courage and valor, and are known to have a warrior mentality. However, some Marines go above and beyond and are awarded for it.
1st Lt. Grant Todd, a platoon commander with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, displayed these very traits, and in turn was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with a combat distinguishing device at the battalion headquarters aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, May 28, 2014.
A Bronze Star Medal is awarded for acts of merit or meritorious service in a combat zone, and awarded for acts of heroism, which are accompanied by a combat distinguishing device.
Todd was awarded his medal for heroic service in combat operations against the enemy, leading his platoon into enemy fire in 27 of 90 combat patrols, and successfully retrieving a downed UH-1Y helicopter during a 28-hour mission in which he employed his Marines after only an hour of planning.
He did all of this while his platoon was attached to Task Force Belleau Wood in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
In the citation read by 1st Sgt. Juarice Collins, company first sergeant for Fox Co., 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines, it is stated that Todd truly reflected the Marine Corps’ core values of honor, courage and commitment with his acts of valor while in country.
Captain Andrew Nicholson, company commander for Fox Co., 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines, explained that time in country only further proved that Todd is a well-rounded officer who sets a high standard on leading Marines.
“It was a phenomenal deployment for Todd,” said Nicholson. “As a company commander you can’t ask for a sounder officer who’s ready for anything that may be approached.”
Todd, however, humbly stated that it was not solely him who made the operations successful, but the cooperation and hard work of his platoon.
“The noncommissioned officers are why I got this award. They were the ones who put in the extra time, they were the ones who made those critical decisions that either give you success or make you fall on your face, and ten times out of ten times these same NCOs succeed,” said Todd.
Nicholson commented that Todd’s ability to take the task of retrieving the UH-1Y aircraft and employ his platoon within hours of getting the mission, was extraordinary for what they accomplished.
When Todd reflected on his experiences with his platoon while in Afghanistan, he expressed sincere appreciation for all of the work that his platoon did.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better platoon, it’s truly been an honor to see my NCOs down to the individual riflemen perform in combat and it was an honor to serve with them,” said Todd.