Bravery and brains earn Marine captain three top awards
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    Thumbs up Bravery and brains earn Marine captain three top awards

    Bravery and brains earn Marine captain three top awards
    By C. Mark Brinkley
    Marine Corps Times Staff writer

    CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Capt. Jason Schauble is what people lovingly refer to as a "Marine's Marine."

    The kind of guy who finishes college then enlists in the Corps, only to be scooped into the officer ranks.

    The kind of guy who charges into a room full of insurgents with a flash-bang and a goal. Stands strong every time the bullets start flying. Thinks big thoughts when there's a massive project to tackle.

    So it was with tremendous sincerity that the crowd of family, friends and colleagues packed into an auditorium here July 28 offered up their raucous standing ovation just moments after the former infantry assaultman was awarded three of the nation's more prestigious awards for those actions.

    Schauble, 31, a former platoon commander with 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company in Iraq and more recently a member of Marine Force Special Operations Command, received the Silver Star, Bronze Star with combat "V" and Meritorious Service Medal, and was medically retired during the short ceremony. Any one of the medals would have been its own great achievement, but seeing all three handed out at once left the audience cheering its approval.

    "Thank you, that made me feel very uncomfortable, thank you for that," the reluctant hero said when the applause died off, flashing an embarrassed grin. "It's never been about me. This kind of thing makes me uncomfortable. My first request to do it with three people in the general's office was denied."

    It's hard to imagine a little back-slapping and hand-shaking would be enough to rattle Schauble, given the Marine's composure in extreme situations.

    During an operation in Iraq in January 2005, Schauble's 4th Platoon met heavy resistance from insurgents while attempting a raid on a farmhouse. During the initial assault, a Marine was killed.

    Realizing that the insurgents hunkered down in the next room posed a serious threat to his men, Schauble took the lead.

    "With no regard for his personal safety, he threw a flash bang and entered the darkened, second room," reads the Silver Star citation. "Moving to the far wall, he engaged multiple insurgents and attempted to recover the dead Marine."

    Taking fire from enemies six feet away, Schauble pushed on, killing two insurgents before being shot in the arm and chest - his tactical vest likely saved his life. He continued to fight, drawing enemy fire so his Marines could enter and kill five more insurgents.

    The move came as little surprise to those familiar with Schauble. During the assaults on Hit and Fallujah a few months earlier, his courage under fire had already helped shape numerous engagements.

    Those operations were at times vicious, leaving one Marine dead, 15 more wounded and at least 50 insurgents killed, according to the Bronze Star citation, which was initially written up as a possible Silver Star.

    Returning home from Iraq with a battered right hand and a scar that runs the length of his forearm, Schauble arrived at Camp Lejeune. There he used all of those experiences to help guide the creation of the Foreign Military Training Units during the launch of MarSOC.

    Serving as a key adviser for the project, Schauble was "responsible for laying much of the foundation for the new component," according to his MSM citation.

    As such, MarSOC commander Maj. Gen. Dennis Hejlik said the unlikely awarding of an MSM - generally associated with more senior Marines - to a captain seemed extremely appropriate.

    "It just doesn't happen," Hejlik said. "He is flippin' smart."

    And humble. Pressed to say a few words, the Marine could only thank his wife, herself a former Marine combat engineer, for supporting him.

    "I couldn't call her up and tell her I was playing cards and watching movies," Schauble said. "She knew what a force recon Marine does."

    His injuries forced him to leave the service too soon, he said, making the day bittersweet. With his first child on the way, his family's next move is to a new home in the area and a possible future as a civilian employee with the Marine Corps, where Hejlik hopes to keep him near MarSOC.

    Schauble sees it all as a new chapter in his life.

    "I didn't expect to leave after nine years," he said. "It's a hard day for me."

    For others, it was nothing short of outstanding.

    "He certainly was more than deserving," said Maj. Jack O'Toole, who worked with Schauble in Iraq and wrote the Bronze Star citation. "I've never seen anyone get that much before. But, I've never seen anyone as good as him."


  2. #2
    I read this the other day in the Jacksonville, NC news rag, and I must say, the hairs on my back were at attention!!! What a hardcore Marine.

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