MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The plans officer for Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was presented a Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in connection with combat operations in Iraq by Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, commanding general, 2nd Marine Division, at the II Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters building in a ceremony here on April 4.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Conner was awarded the medal for his achievement as the plans officer, assistant chief of staff G-3 from February 2005 to February 2006. The battalion was based in and around Ar Ramadi, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
While deployed, Conner was the principal architect of Operation Shurooq, the overarching concept for the division’s participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Shurooq and its four subordinate operations established the framework to integrate and employ Iraqi Security Forces, and to control, neutralize and interdict the insurgency throughout the Al Anbar province in Iraq.
His design of Operation Patriot Shield enabled the expansion of the Fallujah corridor. This enabled a more permanent presence in Karman, Saqlawiyah and Amiriya, which contributed to increased security for the citizens of Iraq. Patriot Shield also facilitated the arrival and employment of the first Iraqi army brigade to the Al Anbar province.
Conner’s contributions to Operation Guardian Sword masked the reliefs-in-place of several units with an aggressive campaign to pursue anti-Iraqi forces throughout the area of operation.
Synchronizing the effects of two major operations, Sayaid II and Liberty Express, Conner was able to contribute to a successful constitutional referendum and national election, and the establishment of a permanent Iraqi security presence in the western Euphrates River Valley.
He led the Marines in designing one of the most significant operations, Liberty Express. Conner broke the operation into four major phases: shaping operations, referendum support, re-set and election support. Shaping these operations was critical to expand the areas in which Iraqis could participate in voting. Conner was able to help raise the presence of the Iraqi Army in the western Al Anbar province from just 34 soldiers to over 1500.
According to his award citation, Conner’s foresight, initiative and actions ensured the division was anticipating mission requirements and projecting forces at critical times and places.
During his acceptance speech Conner addressed the Marines attending the ceremony.
“The accomplishments are really the efforts of many of the people standing in this room right now,” Conner said. “I was glad to be part of the division for this deployment.”