Coursey Awarded Bronze Star Medal For Leadership In Afghanistan
(September 20, 2010)
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Service members, colleagues, friends and
family members gathered together at John A. Lejeune Hall aboard Marine Corps
Base Camp Lejeune to witness Lt. Col. Guy R. Coursey receive the Bronze Star
medal, Sept. 13.|
Coursey, who is currently serving as the installations and environment
operations officer with Installations and Environment Department, MCB Camp
Lejeune, received the award for his leadership and professionalism while
deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from August 2009 through
Col. Daniel J. Lecce, commanding officer of the base, awarded the medal to
“This is a very senior award; they don't just give these out,” said Lecce.
“Lt. Col. Coursey, I'm very honored and privileged to present this award to
Coursey, an Eagle River, Alaska, native, served as an adviser to Afghan
National Army personnel and was the officer in charge of Embedded Training
Team 4-5. He advised three Afghan infantry Kandaks and simultaneously led
his 21-member team of Marines and sailors, who were spread out between five
combat outpost areas, in executing counterinsurgency operations in the
Sayedabad District of Wardak province, Afghanistan.
Coursey said the ETT faced a number of challenges such as weather, terrain and
cultural differences during their nine-month deployment. He added that
working with high turnover rates from Afghan military personnel and U.S.
Army task force commanders made it difficult to establish trust and
long-term relationships. The team also suffered three casualties, one who is
currently still recovering at
Lt. Col. Guy R. Coursey (left), the installations and environment operations officer with Installations and Environment Department, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, shakes hands with Col. Daniel J. Lecce (right), commanding officer of MCB Camp Lejeune, after receiving the Bronze Star medal during a ceremony at John A. Lejeune Hall aboard the base, Sept. 13. Coursey, an Eagle River, Alaska, native, received the award for his leadership and professionalism while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and constantly faced
imminent danger as they battled the terrorists' improvised explosive device
attacks, direct and indirect fire attacks.
In spite of the challenges, Coursey said each member of the team played their
part and worked as one so they could ultimately build strong relationships with
the Afghan militia.|
“Most of my team were just average Marines, but with a little training and some
good leadership, they did an exceptional job,” said Coursey. “It was a team
Coursey credited this team for his latest award and said it was an honor and a
privilege to serve with them. ETT 4-5 was one of the last Marine ETTs in the
“With every award you get in the Marine Corps, regardless of how senior they
are, the great majority are not earned yourself,” said Coursey. “My team helped
earn this. They have done everything I could have asked them, so every time I
look at (the Bronze Star medal), I will always think of them.”
Coursey also said his family played an instrumental role in both of his personal
and professional success in the battlefield.
“My wife and kids earned it just as much,” added Coursey. “(My wife) went
through a lot while she was at home, tending to the kids and wondering every
night whether she was going to get ‘that call.' So I wouldn't have been able to
do this without her being back here, providing morale support, knowing I had a
home to come home to. So, thank you all.”
Lecce said Coursey and his team played a vital part in the War on Terrorism by
fostering strong international relationships and winning the hearts and minds of
the Afghan people.
“This is where we win these wars,” said Lecce. “Bullets have something to do
with it ... but frankly, getting down with these people – into the ‘down and
dirty,' as we say ... that's really where we win the war, and that's what Lt. Col.
Article and photo by USMC Cpl. Jo Jones
Camp LeJeune Base Public Affairs
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Bronze Star Recipients |