The first is Lance Marine Cpl. Armand E. McCormick, who was awarded the Silver Star.
Under heavy fire McCormick exhibited exceptional bravery when the lead elements of his battalion were ambushed with mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and squad automatic weapons fire. Fearlessly he drove his lightly armored vehicle directly at an enemy machine gun position and purposely crashed it into an occupied trench line. With the initial breach of the enemy defense now gained for his unit, he sprang from the vehicle and began assaulting the berm and ambush line with two Marines. Taking direct fire, and outnumbered, he pressed forward, firing his M9 pistol at enemy forces. Moving through the trench, he repeatedly came under enemy fire, each time calmly taking well-aimed shots.The second is Marine Cpl. Robert P. Kerman, who also was awarded the Silver Star.
As the group ran low on ammunition, he collected enemy rifles and a rocket- propelled grenade and continued to press the attack forward several hundred meters. As a follow-on company began to make their entrance into the berm, he returned to his vehicle and backed it out of the trench. McCormick's boldly aggressive actions greatly reduced the enemy's ability to inflict casualties on the rest of his battalion.
Kerman exhibited exceptional bravery when the lead elements of the battalion were ambushed with mortars, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire.And finally, their leader, Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh, was awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest medal a Marine can receive.
As the vehicle he was traveling in drove directly into machine gun fire and into a trench line, Kerman sprang from the vehicle and began assaulting down the enemy occupied trench with two other Marines. As the enemy soldiers fired at him, he fearlessly plunged towards them firing his M16 with lethal accuracy. Continuing to move through the trench he repeatedly came under enemy fire.
Each time he would calmly occupy a steady firing position and take well-aimed shots that had devastating effects in the enemy.
As the group ran out of ammunition, they pressed forward 200 to 300 meters utilizing captured enemy AK-47s.
He showed no regard for his own personal safety, and his actions directly contributed to the successful outcome of the engagement.
While leading his platoon north on Highway 1 toward Ad Diwaniyah, Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire. With coalitions tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.God has truly blessed America through the services of these fine men.
He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, Chontosh ordered the driver to advanced directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.
He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.
When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.
When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.