MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – -- Flashing back to different events from 2005, Gunnery Sgt. Mark R. Wynn thinks about the events that led him to stand at attention in front of a formation of his family, friends and fellow Marines March 23.
Wynn, a native of Woodstock, Ohio, was awarded a Bronze Star for distinguishing himself as the motor transport operation chief and Battalion Convoy Commander, 8th Communication Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) from Jan. 2005 through Sept. 2005. Wynn directed more than 70 convoys and his ability to effectively coordinate and influence multiple tasks simulatenously helped spearhead the movement of the battalion’s assets to Camp Fallujah to Al Taqaddum’s Marine Armor Installation Site (MAIS).
“The caliber of Marines that work in 8th Comm. Battalion are truly exceptional. My platoon (Convoy Team Diablo) helped get the work done and this is a direct reflection of that,” Wynn said.
He credits the award to Capt. Nathan B. Cahoon, his motor transport officer, Master Sgt. Michael M. Manieri, his commanding officer Lt. Col Michael M. Sweeney and his sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. John J. Weis, for allowing the unit “do all the stuff outside the wire.”
Without each of those individuals he said “I might not be standing here today receiving this honor.”
Although Wynn and his Marines faced many rounds coming down range at towards their vehicles, or different improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the platoon still accomplished the mission.
According to his award citation, Wynn’s focused leadership ability, initiative and forward thinking directly contributed to more than 70 completed convoy security missions, safe transportation of more than $5 million worth of vital communication assets, rolling stock and commercial vehicles and 4, 527 personnel without major accident or injury. He further supported the II MEF (FWD) deployment and I MEF redeployment, and escorted 93 newly trained Iraqi Police from Al Asad to Fallujah to report for duty.
“The award really goes toward the Marines in my platoon. In my 16 years in the Corps I have never worked with such a fine organization and leadership. This is the pinnacle of my career,” Wynn said. “I also want to thank the Marines in the rear. There were five or six Marines doing the job of the 70 warfighters who were gone. Without their support we wouldn’t have been able to get the job done either.”