MARSOC Major Receives Award for Actions in Epic Battle

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http://www.dvidshub.net/?script=news/news_show.php&id=46693

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- There are numerous Marines and sailors, at the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, who have prestigious awards for valor, with citations that read like the script from an action movie.

The command's latest award recipient is no exception to that high standard of courage and sacrifice.

Maj. John A. Moder received a Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device on March 10, for his actions during a 14-hour firefight while serving as the commanding officer of C Company, Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, in the Garmsir District, Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 30, 2008.

Moder's company, along with the rest of the 24th MEU seized the Jugroom Fort, a Taliban stronghold estimated to have housed more than 600 enemy forces. Though previous military units had attempted to take control of the Jugroom, no one had succeeded until the 24th MEU arrived.

"This Jugroom Fort battle was one 14-hour battle that was kind of the crescendo of this whole operation," Moder said.

The Rhode Island native led his Marines from the front during the battle. He constantly exposed himself to fire from sharp shooters and rocket propelled grenades in order to control the fires supporting his maneuvering units. He did all this while engaging determined enemy personnel with a M240G medium machine gun and M4 carbine assault rifle, according to his award citation.

"At one point, I saw this guy crawling in the grass, trying to sneak up on 1st platoon, that's when I engaged him," Moder said recalling the battle. "He blew himself up with a grenade about 15 meters away."

Maj. Gen. Paul E. Lefebvre, the commander of MARSOC, gave a speech during the ceremony repeating the words of his son, 1st. Lt. Tom Lefebvre, who served under Moder during the battle.

"'Dad, he stayed awake for four days and he didn't sleep. When his company went into attack, he was with the lead fire team,'" the elder Lefebvre recalled his son saying. "He said to me 'he is a quiet guy, and he doesn't say a lot, but his lieutenants absolutely love him.' Better than an award, is when somebody says something like that," Maj. Gen. Lefebvre continued.

Moder is now the officer-in-charge of Assessment and Selection at the Marine Special Operations School. Assessment and Selection is a mentally and physically challenging evaluation that identifies Marines with the necessary attributes to complete follow-on special operations training and to conduct special operations missions.

Moder's actions in Afghanistan are a clear indicator of his own courage under fire and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and United States Naval Service.


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The Bronze Star Medal is given for either combat heroism or meritorious service. The bronze "V," a combat distinguishing device, identifies the award as resulting from acts of combat heroism or valor, separating it from meritorious achievement awards.

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Maj. John A Moder, the officer-in-charge of Assessment and Selection, Marine Special Operations School, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, is awarded a Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device by Maj. Gen. Paul E. Lefebvre, the commander of MARSOC, during a ceremony inside the MARSOC headquarters building March 10. Moder received the award for heroic achievement in connection with combat operations while serving as the commanding officer of C Company, Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, in the Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, May 30, 2008.

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Maj. John A Moder, the officer-in-charge of Assessment and Selection, Marine Special Operations School, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, smiles after being awarded a Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device during a ceremony inside the MARSOC headquarters building March 10. Moder received the award for heroic achievement in connection with combat operations while serving as the commanding officer of C Company, Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, in the Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, May 30, 2008.
 

AWP

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Wonderful pictures!
This is an informative site, which have all the hottest news and updates.

Here's some hot news and an update: I approved you this morning, now I will ban you for failing to follow simple instructions. 24 hours.
 

cbiwv

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Hey hey look at this, an actual officer who actually earned his valor award and not bleed off the accomplishments of the enlisted on the ground. *cough* Major Doyle *cough*

I'm glad someone said this.
 

Voodoo

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Nothing better than an officer who leads from the front, don't expect others to do what he wouldn't do himself. Well done Major!
 

Manolito

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Sounds like he is in a good position to make a big difference. A bronze Start and now making selections for advanced training.
Bravo Zulu Sir
 

Scotth

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Can a combat leader get any higher praise then his own men saying he leads from the front?
Well done Major and I hope you kick the same kind of ass in your new job.
 

Teufel

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Okay, I wasn't going to say anything but here goes. Maj Moder was submitted for the Silver Star but was downgraded to a Bronze Star. Why? There is no parity between the services for valor awards. The Marine Corps is entirely too stingy with awards. Meanwhile the ops o and CO of ever infantry battalion in Afganistan will walk away with Bronze Stars, probably with Vs on them. What's the sense in that? Moder should have gotten a Silver Star, not a Bronze. In my opinion he was robbed.
 

fox1371

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Okay, I wasn't going to say anything but here goes. Maj Moder was submitted for the Silver Star but was downgraded to a Bronze Star. Why? There is no parity between the services for valor awards. The Marine Corps is entirely too stingy with awards. Meanwhile the ops o and CO of ever infantry battalion in Afganistan will walk away with Bronze Stars, probably with Vs on them. What's the sense in that? Moder should have gotten a Silver Star, not a Bronze. In my opinion he was robbed.
I couldn't agree with you more on this. I could go on and on about how much I HATE the awards system in the Marine Corps.
 

TJT0321

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Okay, I wasn't going to say anything but here goes. Maj Moder was submitted for the Silver Star but was downgraded to a Bronze Star. Why? There is no parity between the services for valor awards. The Marine Corps is entirely too stingy with awards. Meanwhile the ops o and CO of ever infantry battalion in Afganistan will walk away with Bronze Stars, probably with Vs on them. What's the sense in that? Moder should have gotten a Silver Star, not a Bronze. In my opinion he was robbed.

I am in absolute agreement. I recently discovered that there is some sort of unwritten rule that implies a Marine does not rate a high level award until he has gotten all of the lower level awards. In other words I can't write up a NAM for a guy until he's gotten a Cer-Comm. And I can't put a guy in for a Bronze Star until he's gotten a Navy Comm. I have no idea why it works that way, but I imagine it has to do with the mafia that runs HQ Marine Corps being stingy and jealous because they never deploy.
 

Marauder06

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.... The Marine Corps is entirely too stingy with awards...

I could not agree more. In seven joint deployments, I was never able to get a BSM (sans "V" device) for a Marine, regardless of the circumstances. The only time I've seen BSMs go out for Marines, it involved direct fire combat.
 

Teufel

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I am in absolute agreement. I recently discovered that there is some sort of unwritten rule that implies a Marine does not rate a high level award until he has gotten all of the lower level awards. In other words I can't write up a NAM for a guy until he's gotten a Cer-Comm. And I can't put a guy in for a Bronze Star until he's gotten a Navy Comm. I have no idea why it works that way, but I imagine it has to do with the mafia that runs HQ Marine Corps being stingy and jealous because they never deploy.

This is not true, it all depends on the strength of the write up really. I have successfully nominated a Marine for a Bronze Star with V for his first personal award. Now it is true that award levels tend to be associated with billets and ranks. Bronze Stars and MSMs are associated with senior SNCOS and field grade officers, while achievement medals (and Purple Hearts) are associated with Corporals, Sergeants and Lieutenants. I don't agree with this, and I have gotten a Sergeant a Bronze Star but it's hard to do.
 

MeninaDoRio

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This is not true, it all depends on the strength of the write up really. I have successfully nominated a Marine for a Bronze Star with V for his first personal award. Now it is true that award levels tend to be associated with billets and ranks. Bronze Stars and MSMs are associated with senior SNCOS and field grade officers, while achievement medals (and Purple Hearts) are associated with Corporals, Sergeants and Lieutenants. I don't agree with this, and I have gotten a Sergeant a Bronze Star but it's hard to do.
Thats because you have mad writing skills ! :)
 
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