MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Six years ago, while in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Cpl. Albert P. Gettings, a team leader for Company F, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, and his squad came under automatic weapons fire. After the initial burst of fire wounded both him and a second Marine, Gettings stood up and returned fire while the other casualty was moved to a covered position. Without regard to his own safety, he remained fully exposed to the enemy while he issued orders to the squad and provided suppressive fire for their movement. Gettings later succumbed to his wounds.
For his heroic actions Jan. 5, 2005, Gettings was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with a combat distinguishing device. Six years later, Marines with 2/6 continue to honor his actions by selecting one Marine per month for the Cpl. Albert P. Gettings Award.
First Sergeant Jonathan M. Wyble, the first sergeant of Company F, 2/6, created the monthly award and said he did so to inspire junior Marines and sailors.
“I wanted to initiate an award that would recognize Marines on a monthly basis for doing an outstanding job – unselfish sacrifice and devotion to fellow Marines,” said Wyble.
This month, Petty Officer 3rd Class Russell W. Kramer, a corpsman with 2/6, was selected for his actions during 2/6’s most recent deployment to Afghanistan.
“He really stood out, he was energetic and you could tell he loved being a corpsman,” said 1st Lt. Jeffrey T. Turner, the 2nd platoon commander for Company F. “During our very first patrol in Afghanistan, we got in a pretty big firefight. He saw a wounded Afghan soldier and ran over to him without suppressive fire. He kept him alive until the helicopter arrived.”
Kramer is the first corpsman to earn the award since it was established in 2009.
“When I was first told I got the award I thought (this award was only for Marines),” said Kramer with a laugh. “I felt honored to be the first corpsman to receive the Cpl. Albert P. Gettings award.
Although Kramer may not be a Marine, his selflessness and courage proves that he is nevertheless a worthy candidate for the award.
“I always asked where they needed me on patrol. Putting others before myself came natural. Part of the (corpsman) role is to take care of your Marines whether it is physically, mentally or morally.”