CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – A Navy corpsman previously assigned to 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, was awarded the Silver Star – the nation’s third-highest military decoration for valor in combat – for his extraordinary heroism while conducting combat operations in Bala Morghab, Afghanistan on Nov. 6, 2009.
During a deliberate attack on a series of enemy positions, Hospital Corpsman First Class Amilcar Rodriguez and his Afghan partner force took a rooftop position to provide over watch for their Marine Special Operations Team. Almost immediately after taking the position, two Afghan Commandos and a Marine in Rodriguez’s team fell wounded by sniper fire. Though warned by his teammates about the sniper, Rodriguez exposed himself from cover and took up an M249 squad automatic weapon, which he unloaded into the enemy position, killing two insurgents. He then rushed to his wounded teammate’s position and proceeded to drag him to safety, until three shots from a sniper sent him falling beside the injured Marine.
As his teammates came to their aid and began dragging them to safety, Rodriguez calmly instructed them on the triage and assessment of the other casualty. Once taken to the casualty collection point, Rodriguez continued to assist another medic in the treatment of the wounded.
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Lefebvre, the commander of MARSOC, presented Rodriguez with his award at a ceremony at the MARSOC Headquarters building.
“We obviously realize the magnitude of this presentation,” Lefebvre told the crowd. “Our heritage is based on our actions. And the actions that we’re recognizing today add significance to the history of the Navy, and to the history of the Corps.”