JOLIET, IL – He was outnumbered.
Most of his Marines were
But through courage and commitment, John Basilone and a
section of surviving machine gunners killed over 3,000 Japanese
enemy fighters in the battle of Guadalcanal during WWII.
his actions, Basilone was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's
highest award for combat valor.
The 4th Reconnaissance Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Dion A. Anglin, presents Staff Sgt. Alec Haralovich,
a Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient, with the Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone Award for Courage and Commitment during a ceremony
in Joliet, IL on May 19, 2013.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Raymond Lott)
Upon his redeployment to the United States, Basilone
toured the country selling war bonds. He was offered an
officer's commission and the opportunity to remain
determined to fulfill a promise he made to his Marines the
day he left combat – that he would deploy to the Pacific and
fight once again by their sides. He did. This time at Iwo
He fought courageously until he was killed by
an enemy mortar.
But that wasn't the end of
For the first time in history, a
Reserve Marine was awarded the Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone
Award for Courage and Commitment in a ceremony here May 19,
Staff Sgt. Alec Haralovich, a Silver Star and
Purple Heart recipient, received the award from Lt. Col.
Dion A. Anglin, the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion commander.
“I'm truly honored to have received this award,”
said Haralovich. “It's even more humbling to end up being in
the same roles as reconnaissance legends such as John Mosser
(and) Brian Blonder ... not to mention John Basilone himself.”
According to his fellow Marines, Haralovich's name
belongs aside those same Marine Corps legends.
Haralovich's father could not be prouder.
Basilone award is a rare and honorable thing to have,” said
George Haralovich, who is a U.S. Navy and Vietnam veteran.
“I raised (him) and I know the kind of man that he's become
... He personifies the Marine values of personal sacrifice and
George said his son first displayed
courage when he deployed with the California-based 2nd
Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment to Iraq on active duty.
“He rescued a Marine in Fallujah. That was done
completely anonymously,” George Haralovich said. “I could
barely pull it out of him. But other Marines I met at the
2/7 barbecue filled me in on it. I'm not surprised that he
would behave the way he did and take action the way he did.
He chose the Marine career, so I think he's ready to go
anywhere, anytime. It's the Marine Corps, you get your
orders and you go, and that is where he's at.”
According to Maj. Benjamin Everett, the inspector-instructor
for Company E, 4th Recon. Bn., the award honors the legacy
of Basilone and emphasizes the contribution of the
noncommissioned officer to the current fight. The final
stamp of approval for the award comes from the
highest-ranking enlisted Marine serving, the Sergeant Major
of the Marine Corps.
The recipient of the award is
someone who embodies the spirit and character of Basilone.
His combat exploits contributed greatly to his
selection as the recipient, said Everett, and Haralovich's
likeness to Basilone could not be more evident.
comes back stateside to sell war bonds and through his own
force of will finds his way back ... in theater to serve with
his Marines,” he said. “And you see a Marine Reservist, who
has done active duty, come into the Reserves, volunteer for
a deployment in Afghanistan and volunteer yet again. So
there's definitely some similarities there both in courage
After the ceremony, Haralovich took
time to mingle with his fellow Marines and have a private
conversation with his father before he left for a volunteer
By USMC Sgt. Raymond Lott
Staff Sgt. Alec Haralovich's Silver Star Story
Comment on article |
Silver Star Recipients