Silver Star Recipient
Photo and information courtesy of U.S. Marines / DoD
Silver Star citation, Marine
2nd Lt. Brian M. Stann is
praised for his "zealous
actions and exceptional
presence of mind" during
seven days of fighting in
But Stann, now a captain, is
not into fame or self
"It's not about awards,
especially when you're out
there," said Stann, 27.
"It's about defeating the
enemy and getting your boys
From May 8 to May 14, 2005,
Stann was part of Operation
Matador with 3rd Battalion,
The action started when
Stann's platoon was given
about 35 minutes' notice
that it needed to head to
the Ramana Bridge, north of
Karbala, he said.
Another unit was supposed to
provide a blocking position
at the bridge, but when they
couldn't make it on time,
Stann's platoon was sent to
fill the gap.
As it turned out, a lot of
the enemy had settled in
that area. Stann said his
platoon was engaged in a
"constant gunfight" until it
was relieved, and then he
and his Marines had to fight
their way back to base.
The worst fighting was May
10, when his platoon was
sent back to the bridge to
stay and got ambushed on the
way, he said. The
insurgents hit Stann's platoon with roadside bombs, rocket-propelled
grenades and suicide car bombs, destroying a Humvee and a tank
recovery vehicle that was hauling wounded, he said.
"We had a rough night." |
Stann's Silver Star citation briefly summarizes his actions during
“Second Lieutenant Stann personally directed two casualty
operations, three vehicle recovery operations and multiple close air
support missions under enemy small arms, machine gun and mortar fire
in his 360-degree fight," the citation reads.
Stann didn't want to get into specifics about what he did during the
"Everyone has done some courageous things," he said. "It's just part
of our calling. It's part of our job."
Instead, Stann preferred to talk about his Marines.
Despite the casualties and carnage, they did not panic, he said.
They kept their heads, beat back the enemy and evacuated their
"Because of that, the casualties that we did take did survive,"
Stann said. "Guys that lost limbs lived. Guys that took shrapnel and
things of that nature to the head lived, and they wouldn't have
lived if we hadn't have done that."
Throughout their deployment, Stann's Marines focused on their job,
whether it meant sleeping in their Humvees on hot nights or manning
a machine gun at 2 a.m., he said.
Stann, who was born at Yokota Air Base in Japan and then moved to
Scranton, Pa., said his Silver Star represents what the Marines
under his command accomplished.
"They executed flawlessly, and we're talking 19- to 20-year-old
kids, and these are tougher situations than 90 percent of Americans
will face," he said.
Excerpt from article by Jeff
Schogol, Stars and Stripes Heroes, June 14, 2008
Silver Star Recipients |