W. Bryan Jackson

1st Lt. Walter Bryan Jackson, US Army

Distinguished Service Cross- For Actions During Operation Iraqi Freedom

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Field Artillery), [then Second Lieutenant] Walter Bryan Jackson, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as a Company Fire Support Officer with Company A, Task Force 1-36 (1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment), 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, on 27 September 2006, while engaged in combat operations against an armed insurgent force in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. While recovering a disabled vehicle, Second Lieutenant Jackson’s unit came under heavy enemy machine gun fire. Despite the danger, he applied first aid to a severely wounded comrade and was then hit in … Read more »

Brent Morel

Captain Brent Morel, USMC

Navy Cross (Awarded Posthumously) — For Actions During Operation Iraqi Freedom

For extraordinary heroism as Platoon Commander, 2d Platoon, Company B, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 7 April 2004. Captain Morel’s platoon escorted a convoy into the Al Anbar Province when 40 to 60 insurgents in well-fortified and concealed positions initiated an ambush. Witnessing a rocket-propelled grenade crippling his lead vehicle and while mortar and machine gun fire erupted, he ordered his remaining two vehicles to secure a flanking position. Captain Morel left his vehicle and led a determined assault across an open field and up a 10-foot berm, in order to maneuver into firing positions. The boldness of this first assault eliminated several insurgents at close range forcing their retreat. Observing his Marines pinned down from enemy … Read more »

Robert Mitchell Jr.

Cpl. Robert Mitchell Jr., USMC

Navy Cross — For Actions During Operation Iraqi Freedom

The is presented to Robert J. Mitchell, Jr., Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Squad Leader, Company K, 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 13 November 2004. During a ferocious firefight with six insurgents fighting inside a heavily fortified house, Corporal Mitchell courageously attacked the enemy strongpoint to rescue five wounded Marines trapped inside the house. Locating the enemy positions and completely disregarding his own safety, he gallantly charged through enemy AK-47 fire and hand grenades, in order to assist a critically wounded Marine in an isolated room. Ignoring his own wounds, he began the immediate first aid treatment of the Marine’s severely wounded leg. Assessing that the Marine needed … Read more »

Zachary J. Rhyner

Senior Airman Zachary J. Rhyner, USAF

Air Force Cross, For Actions During the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Senior Airman Zachary J. Rhyner, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States while serving with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, at Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on 6 April 2008. On that date, while assigned as Special Tactics Combat Controller, Airman Rhyner executed a day rotary-wing infiltration with his Special Forces team to capture high-value insurgents in a village on the surrounding mountains. While climbing near vertical terrain to reach their objective, the team was attacked in a well-coordinated and deadly ambush. Devastating sniper, machine gun, and rocket-propelled grenade fire poured down on the team from elevated and … Read more »

Javier Obleas

Gunnery Sergeant Javier Obleas, USMC

Bronze Star (Awarded Posthumously) — For Actions During the Global War on Terror

For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as Platoon Sergeant, 2d Platoon, Company A, 2d Reconnaissance Battalion, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Marine Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II from 1 September to 1 December 2004. Gunnery Sergeant Obleas’ gallant leadership was instrumental during the conduct of 22 combat patrols that located and destroyed more than 10,506 pieces of enemy ordnance. On 13 November, his platoon was attacked by an improvised explosive device that claimed the lives of two Marines and injured four others. His calm and resolute leadership in the midst of the chaotic situation was critical as he maneuvered the platoon to establish a security cordon and directed the recovery and evacuation of the unit’s casualties. On 14 November, an isolated sniper team came … Read more »