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Mark L. Garrell

Date of birth: November 3, 1961
Place of Birth: Virginia, Fort Belvoir
Home of record: Leesburg Virginia

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Defense Artillery) Mark L. Garrell, United States Army, for gallantry in action from 6 April 2003 to 5 May 2003, while serving as Commander of the 1st Battalion, 3d Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized), in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Lieutenant Colonel Garrell provided the inspired leadership and fearless example that motivated all who observed him and was instrumental in leading the battalion to unequalled success in the face of a hostile enemy. Lieutenant Colonel Garrell's extraordinary courage, bold initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of military service. Through his distinctive accomplishments, Lieutenant Colonel Garrell reflected great credit upon himself, 1st Battalion, 3d Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) and the United States Army.NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD:During the final attack upon Baghdad he consistently led his battalion with extraordinary bravery. Caught alone in a deliberate ambush in a lead vehicle, he fought a superior force to free his own vehicle then proceeded to dismount and led a counter attack against a superior enemy force. Days later, he expertly planned and executed a hasty attack upon a brigade sized element threatening the lines of communication of his attacking division. In the consolidation phase of the battle of Baghdad, he rallied and personally led an assault into heavy machine gun fire that included a final assault on foot, at the front of his force, to overtake a well-armed Fedayeen fighting position. Later he exposed himself to heavy fire and exploding debris rushing on foot to assist a trapped Bradley Fighting Vehicle. This was followed days later by an occurrence in which he raced toward an enemy force conducting a mortar attack upon one of his elements in order to successfully draw fire away from his exposed soldiers. At great risk to his own life, the enemy then concentrated heavy machine gun fire, mortar fire, and hit his exposed fighting vehicle with a Rocket Propelled Grenade. As a result of his gallantry and indomitable leadership, his battalion fought off waves of dismounted enemy troops and numerous mortar attacks, but all were soundly defeated as his battalion destroyed over 400 enemy dismounted fighters, five tanks and more than 80 non-tactical vehicles, as well as collecting over 300 enemy prisoners of war, capturing over 100 mechanized vehicles, hundreds of heavy and small arms, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Action Date: April 6 - May 5, 2003

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 3d Air Defense Artillery Regiment

Division: 3d Infantry Division

Air Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

Colonel (Air Defense Artillery) Mark L. Garrell, United States Army, was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal for meritorious achievement in aerial flight.

Service: Army

Rank: Colonel

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Colonel (Air Defense Artillery) Mark L. Garrell, United States Army, was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States.

Service: Army

Rank: Colonel