MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Sergeant Joshua L. Moore received the Navy Cross from the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, during an awards ceremony Nov. 1, 2013 aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Moore, 25, from Franklinville, N.C., received the naval service’s highest award for his extraordinary heroism while serving as a scout with scout sniper platoon, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, March 14, 2011. The Navy Cross is second only to the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award.
“It’s an honor to receive an award like the Navy Cross,” said Moore. “But to be honest, I was just doing my job.”
Four other Marines were awarded medals at the ceremony, to include a Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device, and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with combat distinguishing devices, for their valor and selfless acts at the same ceremony.
Sergeant Justin L. Tygart of Orlando, Fla., received the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” device, and Sgt. Ritchie Elias of Anaheim, Calif., and Cpl. Gaven Eier of Charleston, S.C., were awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” device. Sergeant Matthew D. Adams of Hampstead, N.C., was also awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” device, but was unable to attend the ceremony.
While in a hide-site northeast of Marjah, all of the shooter-observer teams with Moore’s section were compromised and had to return to a nearby compound they previously occupied. The section came under attack again after only a few hours in the compound.
“Two grenades were thrown over the north wall, and both of them hit me in the back and rolled away,” said Moore. “Fortunately they landed next to each other, and I picked the first one up and threw it out.”
Moore noticed the second grenade was corroded and knew it wouldn’t explode, so he dropped after hearing the explosion of the first grenade.
Under heavy machine gun fire, taking several casualties and with no positive identification of the enemy forces to the north, Moore left the compound to aid the wounded and provide security.
“I looked up, and they were carrying Sgt. Tygart,” explained Moore. “At this point we were taking fire, so I had to crawl out of the building and loop round to the north to provide security while they were treating the guys inside the compound.”
With the arrival of the quick reaction force and another sniper section, the Marines successfully suppressed the enemy forces, evacuated the wounded and returned to the patrol base.
“Honestly, I was scared out of my mind, but I knew we had to do everything possible to get everybody home,” Moore explained.