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Juan J. Rodriguez-Chavez


AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Navy Cross

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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 Cross to Staff Sergeant Juan J. Rodriguez-Chavez, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Assigned to the security element while other members of his team led two platoons of Afghan National Security Forces into Ganjgal Village for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Staff Sergeant Rodriguez-Chavez heard over the radio that the dismounted patrol was ambushed by roughly fifty enemy fighters in fortified positions. With four members of his team in immediate danger of being surrounded, he drove a gun-truck, with one other Marine as his gunner, forward into the kill zone of a well prepared ambush. With only the machine gun fires of his gunner to suppress the enemy, he ignored heavy enemy fires and drove the vehicle into the kill zone three times to cover the withdrawal of the combined force and evacuate two dozen members of the Afghan National Security Forces. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, he made a fourth trip into the deepest point of the kill zone in another gun-truck with three other U.S. personnel to recover the bodies of the fallen team members. He positioned his vehicle to shield the U.S. members from the intense enemy fire as they dismounted to recover their bodies. By his decisive actions, bold initiative, and selfless dedication to duty, Staff Sergeant Rodriguez-Chavez reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: September 8, 2009

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Staff Sergeant