View Full Version : Marine Hero saves Life

12-28-03, 07:12 AM
Submitted by: MCB Camp Pendleton
Story Identification Number: 2003122317353
Story by Sgt. Enrique S. Diaz

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.(December 11, 2003) -- Sgt. Isidro G. Rubio, an instructor with Company H, Marine Combat Training Battalion, was recently decorated for saving a Marine's life.

Rubio was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for saving the life of a School of Infantry Marine aboard Camp Pendleton.

On Dec. 11, Pfc. Michael T. Waller, a student attending Marine Combat Training, began choking at the School of Infantry's mess hall.

Rubio noticed that a group of Marines began to gather around Waller who was apparently choking. One Marine was already trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver, but his efforts were in vain.

At that point, Rubio went to the aid of the choking Marine and correctly performed the maneuver that saved the Marine's life.

Rubio credits the Marine combat instructor course for having taught him the skills he employed that day.

"Everything that I was trained in came into play," Rubio said. "I didn't even think about it twice. I just went in and did the Heimlich maneuver the way it's supposed to be done."

Rubio's actions saved the Marine's life and Waller said he owes more than a debt of gratitude to Rubio.

He added he appreciated the leader and his fellow instructors not only for saving his life, but also for giving him a good impression of the Marine Corps.

"It's a lot different from boot camp, they talk to you, even kid around with you, so it's a big change," Waller said. "I'm very grateful."

Although he was awarded the medal, Rubio remained humble when faced with the attention he has received.

"I am grateful for it, but I think all the NCOs out here deserve this award because everybody helps each other around here and thanks to my fellow NCOs," Rubio said.

The evident change in the quality of instructors since the occupation became a B-billet is something Lt. Col. Eric M. Mellinger, the battalion commander for MCT Bn., is proud to be a part of.

"Sgt. Rubio not only upheld the standards of noncommissioned officers, but also he well demonstrated the expectations here at the School of Infantry and our Marine Combat Instructors," Mellinger said.

Sgt. Maj. Aaron L. Banks, the sergeant major for MCT Bn., agreed with the battalion commander.

"What he did unhesitatingly, basically typifies the quality of NCOs not only in the Marine Corps, but especially here at the School of Infantry," he said.

The type of NCO Rubio proved himself to be is in keeping with what the Marine Corps expects of such a crucial rank.

"They have initiative, take action, and take responsibility for their actions," said 1st Sgt James R. Green, Company H's first sergeant.

"Young Marines need to know they have outstanding NCOs that care about them and are going to do everything they can to take care of them, whether they are in uniform or not," he said.

Rubio's example of watching out for his Marines, especially in a matter of life-and-death, exemplifies what the NCOs stand for at the School of Infantry.

"These instructors have a lot of responsibility," said Capt. Jon D. Wicklund, Company H commanding officer.

"At any given time Sgt. Rubio himself when he's on duty can have anywhere from 70 to 120 Marines under his direct supervision," he said. "We're really looking for the Marine that is a cut above and beyond."

E-mail Sgt. Diaz at: DiazES@pendleton.usmc.mil.