Camp Pendleton, California — Gunnery Sgt. Brian C. Jacklin, a critical skills operator with 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, will be awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic actions while deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.
The award will be presented to Jacklin during a ceremony at the 1st MSOB headquarters aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, April 9, at 10 a.m.
Jacklin, a Los Angeles native, was second in command of a team conducting village stability operations in the volatile Upper Gereshk Valley of Helmand Province. The enemy suddenly poured heavy fire into the team’s position, and his team leader and another Marine each suffered life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Without hesitation, Jacklin seized control of the situation and orchestrated a counterattack. He personally established an alternate means of communication with a nearby supporting unit and began prosecuting direct, indirect, and aviation fires on the enemy, while simultaneously coordinating evacuation of the casualties. He courageously led his team out of their compound and through open terrain in order to secure a landing zone. Jacklin remained in the open, raining M203 grenades on the enemy and directing the fires of his team, until the aircraft could land and evacuate the wounded. When his team was relieved in place by another special operations unit, Jacklin voluntarily remained behind, and throughout a raging battle all the next day, he provided vital intelligence, tactical assistance, and deadly accurate personal fires. By his decisive actions, bold initiative, and complete dedication to duty, Jacklin reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
The Navy Cross is the second highest valor award, second to the Medal of Honor and must be approved by the Secretary of the Navy before being awarded. Jacklin will become the eighth servicemember in MARSOC’s nine-year history to be awarded the Navy Cross as a result of his extraordinary heroic actions taken during Operation Enduring Freedom. Major Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, will present the award.
Also during the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Osterman will award the Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device to GySgt. William C. Simpson IV, Staff Sgt. Christopher Buckminster, Staff Sgt. Hafeez B. Hussein, Sgt. William P. Hall, and Sgt. David E. Harris, all critical skills operators who boldly displayed their courage and gallantry during the same engagement as Jacklin.