CAMP GEIGER, N.C. – “The area was supposed to be that bad,” said Sgt. Daniel Hubbert, a combat instructor for Company D, Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-East. “We knew there would be (improvised explosive devices) planted. So we were just trying to figure out how to combat them.”
What Hubbert didn’t expect was that his leadership skills, initiative and decisive actions in combat would earn him the Marine Corps’ 10th highest medal.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Rule, commanding officer of ITB, awarded Hubbert the Bronze Star medal with a combat distinguishing device during a ceremony aboard Camp Geiger, Oct. 18.
Hubbert earned this award for his bravery and meritorious service while deployed to Now Zad, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“It was for the entire tour over there. For the amount of patrols, the amount of contact we got on patrol, firefights and pulling guys out of those firefights,” said Hubbert.
From November 2008 to June 2009, Hubbert was a squad leader with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Hubbert and his Marines helped support other units that came under fire. Hubbert also personally pulled two Marines from a firefight after they were injured.
“With the first one, a Marine was shot after (his unit) came under enemy fire,” Hubbert said. “They were pulling him out, and after we got the call, we got there quick enough that we were able to set up the vehicles, dismount and go grab him from the other Marines.”
The Marines and sailors of 3rd Bn., 8th Marines would often go on convoys that lasted anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks. Hubbert said the heat and Afghan environment often challenged the service members both physically and mentally. This, however, did not stop Hubbert and his team from accomplishing their mission.
“They had already been out there for several hours, so by that point they were already tired,” said Hubbert. “So (my Marines and I) grabbed him and loaded him up into the convoy.”
Although the Marine was not able to survive his wounds, Hubbert’s quick reactions to help his fellow Marines while engaged with an enemy, without regard for his own safety, earned him the Bronze Star.
“The second Marine was one of my combat engineers,” said Hubbert. “He was out mine sweeping. He got hit, and it was a dual amputation. We had to pull him (from the danger area), and carrying him wasn’t doing it, so we had to strap him in and get him out.”
Hubbert’s ability to lead his Marines in assisting others to safety in the face of danger earned him the combat “V” for valor.
“Sergeant Hubbert displayed the traits of a great Marine, and we couldn’t have anyone better teaching all of you,” said Rule, while addressing the companies of ITB.
Rule added that even with his accomplishments, Hubbert has remained humble and levelheaded.
“We just took what happened as it came,” said Hubbert. “The best thing (about being in combat) is that my Marines would do anything for me and I would do anything for them. We just knew that we had each other’s back, no matter what happened.”