MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- In an award ceremony here today, Gunnery Sgt. Jerome H. Murkerson, licensing chief, Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion, received the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for actions performed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.
At the time of the action for which he earned the award, Murkerson served as platoon commander, 1st Platoon, Security Force Detachment, HQ Bn. His Marines were responsible for detaining several financiers, improvised explosive device markers and triggermen, and mortarmen actively engaged in supporting insurgent activities, according to his award citation.
“We caught [the financier] as we were headed to Camp Ramadi to drop off detainees,” said Murkerson. “He was spotted running away with an object in his hand and we were able to see what house he ran into, so we raided the house and found out he was actually financing the insurgents within the Ar Ramadi area.”
On Aug. 25, 2005, Murkerson led a counter-sniper ambush that severely wounded three enemy insurgents and seized one scoped rifle and other assorted small arms and ammunition, he said.
“Every time we were able to prevent the insurgents from setting up IEDs, taking pot shots or launching mortars at the base every Marine on the base felt safer,” he said.
After receiving the recognition, Murkerson explained the true significance of the award.
“Any time you can stop these guys from hurting another Marine it feels great. My guys and I loved what we did, and that is get the bad guys,” he said.