CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
A Marine with Ordnance Maintenance Company, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, was decorated for valor during a ceremony aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 24.
1st Sgt. Anthony J. Pompos was presented with the Bronze Star Medal, with a combat distinguishing device, for heroic service he displayed while serving with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
“It’s an honor to get this award,” said Pompos. “But you are only as good as the Marines around you and they were great out there.”
A humble leader – yes, but Pompos led from the front while engaged in combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom early last year. On Feb. 13, 2010, his company attempted to seize an area known as the Koru Village, which is located in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
The assault coincided with the Marjah campaign; the largest U.S. offensive in the war-torn country since American troops first arrived in October 2001.
Pompos and a unit of approximately 60 Marines were tasked with holding the company’s southern flank as the rest moved toward their respective objectives.
During subsequent fire-fights, Pompos constantly exposed himself to heavy enemy fire as he organized the contingent of Marines and held the company's southern line for more than six hours. As the assault continued, he ran from position to position motivating his Marines, repositioning forces and directing fire to suppress the enemy combatants.
The enemy attempted to draw the platoon into an ambush as a last-ditch effort to halt the Marines’ advance, but failed due to Pompos’ calm demeanor, which was also emulated by his troops. He again led surgical application of direct and indirect fire to avoid the ambush.
“I did what any Marine in my position would have done,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was doing anything out of the ordinary.”
Pompos continued to assert that he was just doing his duty. Others were quick to credit him for his exemplary leadership qualities, which undoubtedly saved the lives of many.
“He’s a prime example of great leadership,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Scott, battalion commander for 2nd Maint. Bn. “What he did was incredible. They don’t just hand these Bronze Stars out.”
Since 1941, the Brozne Star Medal has been awarded to individuals serving in or with any branch of the United States military whom have distinguished themselves while engaged in combat against a foreign enemy force. It can be awarded for bravery, as annotated by a small bronze “V” attached to the medal’s ribbon, or extremely meritorious achievement.