CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus presented Sgt. Joshua Moore with the Navy Cross Medal during a ceremony at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Nov. 1.
Moore, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, earned the nation's second highest award for valor for his actions during combat operations while deployed to Northern Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
On March 14, 2011 Moore's scout sniper element came under attack while occupying a compound north of Marjah. As Moore and his fellow Marines were preparing to exit the compound they came under attack and an insurgent threw two grenades over the wall into their position. Without hesitation, Moore picked up the closest grenade and threw it back out of the compound before it exploded. Realizing seconds later that the second grenade was not going to explode he charged out of the compound to aid three Marines who were previously wounded in the attack.
Though instantly taken under fire by enemy forces one hundred meters away, Moore stood his ground, returning fire with his M4 rifle and M203 grenade launcher. The effects of his fire neutralized the enemy and forced them to abandon their position, buying his team precious time to regroup and aid their wounded. He then immediately took action to assist in the scouting and securing of a landing zone to extract wounded personnel.
Moore was not the only Marine who performed heroically that day more than two years ago.
During the award ceremony at Camp Lejeune, Mabus presented awards to three other members of Moore's battalion who took part in the fight. Sgt. Justin Tygart received the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device, and Cpl. Ritchie Elias and Cpl. Gaven Eier received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device.
"It is appropriate that today we recognize these individuals for their outstanding actions in the face of extreme danger," said Mabus while delivering remarks to Marines, family members and friends attending the event. "It is also appropriate that, by honoring these men, we honor the rest of you who fought beside them, and those who are still in the fight."
Mabus also reminded the audience that every Marine is capable of the same extraordinary acts of valor that Moore and 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines showed in Afghanistan.
"From the newest recruits to the combat veterans, together you are writing another chapter in the long, inspiring history of the Marine Corps," he said. "Helmand will join names like Tripoli, Belleau Wood, Tarawa, and Fallujah. The job that you do every day while you are deployed includes actions and events most Americans cannot even imagine."
For more news from Secretary of the Navy, visit www.navy.mil/local/secnav/.