Justin LeHew: Wikis

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Justin D. LeHew
Born 1970 (age 39–40)
Place of birth Columbus Grove, Ohio
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Rank Sergeant Major
Unit 1st Battalion, 4th Marines
Battles/wars Iraq War
Operation Desert Storm
Awards Navy Cross
Bronze Star W/V

Justin D. LeHew (born in Columbus Grove, Ohio, United States in 1970) is a highly decorated United States Marine serving in the War on Terror. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on 23 and March 24, 2003 during the initial 2003 invasion of Iraq. He was also involved in the rescue operation of the U.S. Army's 507th Maintenance Company and is also a recipient of the Bronze Star W/V with Combat distinguishing device for his heroic actions from 5 to August 28, 2004 during the Battle of Najaf.[1][2]

Contents

Marine Corps career

Justin D. LeHew was born January 2, 1970 in Columbus Grove, Ohio and enlisted in the Marine Corps July 11, 1988. After graduating recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, then PFC LeHew reported to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California for training as an Assault Amphibian Crewman.

Upon completion of school in January 1989, PFC LeHew received orders to report to Company A, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion at Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune, North Carolina and deployed with Company A in the spring of 1989 to Okinawa before moving to H&S Company in the fall of the same year to deploy with UNITAS 31 throughout South America.

Upon returning from South America, LCpl LeHew immediately deployed to Southwest Asia with the battalion in January 1991 and participated in Operation Desert Storm.

After returning to the states in July 1991, Cpl LeHew transferred to Company C for service as an Assault Amphibian Vehicle crew chief. He then deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit as a section leader in April 1993 and participated in Operation Provide Promise and Operation Deny Flight in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In January 1994, Sgt LeHew received orders back to Camp Pendleton for duty as an instructor at the Assault Amphibian School.

From January 1994 to October 1996, Sgt LeHew served in a variety of billets at the school ranging from crew chief, class commander, platoon sergeant and classroom instructor. He also attended the Basic Vehicle Repairman Course during this time and received a secondary military occupational specialty as an AAV mechanic.

In October 1996, SSgt LeHew graduated Drill Instructor School at MCRD San Diego and reported to Company G, 2nd Recruit Training Bn, where he served as drill instructor, senior drill instructor and academics instructor.

From January 2000 to October 2002, GySgt LeHew returned to Camp LeJeune for duty as a platoon sergeant with Company D, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion.

In October 2002, GySgt LeHew transferred to Company A for service as platoon sergeant for 3rd platoon and deployed in January 2003 to Operation Iraqi Freedom with Regimental Combat Team 2 and Task Force Tarawa. On March 23, 2003, GySgt LeHew[3] was an Assault Amphibian Vehicle Platoon Sergeant who was leading an armored column into the city of Nasiriyah when he was called upon to rescue the remaining soldiers of the ill-fated US Army 507th Maintenance Company led by Captain Troy King who was ambushed just hours earlier. After rescuing the soldiers he continued to press his attack into the streets of the city where during 4 vicious hours of house to house, street to street urban combat he bolstered a defensive perimeter to repel numerous waves of attackers, directed tank and infantry fires, rescued or retrieved 7 more US Marines after their vehicle was destroyed by rocket propelled grenade fire and coordinated an air medical evacuation of all wounded and dead US troops during the fight for the Southern Bridge in the city. LeHew was also later involved in the rescue and recovery operation of Jessica Lynch from the hospital in Nasiriya.

In June 2003, GySgt LeHew received orders to transfer once again back to Camp Pendleton for service with Company A, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion as Company Operations Chief. In January 2004, 1stSgt LeHew reported for duty as Company First Sergeant, Company C, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines (1/4) and immediately deployed in May 2004 with BLT 1/4 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. He distinguished himself in combat once again during the battle of Najaf from 5 to August 28, 2004 earning the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device for his heroic actions against the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr.

[4]

Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting
The Navy Cross
To
Justin D. Lehew
Gunnery Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

For Services as Set Forth in the Following Citation:

For extraordinary heroism as Amphibious Assault Platoon Sergeant, Company A, c, Task Force Tarawa, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 23 and 24 March 2003. As Regimental Combat Team 2 attacked north towards An Nasiriyah, Iraq, lead elements of the Battalion came under heavy enemy fire. When the beleaguered United States Army 507th Maintenance Company convoy was spotted in the distance, Gunnery Sergeant Lehew and his crew were dispatched to rescue the soldiers. Under constant enemy fire, he led the rescue team to the soldiers. With total disregard for his own welfare, he assisted the evacuation effort of four soldiers, two of whom were critically wounded. While still receiving enemy fire, he climbed back into his vehicle and immediately began suppressing enemy infantry. During the subsequent company attack on the eastern bridge over the Euphrates River, Gunnery Sergeant Lehew continuously exposed himself to withering enemy fire during the three-hour urban firefight. His courageous battlefield presence inspired his Marines to fight a determined foe and allowed him to position his platoon's heavy machine guns to repel numerous waves of attackers. In the midst of the battle, an Amphibious Assault Vehicle was destroyed, killing or wounding all its occupants. Gunnery Sergeant Lehew immediately moved to recover the nine Marines. He again exposed himself to a barrage of fire as he worked for nearly an hour recovering casualties from the wreckage. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Lehew reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.[1]

Bronze Star with Combat V Citation

The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting
The Bronze Star
To
Justin D. Lehew
First Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

For Services as Set Forth in the Following Citation:

For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as Company First Sergeant, Company C, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), I Marine Expeditionary Force from 5 to 27 August 2004, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II. While defending against a Mahdi Militia attack on Iraqi security forces, the Company came under intense mortar, rocket, sniper, and machine-gun fire at Revolutionary Square, in the heart of Najaf, Iraq. First Sergeant LeHew fearlessly moved about the battlefield to points of contact. On three occasions, he directed the fires of vehicle-mounted weapons against enemy snipers and militia attempting to penetrate the rear lines of the Company. For six hours, he repeatedly moved back and forth under heavy sniper fire and mortar attack, ensuring safety and inspiring Marines. During heavy fighting in the Najaf cemetery, he moved to assist in the treatment and evacuation of nine wounded Marines and three killed in action. His timely decision-making made the difference between life and death for two of these Marines. Throughout this 22-day battle, his decisive leadership and courage against a determined foe inspired the Marines under his charge and led the Battalion's assault deep into enemy territory. By his zealous initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional dedication to duty, First Sergeant LeHew reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Navy Cross Citation for Justin D. Lehew
  2. ^ Burgess, Lisa Burgess (June 14, 2005). "'This is how Custer must have felt': Gunnery Sgt. Justin D. LeHew, Navy Cross". Stars and Stripes. http://stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=28895&archive=true. 
  3. ^ Richards, Cpl. Matthew S., USMC (August 6, 2004). "Profile: U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Justin Lehew — Marine Receives Navy Cross". DefendAmerica News (U.S. Department of Defense). http://www.defendamerica.mil/profiles/aug2004/pr080604a.html. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  4. ^ Richards, Cpl. Matthew S., USMC (August 6, 2004). "Profile: U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Justin Lehew — Marine Receives Navy Cross". DefendAmerica News (U.S. Department of Defense). http://www.defendamerica.mil/profiles/aug2004/pr080604a.html. Retrieved on March 19, 2008.
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