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I want to take a minute, this is outside the standard upload schedule, and it’s not even a true review because I have yet to read the book in question. I don’t have to though, I know this story like it was tattooed on me next to my moto tat. I got this the same way I got a lot of Marine Corps lore and history, via oral tradition and in this case from the best possible source. A man who was on the ground with the unit. It was an important part of boot camp these tales of valor and courage under fire, they taught us the example we had to live up to and not just how high the standards were but why they were so high and demanding.

I grew up with the stories up heroic Marines, Chesty Puller, John Basillone, Dan Daly, Carlos Hathcock they were my comic book heroes, stories passed on or stories gleaned from books I devoured. As I grew and when I enlisted these men became even more heroic and their feats of valor and courage even more astounding. Unlike superman they were only men, frail in the way of thing, short lived and fighting in conflicts that chewed up brave men like a meat grinder and still they persevered, still they never quit. Their dedication though, to a man of these super human individuals was to their men, to the guys around them.

SgtMaj Brad Kasal, United States Marine Corps is one of these heroes from the modern generation of Marines.

You might recognize him from this photo, it was all over the place for awhile and while I could tell you the story I think I’ll just show you all his Navy Cross citation instead.






The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting The Navy Cross To

Bradley A. Kasal
First Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

For Services as Set Forth in the Following Citation:


For extraordinary heroism while serving as First Sergeant, Weapons Company, 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 13 November 2004. First Sergeant Kasal was assisting 1st Section, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon as they provided a traveling over watch for 3d Platoon when he heard a large volume of fire erupt to his immediate front, shortly followed by Marines rapidly exiting a structure. When First Sergeant Kasal learned that Marines were pinned down inside the house by an unknown number of enemy personnel, he joined a squad making entry to clear the structure and rescue the Marines inside. He made entry into the first room, immediately encountering and eliminating an enemy insurgent, as he spotted a wounded Marine in the next room. While moving towards the wounded Marine, First Sergeant Kasal and another Marine came under heavy rifle fire from an elevated enemy firing position and were both severely wounded in the legs, immobilizing them. When insurgents threw grenades in an attempt to eliminate the wounded Marines, he rolled on top of his fellow Marine and absorbed the shrapnel with his own body. When First Sergeant Kasal was offered medical attention and extraction, he refused until the other Marines were given medical attention. Although severely wounded himself, he shouted encouragement to his fellow Marines as they continued to clear the structure. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, First Sergeant Kasal reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Damn, what can you say about something like that, the details reveal that SgtMaj Kasal (he’s been promoted since this event and remains on active duty as of this writing) took seven 7.62x39mm rounds and when he shielded the young Lance Corporal he went in to the building with from the grenade took 43 pieces of shrapnel. Still he kept fighting, still he never surrendered. When he finally got aid, it was estimated that he had lost 60% of his blood. What kind of courage? what kind of untold valor must this man have? What kind of hero must he be? Well when he was called a hero SgtMaj Kasal simply said this “I’m just a Marine doing his job” that last bit right there, unselfish and unwavering devotion, with humility laced in to it that is what truly makes a man a hero, whether SgtMaj Kasal agrees with the description or not he’s becoming a Legend of the Corps, one of the names taught to junior Marines as an example of a warrior spirit and a lion heart.

Semper Fidelis.


One Comment

  1. Great story and post. I plan on reading his book.

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