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Matthew Sprankle


Navy and Marine Corps Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy and Marine Corps Medal to Sergeant Matthew Sprankle, United States Marine Corps, for heroism while serving as Mortarman and a Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival, Security Cooperation Team 4, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa Detachment Alpha on 28 August 2015. At approximately 2000, Corporal Sprankle and his fellow Marines heard yelling from a man in the water. Although it was getting dark, Corporal Sprankle observed a distressed swimmer located approximately 150 meters from shore, holding on to a stationary buoy and struggling to keep his head above water with the rising tide. After witnessing an unsuccessful rescue attempt, Corporal Sprankle grabbed a d?cor ring buoy from a restaurant and ran to the edge of the pier. Without regard for his personal safety and at risk to his own life, he jumped into the unknown water and swam into the strong rip current towards the distressed swimmer 50 meters away. When he reached the swimmer, he handed him the ring buoy and attempted to pull the swimmer back to shore. However, the strong rip current pulled them approximately 300 meters further away. Corporal Sprankle began to swim parallel to the shore and after 15 minutes, was able to break free of the rip current and make it to the adjacent shore approximately 400 meters from the pier. As a result of his efforts, Corporal Sprankle personally saved the life of a Senegalese local national. By his courageous and prompt actions in the face of great personal risk, Corporal Sprankle prevented the loss of life, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: August 28, 2015

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Sergeant