News: Ferocity in the face of the enemy: 1st Sgt. Rice
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A Marine with Food Service Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device here, May 24, for his heroic actions in Afghanistan nearly two years ago.
U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Curtis Rice was presented the award by Col. Bruce E. Nickle, commanding officer, CLR-17, 1st MLG, and according to his citation, had saved the lives of Marines, Special Forces soldiers and Afghanistan National Army soldiers.
While deployed to Afghanistan in July 2009, Rice was serving as the senior enlisted advisor with an Embedded Training Team, a group of American service members whose mission is to mentor and operate with the Afghan National Army. He helped prevent an Afghan National Army observation post from being overrun by approximately 50 enemy combatants, according to the citation. Also, Rice bravely faced enemy fire to resupply ammunition and fix a M240 machine gun.
Rice, 35, from Worcester, Mass., said he was simply doing his job when he helped prevent deaths of his team and Afghan counterparts.
“Our job is to defend our nation,” said Rice, after receiving the medal. “Our nation is so proud of us, and I am so humbled to be part of this organization.”
Rice believes his heroic actions under fire would not have been possible without the hard work of his fellow Marines.
“I didn’t do anything differently than any other Marine would do at that time,” said Rice. “That gunner right there was watching our six.”
Rice said that all of the members of his team showed bravery during the firefight.
“You really don’t care about anything else at that time but helping out your fellow Marines,” said Rice.
Rice spoke of the Marines in Afghanistan and how they are continuing to show exemplary bravery under fire.
“There [are] Marines right now as we speak, out there on the battlefield, doing extraordinary things,” said Rice. “Much more extraordinary than what I did that day.”
Rice says his Bronze Star Medal is the result of his team. He feels he shouldn’t be the only service member celebrated for that day, but his team and the Army Special Forces he was working with at the time as well.
“It’s not an individual award,” Said Rice. “This award here was done from team effort.”