MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin D. Baskin, a special amphibious reconnaissance corpsman with 3rd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, was awarded the Silver Star Medal during a ceremony at Stone Bay aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 20, for his actions in Afghanistan.
Baskin was deployed with 2d MSOB in 2013 when his team came under fire in Kushe Village. In total disregard for his own safety, Baskin ran through accurate enemy fire and provided aid to a wounded teammate. He stabilized and loaded the casualty into the evacuation vehicle before being shot in the back by an enemy combatant.
Baskin's citation reads, “Although wounded, he continued treating casualties while refusing medical treatment for his own injuries. Under intense fire, while simultaneously directing the evacuation of the wounded Marines, partner forces and himself, he laid down suppressive fire until every team member had evacuated the kill zone. His actions ultimately saved the lives of four of his teammates.”
Baskin was born in Sellersville, Pa., but grew up in nearby Hatfield, Pa., where he graduated from North Penn Senior High School in 2005. He reported one year later to Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Ill.
Following recruit training, Baskin attended medical training at Field Medical Training Battalion West at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and knew very quickly he wanted to serve with Marines. Soon after his training at FMTB, Baskin was selected for and completed the Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman training program.
Baskin was assigned to 2d MSOB and very quickly deployed with them on his first deployment to Afghanistan. But his tour was cut short after five months into the deployment when fragmentation from a rocket-propelled grenade pierced his body. He was medically evacuated to U.S. Naval Hospital Bethesda, Md., where he worked for eight months while recuperating.
Eager to get back in the fight, Baskin left Maryland, attended the six-month Amphibious Reconnaissance Independent Duty Corpsman course, and then requested a temporary assignment back to 2d MSOB for another deployment to Afghanistan in 2013.
On April 25th, 2013, Baskin's team set out on the mission to Kushe Village. He said he prepared himself for the mission like he always did.
“In order to be mentally prepared for missions you have to be physically ready first,” said Baskin. “I would prep my gear until I was comfortable knowing I had all of my mission essential equipment. Also, (I'd double check) all of the details about the mission ... what I would be doing, what the primary and alternate routes are, what (the structures in the area) looked like. (I would have) all of the contingencies hashed out."
Baskin said that upon reaching one of their check points, his team started taking sporadic fire and identified two separate groups moving into fighting positions. As time went on, the rate of fire increased and they were pinned down behind a cemetery wall.
“Another teammate ran to our position with the 60 mm mortar and started sending rounds down range,” said Baskin. “When he ran out of rounds for the 60, he left the cemetery to another wall about 50 meters in front of us. When he looked up to try and suppress the enemy, he was shot.”
Baskin rushed to his teammate's side and provided desperately needed aid. Even after he was shot in the back, Baskin continued treating other casualties, and is credited with saving the lives of four of his teammates.
Major Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, presented the medal to Baskin and spoke on his character.
“If you look across battlefields throughout history, there is always that one ringing slogan that you see and hear throughout and that is, ‘Corpsman up!'” Osterman said. “HM1 (Baskin) went forward without thought of himself, to the point of protecting his fellow Marines with his own body. From a personal perspective, I appreciate who he is as a man, from how he takes care of his family to the quiet professional that he epitomizes.”
Baskin humbly accepted the award on behalf of the men he was serving with at the time, and for those who continue to serve.
“I am proud to be receiving an award like this,” said Baskin. “I felt like I was just doing my job ... what anyone else on the team would have done if put into the situation. It's a very surreal feeling.”
By U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Donovan Lee
U.S. Marine Corps photo of Corpsman Kevin Bastin by Sgt. Scott A. Achtemeier
Provided through DVIDS
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