41. Achievement Medals

Achievement Medals

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them,  that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

Ezekiel‬ ‭33:6

*** DISCLAIMER: This is an event that happened in the restricted area. Any specific information mentioned has been changed. What happened is not classified and was printed in the newspaper later that week.***

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Something tripped the alarm on the north fence of the restricted area. 

“What do we got Tower?” The sailor monitoring the alarms asked. 

No response.

“Tower this is Main, we got a hit in the northern sector, howcopy?” Thirty seconds elapsed. “Tower, what do you got? Wake the fuck up!”

“I got nothin, just the contractors working on the fence,” the sentry responded.

The duty officer paused. His eyes widened as his chest tightened as the gears shifted in his head.

“Tower it’s 0500.” His hand now shaking as he gripped the radio. “We don’t have any contractors working on the fence.” The alarm sounded. The sentry in the tower jolted. “Tower get eyes on whatever the fuck is going on and give me a sitrep1 right now.”

“Tower to main, there are five individuals who have now breached the wire about one hundred yards within the northern entrance! They appear to be unarmed. One is carrying a bucket.”

The officer on duty radioed the roving mobility team to apprehend the intruders. Every RTT assaultman sprang up and tossed on their gear, awaiting further orders as the two Designated Marksman from 1st squad slammed through the exit of the building and bolted to the nearest hill overlooking the assailants. As the DM’s closed in on their position, the roving quick reaction force screeched onto the scene.

The Bearcat doors burst open with every available muzzle pointing at the five intruders, one of whom stepped defiantly towards the Marines. 

“Just fucking shoot me!” He shouted, thumping his chest. 

“Back up,” the team leader ordered, “Back the fuck up!”

By this time, Shinn and Zorzynski established their overwatch position, and were able to observe the conflict unfold from an elevated position. As the defiant man continued goading the team leader, the other four now several yards behind were focused elsewhere. The three women chanted prayers with their eyes closed while the other man splashed a red liquid from one of the buckets towards the Marines. All five individuals appeared to be above the age of sixty.

“Yo Z, is that blood?” Shinn asked, peering through his scope.

“Yeah man looks like it. What the hell do you think they’re doing?”

“No fuckin’ clue.”

Down below, one of the Marines spoke into the radio. “Main this is QRF.”

“QRF this is main, what’s the situation?”

“Uh, we have five unarmed… old people here.”

“Say again QRF, did you say ‘old people’?”

“Affirmative. They look like protesters. They’re praying and one has a bucket splashing animal blood all around.”

“Detain them immediately. We have reinforcements Oscar Mike.2


Meanwhile back at the base, the assaultmen jittered with anticipation, ready to be unleashed. After a few minutes though, their eagerness faded as the front buzzed and unlatched as one of the Marines from the QRF team walked through.

Catching his breath, he looked to Worall, the RTT squad leader on duty. 

“Corporal, they asked us to detain them but we don’t have any flexi cuffs. The OOD told us to get them from you guys.”

The assaultmen’s balaclavas failed to hide the disgust on each man’s face. Curses and complaints exited mouths as a handful of them begrudgingly slipped their cuffs out of the molle3 of their flak jackets.

“Um, corporal I need one more please.” The guys exchanged looks and exhaled. One assaultman down the line waved his cuffs and the messenger scurried forward, gingerly accepting the last pair. As he headed out the door, the plastic cuffs rattling in his hands, he said “Thank you corporal.”

“Go fuck yourself.” 

An hour or so later the base sergeant major and lieutenant colonel arrived. After ordering the protesters to be blindfolded and cussing them out, the sergeant major turned to the QRF team, praising them for apprehending the suspects.

At the following Marine Corps we rolled our eyes as we endured the lieutenant colonel’s speech commending the brave actions of this team from fourth platoon.

“On two November, the restricted area was invaded by an unknown threat. QRF team one from fourth platoon unhesitatingly responded swiftly to assess the situation and apprehend the suspects. Their actions reflect the dedication to duty we expect of all our servicemen and women, and are in keeping with the highest standards of United States Armed Services.”

For their bravery on the bloody battlefield in Bangor, Washington, these war heroes received NAM’s, or Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.4

  1. Situation report, essentially a quick, down and dirty summary of what’s happening
  2. O in the phonetic alphabet is Oscar and M is Mike. so OM, or Oscar Mike means “on the move.”
  3. Dozens of loops are stitched into flak jackets that allow for pouches holding items such as magazines to be woven through and secured.
  4. The NAM is no small award, one which can and should highlight significant achievement. Upon hearing these Marines who we were all flabbergasted, knowing full well they didn’t deserve them. When referring to the NAM, the official awards document states “The award may be authorized for meritorious service or achievement in a combat or non-combat situation, based on sustained performance or specific achievement of a superlative nature.” I guess rolling up on scene, securing five geriatric psychopaths and taking our flexicufs to apprehend the non-resistant intruders qualified as “significant achievement of a superlative nature.” Quoted from SECNAVINST 1650.1H – NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AWARDS MANUAL

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