Modern Day Marine Corps Hero


Source: Reference Branch, USMC History Division

Corporal Dakota L. Meyer, who is the first Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient for Operation Enduring Freedom, was born 26 June 1988.  Raised in Columbia, Kentucky, he attended local public schools until he graduated from Green County High School.

In 2006, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at a recruiting station in Louisville, Kentucky, and completed his basic training at Parris Island Recruit Training Depot later that year. He trained as a sniper and was regarded as a highly skilled Marine infantryman. He deployed twice to combat duty, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and during 2009-10, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

It was while serving in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, as a Turret Gunner and Driver with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7 that he performed the heroic actions for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

In 2010, Sgt Meyer completed his active duty commitment.  In his civilian professional life, he has completed undergraduate college coursework and currently works in Kentucky’s construction industry.

Besides the Medal of honor, his personal awards include a Purple Heart Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” device for valor, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and a Combat Action Ribbon. His other awards and decorations include a Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Medal ISAF Afghanistan, and a Rifle Expert Badge (3rd Award) and Pistol Expert Badge (2nd Award).

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