MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The logistics 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.
The Tullahoma, Tenn. native, Maj. Bryon J. Fugate, was awarded the medal for his achievement as the battalion’s logistics officer from January 2005 to January 2006. The battalion was based at Camp Blue Diamond, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I was honored and humbled to receive the medal from the commanding general,” the 1992 graduate of Athens State College said. “I wouldn’t have received it without the support of the Marines, sailors and my wife.”
Fugate arrived prior to the rest of the battalion and developed plans to receive, stage and integrate the battalion’s forces in the turnover with 1st Marine Division. He made it possible for the Marines and sailors to arrive smoothly and assume their duties and immediately influencing actions against the enemy.
In order for the Marines to continue training while in Iraq, Fugate designed and supervised the construction of a combat rehearsal area where Marines and sailors could test fire and calibrate their weapons. This range was able to handle small arms as well as crew-served weapons systems.
Fugate developed and implemented plans to improve the camp for the Marines and sailors. He initiated a camp wide clean-up and disposal of scrap metal and garbage piles which lead to the clearing and improvement of a concrete pad to use as an alternate landing zone. During the process he also recycled force protection materials that were used to reinforce the armor of the personnel carriers. His leadership and direction set the conditions for the unit to meet the force protection standards on and around the camp.
Fugate knew that force protection was a big part of Camp Blue Diamond, so he planned, coordinated and supervised a multitude of projects to improve the perimeter defenses. Coordinating support from 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Fugate had 800 meters of anti-tank ditches and the emplacement of 2,000 meters of concertina wire. The Multi-National Forces – Iraqi Force Protection team assessed the camp as being one of the best-protected bases in the theater of operation. This is due in large part to Fugate’s drive and determination to make Camp Blue Diamond the best according to his award citation.
“This award is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of many superb Marines and sailors with whom I had the pleasure to work with,” Fugate stated.