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USMC Sgt. Paul D’aeth Awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medal
by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jackson Kirkiewicz
April 23, 2022

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Paul M. D’aeth received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal to recognize acts of non-combat heroism during a ceremony hosted by 8th Engineer Support Battalion on Camp Lejeune on April 22, 2022.

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Paul D’aeth, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, is awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal during an award ceremony on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 22, 2022. The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the Department of the Navy's highest medal for non-combat heroism. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Scott Jenkins)
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Paul D’aeth, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, is awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal during an award ceremony on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 22, 2022. The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the Department of the Navy's highest medal for non-combat heroism. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Scott Jenkins)

Staff Sgt. D’aeth, a native of Waxhaw, North Carolina, received the Department of the Navy’s highest non-combat award for quickly responding to distressed swimmers at Del Mar Beach while serving with Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, on March 8, 2020.

According to his award citation, D'aeth entered rough ocean waters and swam through breaking waves and a dangerous rip current to rescue a struggling service member. Upon returning to the shore, he realized there was a second distraught swimmer and, without regard for his personal safety, jumped back into the water to attempt another rescue.

“It comes with a lot of weight,” said Staff Sgt. D’aeth after the ceremony. “I'm thankful for the recognition, but I think anyone would have done the same thing."

The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the highest non-combat award for heroism awarded to members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. It is awarded to service members who, while serving in any capacity in the Navy or Marine Corps, demonstrate an act of non-combat heroism while putting themselves in a life-threatening situation.

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Paul D’aeth, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, greets his wife and daughter after a ceremony on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 22, 2022. During the ceremony, D’aeth was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the Department of the Navy's highest medal for non-combat heroism. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Scott Jenkins)
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Paul D’aeth, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, greets his wife and daughter after a ceremony on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 22, 2022. During the ceremony, D’aeth was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the Department of the Navy's highest medal for non-combat heroism. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Scott Jenkins)

“It’s another human life. It required action from somebody, and I wasn't going to just sit by,” said Staff Sgt. D’aeth.

D’aeth currently serves as an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

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