Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cpl. Dakota Meyer, US Marine
Nominated for Medal of Honor

Dakota Meyer (born c.1988) is a United States Marine Corps veteran who has been approved to receive the Medal of Honor. In October 2010, the Marine Corps nominated him for his actions during the Battle of Ganjgal on September 8, 2009, part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Kunar province, Afghanistan.

Meyer was born in Greensburg, Kentucky, and after completing training to be a United States Marine he deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2007 as a Scout Sniper with 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines. He gained national attention for his actions in Afghanistan during his second deployment in Kunar province with Embedded Training Team 2-8.

On September 8, 2009, near the village of Ganjgal, Meyer learned that three U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman were missing after being attacked by a group of insurgents. Upon hearing the news he charged into an area known to be inhabited by insurgents and under enemy fire and eventually found them dead, stripped of their gear and equipment. With the help of some friendly Afghan soldiers he got the bodies to a safer area where they could be extracted.

On November 6, 2010, the Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Amos told reporters during a visit to Camp Pendleton, California, that a living Marine had been nominated for the Medal of Honor. Two days later, Marine Corps Times, an independent newspaper covering U.S. Marine operations, reported that the unnamed individual was Meyer, citing anonymous sources. CNN confirmed the story independently two days later.

Corporal Dakota Meyer, who left active duty in June 2010, will be the first living Marine in 41 years to receive the nation's highest award for valor.

On June 9, 2011, the Marine Corps announced that two other Marines on Meyer's team in Ganjgal would receive the Navy Cross, the second-highest valor award a Marine can receive. Capt. Ademola D. Fabayo and Staff Sgt. Juan J. Rodriguez-Chavez were recognized for their roles in retrieving the missing Marines and corpsman. Before Meyer went looking for them on foot, Rodriguez-Chavez also drove a gun truck into the kill zone while Fabayo manned its machine gun.

On July 18, 2011, President Barack Obama called Meyer and informed him his case for the Medal of Honor had been approved, Marine Corps Times reported. No date for the White House ceremony has been announced