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    Marine Raider Awarded Nation’s Second Highest Decoration for Valor

    Marine Raider Awarded Nation’s Second Highest Decoration for Valor

    Photo By Sgt. Jesula Jeanlouis | Staff Sergeant Nicholas J. Jones, Critical Skills Operator, is awarded the Navy Cross...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Jesula Jeanlouis 

    Marine Forces, Special Operations Command

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Staff Sergeant Nicholas J. Jones is awarded the Navy Cross during a ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Aug 26.

    The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David Berger, presented Staff Sergeant Nicholas Jones the Navy Cross award for his actions in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. The Navy Cross is the highest decoration bestowed by the Department of the Navy, the second highest valor award, second to the Medal of Honor and must be approved by the Secretary of the Navy.

    “It was his quick thinking, his selfless actions, and his decisive leadership, not only that saved the lives of another team member but kept the rest of the team alive” said Berger. “It was his demanding attitude that forced himself to be ready. It was his demanding leadership that prepared his team. It was his demanding mindset, I would offer, that led his team off that mountain that day” said Berger.

    Opening comments were offered by Maj. Gen. James F. Glynn, Commanding General, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. Also in attendance was Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy.

    “The backdrop is not a mistake... This is our memorial of the names of those that have paid the ultimate price on our behalf, in training and operations around the world” said Glynn during the ceremony.

    Jones, of Olathe, KS, encompassed extraordinary heroism while assigned as Element Leader with Marine Special Operations Company H, 2d Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Raider Regiment, in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

    Jones was accompanying Iraqi forces to clear enemy positions, on March 8, 2020, when multiple barricaded enemies opened fire, wounding an allied special operator, and subsequently wounding two Marine Raiders.

    Jones’s award cites, “Despite the unfolding chaotic situation, Staff Sergeant Jones seized the initiative and organized a counterattack. Under sustained, accurate enemy fire at close range, he maneuvered to the [allied] casualty, suppressing the enemy 20 meters away with his rifle and grenades while helping to move the casualty to a covered position and subsequent medical evacuation.”

    Nearly five hours into the firefight, Jones was struck in the leg after leading a third and final attack on the enemy position. Refusing medical treatment and pain medication, continued to fight until he was medically evacuated.

    “It is men like Talon Leach, Jon Gifford, Mo Navas and Diego Pongo that contribute to the legendary bloodline of not only Hotel Company, but MARSOC as a whole. It is my hope that the awards given from actions taken on March 8, 2020 will ultimately contribute to the standards set for every Marine Raider.”

    Staff Sergeant Jones became the eighth servicemember in MARSOC’s 15-year history to be awarded the Navy Cross. His decisive actions, bold initiative, and unconquerable spirit reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

    “It is not beyond me how fortunate I am to be alive to accept this award. Thank you all for your support and once again, it is a great honor to receive this award.”

    “Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.” concluded Jones.

    The Marine Raider Regiment provides tailored military combat-skills training and advisor support for identified foreign forces to enhance their tactical capabilities and to prepare the environment as directed by USSOCOM as well as the capability to form the nucleus of a Joint Special Operations Task Force. “Marines are who we are. Special operations are what we do.” This mantra points to the foundational experiences that unite all Marine Raiders.



    Date Taken: 08.26.2021
    Date Posted: 08.27.2021 13:48
    Story ID: 404022
    Location: CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, US

    Web Views: 2,915
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