Retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Seely was awarded the
Silver Star during a ceremony at Camp Lejeune, N.C., August 4, 2017.
Seely was awarded the medal for his actions on March 23, 2003, when
his platoon came under enemy and friendly fire during the battle of
An Nasiriyah, Iraq.
August 4, 2017 - Retired Marine Maj. Michael Seely listens as
Maj. Gen. John K. Love speaks during a Silver Star Medal ceremony at
Camp Lejeune, NC. Seely was awarded the medal for his actions on
March 23, 2003, when his platoon came under enemy and friendly fire
during the battle of An Nasiriyah, Iraq. While exposed to both enemy
and friendly fire, Seely calmly evacuated casualties and coordinated
communication to cease the strafing from friendly aircraft. Seely
was a second lieutenant serving with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine
Regiment at the time. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jon Sosner)
Seely, who was a second lieutenant at the time, had
formerly received the Bronze Star for his actions. In 2016,
the Department of Defense reviewed the citations for all
Bronze Star medals, and 2nd Lt. Seely was one of the few
Marines whose awards were upgraded to the Silver Star.
During the battle of An Nasiriyah, 2nd Lt. Seely, who
had served previously as an enlisted reconnaissance Marine
prior to gaining his commission, was riding inside an
amphibious assault vehicle when it was severely damaged by a
rocket propelled grenade. Although the vehicle was damaged
and on fire, Seely led the AAV out of the city and to
safety, where four wounded Marines could be evacuated.
After all casualties were safely evacuated, the Marines
then began taking lethal friendly fire from A-10 Warthog’s.
Seely, despite the heavy fire, directed pyrotechnics to mark
friendly positions and crossed the areas being fired upon in
order to reach a radio with which he was able to stop the
At the time, March 23, 2003 was the
deadliest day of the Iraq War for coalition forces. Without
the actions of 2nd Lt. Seely, it likely could have been much
worse. By placing the safety of his Marines over his own
personal safety, Seely is credited with saving the lives of
By U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jon Sosner
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