MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, SAN DIEGO (12/20/2012) - Staff Sgt.
Christopher Shranko, drill instructor, Platoon 3250, Company L, 3rd
Recruit Training Battalion, was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor
in front of his peers and newly minted Marines aboard Marine Corps
Recruit Depot San Diego Nov. 29.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Shranko, drill
instructor, Company L, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, shakes hands
with Colonel Michael Lee, commanding officer of Recruit Training
Regiment, during his award ceremony aboard Marine Corps Recruit
Depot San Diego Nov. 29, 2012. Shranko was awarded a Bronze Star
with Valor for his actions while deployed to Afghanistan April
through October 2011. Shranko has deployed to combat five times.
Photo by USMC Lance Cpl. Bridget Keane
Shranko was nominated for the award for his actions while
deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring
Freedom from April to October 2011. He deployed as the
platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion,
5th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division,
II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).
deployment was devastating. We lost a lot of guys,” said
Shranko. “The enemy would catch on to our tactics and use
them against us. We had to constantly adapt to the flexible
Shranko led his Marines and partnered
Afghan forces on more than 100 combat patrols facing much
adversity throughout the deployment. However, there were two
separate events that set Shranko apart for his unselfish and
heroic acts of valor.
On June 2, an enemy fire team
engaged Shranko's over watch element with sustained bursts
of small arms fire.
Without hesitation, he boldly
positioned himself in the open, exposed to heavy fire, to
positively identify enemy positions and direct his Marines'
fire. He established fire superiority and coordinated
reinforcements as well as surveillance assets that defeated
the attack and forced the remaining insurgents to break
Ten days later, while on a dismounted
patrol, his lead sweeper struck an Improvised Explosive
Device. Shranko, less than 10 meters from the detonation,
was blown off his feet and knocked unconscious. He quickly
recovered, despite still suffering the effects of his own
injuries, rushed to the blast site where he applied
tourniquets to casualties' amputated limbs and coordinated
for an air evacuation.
“I definitely feel honored to
be getting this award,” said Shranko. “Every Marine that I
was out there with deserves one. I was just put in a
position to do something that rated the award, but I have no
doubt in my mind that they would've done the same.”
Now holding a different billet and title more than a year
later, Shranko still shows the same humility as he did
before he was awarded, according to Staff Sgt. Luis
Cardenas, senior drill instructor, Plt. 3250, Co L, 3rd RTBn.
“Shranko is the epitome of a brand new drill
instructor,” said Cardenas. “He's a very astute individual,
he's very knowledgeable and very decorated but that doesn't
deter him from being humble. You would never expect that
he's a recipient of a second Bronze Star.”
day Shranko was awarded marked the end of his first cycle as
a drill instructor.
“He always goes above and beyond
what he has to do. He's very dedicated to being a good drill
instructor and making good Marines,” said Cardenas. “To be
present as one of my peers receives a Bronze Star in lieu of
second award is an amazing experience. It's a great honor to
be in the presence of an individual like him.”
Courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps
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