A Marine from Camp Pendleton has reportedly been awarded with the Silver Star for his actions during a Taliban attack in Afghanistan last year that killed two Marines and left dozens of aircraft destroyed.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Maj. Robb McDonald received the Silver Star at a ceremony this week on a coalition airbase in Afghanistan.
The Silver Star is the third-highest military combat decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces, according to the Defense Department.
McDonald received the medal for his heroic actions amid an incident on Sept. 14, 2012 in Helmand province when 15 Taliban fighters breached the base's defenses and began destroying aircraft, according to The Times.
At the time, the 37-year-old McDonald, then a Harrier pilot, reportedly maneuvered more than a mile on foot with two other officers through an area exposed to enemy fire.
McDonald later assumed command, after his commanding officer was mortally wounded, and took actions that saved the lives of other Marines and prevented further loss to aircraft, The Times reported.
Citing the Sliver Star citation, The Times reported that McDonald led "a small team out to reconnoiter the flight line" and "he killed one enemy with a rifle he had borrowed and then expertly coordinated two helicopter strikes to destroy all remaining enemy."
McDonald’s Silver Star will be in good company. He has also been awarded two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and eight Air Medals from previous deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, The Times noted.
McDonald, who at the time of the incident was an executive officer of Attack Squadron 211 from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, is now an officer for the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion.
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