National Security

Marine to Receive Navy Cross After Heroic Acts in Afghanistan

Brian Jacklin honored for saving lives

Brian Jacklin / AP

Brian Jacklin will receive the Navy Cross this week for his acts during a 2012 battle in Afghanistan. The gunnery sergeant endured intense enemy fire in order to save his fellow Marines, the Military Times reported.

Gunnery Sgt. Brian Jacklin, of 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, will be presented with the Navy Cross Thursday during a ceremony at his unit's headquarters at Camp Pendleton, California.

Jacklin earned the award for actions carried out June 14, 2012, while serving as an assistant leader of a team conducting village stability operations in the Upper Gereshk valley in Afghanistan's Helmand province, according to his medal citation.

That morning, the Marine special operations team was in a village compound when it suddenly found itself the target of heavy enemy gunfire. The attack left the team leader and another Marine critically wounded.

"Without hesitation, Gunnery Sgt. Jacklin seized control and orchestrated a counterattack," his medal citation states.

After restoring communications that had been knocked out, Jacklin coordinated multiple air strikes on the enemy. At the same time, he helped evacuate the wounded. The evacuation required him to cross open terrain under enemy fire that was dangerous enough to force the aircraft tasked with rescuing the wounded to abort its first attempt at landing.

At that point, Jacklin began lobbing grenades at the enemy and directing the fire of his team. This allowed the aircraft to land and the wounded were evacuated.

"Throughout a raging battle all the next day, he provided vital intelligence, tactical assistance and deadly accurate personal fires," his citation reads. "Throughout 48 hours, he inspired all around him as he led a vicious fight to defeat a determined enemy force."

Jacklin, originally from Los Angeles, will receive his prestigious award from Maj. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commander of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, officials said.