MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, gathered to honor retired Gunnery Sgt. Glen Silva’s dedication and sacrifice to his country and Corps, Aug. 28, 2015, aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Silva, formerly an infantry platoon sergeant, will have an award named after him awarded to staff-noncommissioned officers who are models of courage and performance within their field of expertise. The honor was bestowed by Lt. Col. Justin J. Ansel, the commanding officer of the unit. The award will be named the “GySgt. Glen Silva Staff NCO Award of Excellence.”
“It’s nice to have recognition for something that I thought was just me doing my job,” Silva said. “Just because it wasn’t on the training schedule doesn’t mean that I didn’t take the time to improve myself and the lives of the Marines to my left and right. At the end of the day as a Staff NCO, it is our job to be the example.”
Silva suffered an above-knee amputation of his left leg, along with several other injuries, Oct. 12, 2010, when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. After numerous surgeries, physical therapy and being fitted for a prosthetic leg, Silva is up on his feet again and is doing all he can to live his life to the fullest.
“I remember yelling at my Marines to set up a perimeter after it happened, not realizing my injuries,” Silva said. “I was still in the fight, there was no way I was letting my Marines down.”
Silva enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1990 and retired this April. Still to this day he remains an example to the Marines around him.
“We are giving Gunnery Sgt. Silva this honor because of what he has done for our Corps and more importantly for his Marines, what leaders are meant to do - take care and protect,” Ansel said. “There is no man I would rather have by my side when the fighting gets thick.”
Silva spoke to the Marines on what it meant to him to be a leader, on what he feels it would take to be a good Marine.
“We need to take that extra time to get out there and remember that not only do we mentor these Marines as Marines, but also these men as men,” Silva said.