News: 'He stepped up to the occasion, and exhibited some incredible bravery that day'
Story by Lance Cpl. John Faria
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Staff Sgt. Philip Crosby was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device for heroic achievement and sustained meritorious service during combat operations at a ceremony, here, June 10.
Crosby, who is now assigned to 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, was the assistant effects advisor for Military Transition Team 133, Multi-National Force - West from November 2007 to October 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Crosby and his MTT embedded with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, to protect the Iraqi people and support the local government in the Diyala and Baghdad provinces.
"We went out and patrolled with [the Iraqi Army] almost every day, usually on foot," said Crosby. "Our main role was to support the Iraqis by controlling air assets, gathering intelligence, planning operations and organizing support such as [AH-64 Apache helicopters] and [explosive ordinance disposal] units."
According to his award citation, Crosby was assigned to 20 Iraqi scouts, Feb. 17, 2008, when they were ordered to join 20 members of the U.S. Army to conduct a combined raid on the village of Bodija.
After capturing multiple enemy suspects, Crosby and the Iraqi scouts set out on foot in cooperation with the U.S. Army, in pursuit of possible insurgents spotted by air assets.
After a two-kilometer patrol, the U.S. and Iraqi forces came under fierce ambush from insurgent forces.
During the ensuing battle, Crosby exposed himself to enemy fire to communicate and coordinate a counter-attack with the army unit.
While still receiving sporadic enemy fire, Crosby again exposed himself to assist wounded soldiers and escorted the wounded to a helicopter landing zone.
"He stepped up to the occasion, and exhibited some incredible bravery that day," said Lt. Col. John John Orille, who worked with Crosby in Iraq. "He intuitively thinks on his feet and executes with confidence. His judgment is spot-on at the snap of a finger. No matter what you throw at him, he's able to assess the situation and take action."
Crosby's leadership enabled the battalion to foster an environment of security and stability for the Iraqi people.
"The last time I'd been to Iraq was during the invasion," said Crosbey, an Inman, S.C., native. "I saw a lot of differences from before - mostly with the people in the towns we went and cleared. You could see the difference two or three days later, because there would be kids playing in the street that weren't there before."