MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The executive officer for Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division received a Bronze Star from Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, the division commanding general, for meritorious achievement in Iraq at a ceremony in the II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters building here March 31.
Boston native, Lt. Col. Robert E. White was awarded the medal for his achievement as the battalion’s executive officer from February 2005 to February 2006. The battalion was based at Camp Blue Diamond, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“This award truly represents the courage and commitment of the Marines and sailors I was privileged to mentor and lead in combat,” the 1988 Norwich University graduate said. “The battalion was able to accomplish a wide assortment of combat missions in a non-traditional environment.”
White was directly involved in the command and control of more than 15 battalion operations to include: supporting the provisional Iraqi government by transporting billions of Iraqi dinar, coordinating route sweeps to search for improvised explosive devices and providing security for the Iraqi constitutional referendum in October and Iraqi national elections in December. He also reacted to numerous enemy attacks including 42 small arms fire attacks, 44 indirect fire attacks, 20 IED attacks and discoveries and one vehicle-borne IED attack.
In preparation for the constitutional referendum and national elections, White developed and supervised the execution of a detailed operational plan that thoroughly disrupted enemy operations in the area. This established conditions for successful voter turn out.
White was also responsible for tracking the battalion’s Marines and sailors and the billets they filled. Due to high volume of individual augments and substantial turnover of personnel, tracking individual and unit movements into and out of Iraq was a complex task.
While in Iraq, White acted as the family readiness officer. In this position he was responsible for disseminating information to families and ensuring personal problems at home didn’t affect Marines’ performance in theater. He also led the battalion’s effort to create and maintain the battalion’s website which contained resources for the families to help keep them informed. In addition, his work with the family readiness noncommissioned officer in Camp Lejeune transformed the key volunteer group into a large, robust network.
“I am humbled to have received this award,” White stated. “I take great pride in being part of an organization that contributed to the Marine Corps legacy.”