MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
For heroic service that spanned over the period of six months of combat operations in Marjah, Afghanistan, Capt. Joshua Biggers, executive officer of the Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry – East, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V during a ceremony aboard Camp Geiger, March 11.
While serving as the commanding officer of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, 1st Marine Division (Forward), Biggers’ actions from Jan. 3 to July 2 in seizing Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan Objective 3 during Operation Moshtarak proved instrumental in the Marines’ overall victory.
“This is the absolute epitome of a fighting leader,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Rule, commanding officer of ITB. “This is the kind of officer and leader you have to live up to, and this is the kind of Marine you will follow into combat.”
During the six-month operation, Biggers constantly and bravely exposed himself to enemy fire to reach key points of battle, rallying his men and directing fields of fire.
While pinned down by enemy machine-gun fire Feb. 15, Biggers simultaneously coordinated the evacuation of wounded Marines, the neutralization of multiple enemy positions utilizing air support and the maneuvers of his assault element. For these actions as well as his continuing leadership and ensuring the mission was successful, Biggers was lauded with the award which Rule hung onto his uniform amid a formation of ITB students.
“It’s definitely a humbling award, but it’s not for me,” said Biggers. “It’s for all the Marines and sailors in my company, and most of all for the two we lost there.”
As the Marines in formation returned to their training and the guests of honor said their good-byes, one has to wonder what goes through the head of someone who rushes into battle without hesitation.
“It was all automatic actions, I didn’t really think about what I was doing,” said Biggers. “As company commander, I had to keep the momentum of my Marines going and lead from the front. Keeping faith in those around you comes first. This award is just secondary.”