Bookmark and Share

Bradley A. Kasal

Date of birth: 1966
Place of Birth: Iowa, Marengo
Home of record: Afton Iowa

A photograph of Bradley Kasal, taken by photographer Lucian Read, the First Sergeant blood soaked and still holding his pistol and K-Bar knife while being helped from the building by fellow Marines," became one of the iconic pictures of the War on Terrorism. He lost four inches of bone in his right leg and has undergone 21 surgeries to date in order to repair his injuries and save his leg. He was promoted to Sergeant Major shortly after being awarded the Navy Cross. Corporal Robert Mitchell was also awarded the Navy Cross for his own heroism in the action on this date. Sergeant Major Kasal chronicled his career and more specifically, the actions of his fellow Marines in Iraq in a book titled: "My Men are My Heroes."


Navy Cross

See more recipients of this award

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 First Sergeant Bradley A. Kasal, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as First Sergeant, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 13 November 2004. First Sergeant Kasal was assisting 1st Section, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon as they provided a traveling over watch for 3d Platoon when he heard a large volume of fire erupt to his immediate front, shortly followed by Marines rapidly exiting a structure. When First Sergeant Kasal learned that Marines were pinned down inside the house by an unknown number of enemy personnel, he joined a squad making entry to clear the structure and rescue the Marines inside. He made entry into the first room, immediately encountering and eliminating an enemy insurgent, as he spotted a wounded Marine in the next room. While moving towards the wounded Marine, First Sergeant Kasal and another Marine came under heavy rifle fire from an elevated enemy firing position and were both severely wounded in the legs, immobilizing them. When insurgents threw grenades in an attempt to eliminate the wounded Marines, he rolled on top of his fellow Marine and absorbed the shrapnel with his own body. When First Sergeant Kasal was offered medical attention and extraction, he refused until the other Marines were given medical attention. Although severely wounded himself, he shouted encouragement to his fellow Marines as they continued to clear the structure. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, First Sergeant Kasal reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 13-Nov-04

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: First Sergeant

Company: Weapons Company

Battalion: 3d Battalion

Regiment: 1st Marine Regiment

Division: 1st Marine Division