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Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots
By USMC LCpl. Rashaun X. James

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VMGR-252 Marine Receives Bronze Star
(September 26, 2009)

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Capt. Jason N. Dale, a forward air controller with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron-252, is awarded a Bronze Star with a combat distinguishing device by Marine Aircraft Group 14 commanding officer Col. Russell A. C. Sanborn during a ceremony conducted in VMGR-252’s hangar, Sept. 9, 2009. Dale was awarded his Bronze Star for participating in various combat operations in Operation Azada Wosa while deployed to the Gamsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Capt. Jason N. Dale, a forward air controller with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron-252, is awarded a Bronze Star with a combat distinguishing device by Marine Aircraft Group 14 commanding officer Col. Russell A. C. Sanborn during a ceremony conducted in VMGR-252's hangar, Sept. 9, 2009.
 MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NC

Capt. Jason H. Dale, a forward air controller with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, was awarded a Bronze Star with a combat distinguishing device at the VMGR- 252 hangar, Sept. 9.

The 37-year old was recognized for his achievements in connection with combat operations while serving as a forward air controller with Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, International Security Assistance Force, Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Azada Wosa from April 1 to Aug. 20, 2008.

According to his award citation, Dale's calm demeanor under fire and relentless pursuit to employ supporting aircraft on the battlefield were critical to the success of the company during the operation.

“The Marine Corps sometimes requires us to do things outside our military occupational specialty,” said Col. Russell A.C. Sanborn, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 14. “Capt. Dale enlisted in the Marine Corps to fly, but found himself down on the ground with the grunts.”

During the operation, Dale oversaw 42 combat controls where he was instrumental in employing 181 2.75-inch rockets, 15 Hellfire missiles, two TOW missiles, eight GBU-38 and five GBU-12 laser-guided bombs, one GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition, and numerous helicopter and aircraft gun runs. Also, on 12 separate occasions Dale called for and directed casualty evacuation aircraft, resulting in the timely evacuation of 16 wounded Marines.

“There are 16 Marines alive today because he knew what he had to do,” Sanborn said. “I like that part of his summary of action more than anything.”

Dale spoke briefly after receiving his award and recognized the efforts of the entire squadron.

“I really believe all I did was just fulfill my billet description,” Dale said. “I was just doing my job.”

“Your level of professionalism continues to motivate me everyday,” he added. “You may not be able to see it, but what all of you do each day matters.”

Dale also took time to thank the Alpha Company leathernecks he had served with in combat.

“Those Marines were taking it from the Taliban every day,” Dale said. “The further away they got from safety, a shower and hot chow, the more motivated they were. I saw enough motivation from them to last my whole career.”

Article and photo by USMC LCpl. Rashaun X. James
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
Copyright 2009

Reprinted from Marine Corps News

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