Specialist who dove on grenade nominated for Medal of Honor




 
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December 15th, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 

Topic: Specialist who dove on grenade nominated for Medal of Honor


Quote:
Spc. Ross A. McGinnis has been nominated by his commanders for the Medal of Honor, said Maj. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

On Dec. 4, while on duty in Baghdad, Iraq, McGinnis used his body to smother a grenade, saving the lives of four fellow soldiers. McGinnis died from the blast.

McGinnis, 19, was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, which is attached to 2nd BCT.

Only one soldier and one Marine have received the Medal of Honor since the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and there has been debate about why there have been so few recipients of the nation’s highest award for valor.

McGinnis’ family will have a memorial service for him at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Knox, Pa. His remains will later be transferred to Arlington National Cemetery.

According to information provided Tuesday by Multi-National Division-Baghdad, McGinnis was manning the gunner’s hatch when an insurgent tossed a grenade from above. The grenade flew past McGinnis and down through the hatch before lodging near the radio.

His platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Thomas, was in the vehicle at the time.

McGinnis “yelled, ‘Grenade. … It’s in the truck,’” Thomas said. “I looked out of the corner of my eye as I was crouching down and I saw him pin it down.”

McGinnis could have escaped the blast, Thomas said. “He had time to jump out of the truck,” he said. “He chose not to. He gave his life to save his crew and his platoon sergeant. He’s a hero.”

Three of the soldiers in the vehicle with McGinnis suffered minor injuries. Two of them have returned to duty. The fourth soldier is recovering in Germany.

McGinnis was approved Monday for a Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for valor, according to a press release from MND-B. In it, he was referred to as a private first class. His company commander, Capt. Michael Baka, had signed a waiver to promote McGinnis the morning he died. McGinnis was posthumously promoted to specialist, Baka said.
http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f...25-2422121.php

Quote:
NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF A SILVER STAR TO PRIVATE FIRST CLASS ROSS MCGINNIS

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gunner in 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in Adhamiyah (Northeast Baghdad), Iraq on the afternoon of 4 December 2006. PFC Ross McGinnis' platoon was conducting a combat patrol to deny the enemy freedom of movement in Adhamiyah and reduce the high-level of sectarian violence in the form of kidnappings, weapons smuggling, and murders. 1st Platoon's combat patrol moved deliberately along a major route north towards the Abu Hanifa mosque, passing an IED hole from a recent detonation on a Military Police patrol that very morning. The combat patrol made a left turn onto a side street southwest of the Abu Hanifa Mosque. There were two-story buildings and parked vehicles on either side of the road. PFC McGinnis was manning the M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun on the Platoon Sergeant's M1151 Up-armored HMMWV. His primary responsibility was to protect the rear of the combat patrol from enemy attacks. Moments after PFC McGinnis' vehicle made the turn traveling southwest a fragmentation grenade was thrown at his HMMWV by an unidentified insurgent from an adjacent rooftop. He immediately yelled "grenade" on the vehicle's intercom system to alert the four other members of his crew. PFC McGinnis made an attempt to personally deflect the grenade, but was unable to prevent it from falling through the gunner's hatch. His Platoon Sergeant, the truck commander, was unaware that the grenade physically entered the vehicle and shouted "where?" to PFC McGinnis. When an average man would have leapt out of the gunner's cupola to safety, PFC McGinnis decided to stay with his crew. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life he announced "the grenade is in the truck" and threw his back over the grenade to pin it between his body and the truck's radio mount. When the grenade detonated, PFC McGinnis absorbed all lethal fragments and the concussion with his own body killing him instantly. His early warning allowed all four members of his crew to position their bodies in a protective posture to prepare for the grenade's blast. As a result of his quick reflexes and heroic measures, no other members of the vehicle crew were seriously wounded in the attack. His gallant action and total disregard for his personal well-being directly saved four men from certain serious injury or death. PFC McGinnis' extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in the keeping of the highest traditions of military service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF

A SILVER STAR

TO

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS ROSS MCGINNIS

FOR GALLANTRY IN ACTION ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY WHILE SERVING AS AN M2 MACHINE GUNNER DURING OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. ON 4 DECEMBER 2006, AN ENEMY HAND GRENADE WAS THROWN INTO HIS VEHICLE. PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MCGINNIS THREW HIMSELF ON THE HAND GRENADE, ABSORBING THE EXPLOSION WITH HIS BODY AND SAVING FOUR OF HIS COMRADES FROM SERIOUS INJURIES OR POSSIBLE DEATH. HIS ACTIONS REFLECT DISTINCT CREDIT ON H IM, THE MULTI-NATIONAL DIVISION-BAGHDAD, AND THE UNITED STATES ARMY.
http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f...25-2422089.php

http://www.armytimes.com/content/sta...13mcginnis.ppt
 


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