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1st Marine Division

The Old Breed

Camp Pendleton, CA
Scout sniper serving in Iraq awarded U.S. military’s third highest award for valor

By Cpl. Antonio Rosas | 1st Marine Division | June 10, 2006

CAMP AL QA’IM, Iraq -- When Sgt. Jarred L. Adams retrieved the body of a fallen Marine from a burning humvee, he says he was simply doing his job.

The 22-year-old scout sniper assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, was awarded the Silver Star while currently deployed to Iraq with the southern Calif.-based unit for a second time.

The Silver Star is the nation’s third highest military award for combat heroism after the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.

“I don’t think I did anything any other Marine wouldn’t do,” said Adams, from Wasilla, Ala. “I would do it again if it came down to it.”

In January 2005, during Operation Iraqi Freedom II, Adams was deployed with the battalion to the Iraqi-Syrian border region of western Al Anbar Province.

In the city of Husaybah, a city of about 50,000 citizens, Adams’ humvee was attacked by insurgents with machine guns and rocket- propelled grenades.

When his vehicle crashed and became stuck, Adams immediately took up a stable position and returned fire at the enemy. After Marines dislodged the vehicle, Adams and his squad drove back to retrieve another humvee lost in the melee.

That’s when a rocket- propelled grenade struck Adams’ vehicle, killing one Marine and wounding others inside. Adams received shrapnel from the blast as well as burns from the vehicle which was set ablaze from the attack.

After seeking a safe position, Adams realized the body of the fallen Marine was still inside the blazing vehicle. Running back into the burning vehicle and, while under enemy fire, Adams retrieved the Marine’s body and carried him through an intersection while broadly exposed to enemy fire.

It wasn’t until Adams and the other Marines were back in the safety of their headquarters that Adams sought medical treatment for his wounds.

He downplays his actions in the firefight, and said that he feels that any Marine would have performed as he did.

“I am very proud that we can count on Marines like Cpl. Adams,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas F. Marano, Adams’ commanding officer, during the ceremony. “He is an example of the kind of leaders we have in this battalion.”

Marano took the time to address his Marines who are serving at a remote forward operating base, or “battle position,” as the Marines call it, north of the Euphrates River. The battalion arrived in Iraq three months ago to provide stability and security, alongside their Iraqi Army counterparts, to a cluster of towns in the region.

“I think all of you are doing an outstanding job and I am very proud of the work you are doing with the Iraqi Army,” said Marano.

Adams says nothing has changed during this deployment except that things are a lot quieter now in regards to insurgent activity. The battalion has not had to face a direct insurgent attack, like the one Adams faced in January 2005, during their current deployment.

The last major U.S. and Iraqi-led offensive against insurgents in this region occurred in November of last year, a mission dubbed, “Operation Steel Curtain.” The operation resulted in more than 250 killed insurgents.

Email Cpl. Rosas at rosasa@gcemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil