Skip to comments.Marine Sniper Staff Sgt. Steve Reichert Receives Bronze Star Medal for Valor (OoRah and SALUTE!!!)
Posted on 02/22/2005 11:31:16 PM PST by Former Military Chick
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.(Feb. 03, 2005) -- In the early morning hours of April 9, 2004, a Marine sniper and his spotter crawled on top of an abandoned oil storage tank in Lutafiyah, Iraq. Their mission was routine as they covered their squads patrol movement through the small town during the Arbaeen pilgrimage. As it turned out, it was also a mission that will go down in the volumes of Marine Corps history.
Staff Sgt. Steve Reichert, a 25-year-old scout sniper with Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, and Medfield, Mass., native, was recently awarded one of the Corps top medals, the Bronze Star with a combat V for valorous action.
The 1998 Medfield High School graduate spends his off hours firing at targets with his M82A3 .50-caliber special application scoped rifle (SASR).
During this particular mission atop the oil tank, Reichert settled himself in a very exposed position -- though he was able to prop up a few steel plates on some sand bags. He and his spotter occupied that position knowing they were extremely vulnerable to enemy fire.
I didnt really think about it at the time, said Reichert. But when we heard the fifty cal rounds impacting the oil tank we took what little cover there was.
As the patrol moved toward the town, Reichert observed a dead animal located in the patrols path. It was then when he recalled his training in enemy tactics, techniques and procedures for improvised explosive devices (IED) and made radio contact with the patrol leader to redirect. The patrol leader radioed back to Reichert and confirmed his suspicion that two wires were leading out of the dog carcass.
We encountered IEDs daily, said Reichert. The IED that the squad came up on was in a dead animal, and with my spotting scope I could see the slight reflection of the wires coming out of the animal.
But despite the squads preventive measures, a routine situation turned treacherous.
A rocket-propelled grenade, or RPG, was fired at the Marine patrol and seconds later enemy machine gun and small-arms fire pinned them down, according to Reichert. The Marines couldnt effectively engage the enemy machine gunner on the rooftop of a nearby building so they radioed to Reichert on the oil storage tank. He took one shot and missed, then made the proper wind and elevation calculations to make his mark. A moment and a trigger pull later, Reichert took out the gunner.
In the after action report, the platoon leader made a remarkable account, that Reichert made the shot from 1,614 meters approximately a mile away. His accuracy was the deciding factor in the outcome of the firefight.
Soon after, a few insurgents began to climb a set of stairs on the backside of the building where the firefight was taking place. Reichert aimed into the brick wall where he thought the men were and fired.
All three of the men dropped. Reicherts armor-piercing round penetrated the wall and killed one man -- possibly wounding the other two with bullet and brick fragmentation.
I was concerned about my Marines making it out of there in one piece, said Reichert. And at the same time I was loving life. I was outside of the gunmens range, but they were within my weapons range. I guess I could compare it to shooting ducks in a barrel.
But the parlor game atmosphere proved to be more difficult than he may have expected.
I could see that the two Marines got separated (from the platoon) and saw that a small group of insurgents were maneuvering into position to ambush the Marines. Once they stopped moving I shot one; the other two ran.
Reichert looks back at his mission as a learning experience not only for him, but for others who follow in his footsteps.
Ive learned a few lessons in life that I think helped me along the way, said Reichert. Never quit, no matter how tough life can get.
Here is the photo, it seems to large to post on FR but someone else might be able to do it.
I do not know how to smallify it...:)
Neither did I and what you posted was what I had questioned but hey lets just say he deserves to have the bigest badest photo posted on Free Republic.
Bronze Star with a combat V for valorous action **PING**
Ditto to that! I checked out the picture, and thought: This brave young man will go home, put his medals and citations in a drawer, marry his sweetie, raise a family, and never, ever brag about his courage and honor in the War on Terror, despite the fact he has every right to do so. So unlike fool Kerry.
Protect our boys Father
Might fine shooting.
I'm concerned that this Marine might have actually enjoyed shooting the enemy. Who does he think he is, Gen. Mattis? ;^)
Spittin' image of his dad: hairline, eyes, nose, mouth.
Semper Fi, Marine!
God Bless him and God Bless the Troops.
Great shooting! I am so grateful for men like this.
Yeah, no kidding .A one mile shot and a guesstament threw the a wall to take 3 more out. Fancy.
a Marine and his rifle..... Happy Hunting Marine..... oooorraaahhh!!!
Great shooting, one shot-one kill is good, one shot-three down and out is great! This man is a Hero and deserves the accolades of all.
Special thanks to the Staff Sergeant and all the Marines and service men and women, who's duty to and for our country, keeps my family free.
25 years old? I don't think this is the right guy!
I know your intentions are honorable, and there are some damn fine soldiers in the US Army, but he has earned his title and deserves to be recognized as such. He is a damn fine Marine.
My thoughts too...25? What's with the gray hair?
The guy on the left has gray hair, not the Marine on the right!
One shot. One Kill. Aye, aye!
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