3/5 Sergeant to be awarded Silver Star
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    3/5 Sergeant to be awarded Silver Star

    3/5 Sergeant to be awarded Silver Star

    By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
    Posted : Friday Mar 23, 2012 19:02:45 EDT

    OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The Marine Corps will award the Silver Star next week to an infantry squad leader with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, for leading his men through an unrelenting firefight in Afghanistan nearly two years ago, 1st Marine Division said Friday.

    Insurgents ambushed Sgt. Ryan T. Sotelo and the men with 2nd Platoon’s 1st Squad, attacking them Nov. 25, 2010, with machinegun and small arms fire. The platoon commander, 1st Lt. William Donnelly of Frederick, Md., was killed.

    Sotelo “immediately took charge of the unit, moved them to a nearby canal and then sprinted through heavy fire across the open ground to retrieve the body of his fallen lieutenant,” the award citation states. “As insurgents began to assault the position, he fearlessly led his squad as they repelled the enemy.”

    At one point, as one of his Marines came under fire, the sergeant “closed on the insurgent and killed him with a grenade,” according to the citation.

    The fighting raged on and when Marine reinforcements got pinned down by enemy fire, Sotelo “again exposed himself to the fire in order to engage the enemy machine gun with his personal weapon, finally calling in an air strike that silenced the enemy gun,” the citation states. But the threat remained, and “realizing that his situation was dire, Sergeant Sotelo led a fighting withdrawal more than 600 meters through enemy fire to bring his squad back to friendly lines.”

    Sotelo will receive the award, which credits him for “bold leadership [and] wise judgment,” during a March 30 ceremony at Camp Pendleton. During its 2010-11 deployment, 3/5 operated as part of Regimental Combat Team 2 in Helmand province’s Sangin district.

    http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2012/03/marine-silver-star-pendleton-ryan-s otelo-032312w/

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    Go Marine Go~~~Semper Fidelis

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