News: Florida Marine receives combat meritorious promotion
Story by Cpl. Johnny Merkley
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan – Marines across the globe are promoted every month, but these promotions seldom happen in a combat zone and under meritorious conditions.
Sergeant Andrew P. Tahmooressi, a native of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is one of the proud few who was meritoriously promoted to his current rank while deployed to Helmand province’s Nawa district with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. Tahmooressi is currently serving as a section leader in the 2/6 quick reaction force and was promoted here, Feb. 2, for the exemplary performance of his duties while holding this staff noncommissioned officer billet.
“I heard rumors about a meritorious promotion but I really didn’t feel worthy of the rank,” said Tahmooressi. “It’s motivating to know there are people around me that believe in me and have faith in my abilities.”
Like many Marines, Tahmooressi joined the Corps due to his love of country and desire to serve his fellow Americans. At 19-years-old, he enlisted as a machine gunner and, following boot camp and the School of Infantry East, Tahmooressi reported to Weapons Company, 2/6 as a turret gunner with Combined Anti-Armor Team 1.
“I felt that if I joined the infantry I could get the full Marine Corps experience,” he said. “The Marines Corps was something I always wanted to do and I didn’t want to go through life regretting having never joined.”
In 2010, Tahmooressi deployed with 2/6 to neighboring Marjah district, where he participated in combat operations for seven months. His time in Marjah left Tahmooressi with experiences he won’t soon forget.
“There are many experiences and stories I will remember for the rest of my life,” he said. “But having my vehicle hit an IED (improvised explosive device) and firing an automatic grenade launcher in combat top the list.”
Tahmooressi’s current deployment is his second to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As a newly promoted sergeant and QRF section leader, he and his Marines respond to emergency requests for assistance by their battalion and partnered units within the district.
“Tahmooressi has always been an outstanding Marine and a stand out guy,” said Gunnery Sgt. Gregory J. Zieba, the 2/6 QRF platoon commander. “He was holding a staff NCO billet before he was promoted and excelled at it... he is very deserving of the rank of sergeant.”
While the quality of his performance has been high during his three years in the Corps, Tahmooressi remains undecided about what the future may hold for him professionally. From re-enlisting as an infantryman, to making a lateral move to a different occupational specialty or retiring from active duty to attend college – Tahmooressi isn’t suffering from a lack of options.
“I’m undecided on where to go after all this, especially after the success that I’ve had as a Marine,” said Tahmooressi. “Either way, enlisting in the Marine Corps was the best decision I could have made.”
Editor’s note: Second Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, is currently assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5, 1st Marine Division (Forward), which works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Forces and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling the ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.