IRAQ: Marine standout now accused of crimes
An Article 32 — the military's equivalent of a preliminary hearing — may be held as early as next week at Camp Pendleton. Winnick is a sniper attached to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment.
In 2004, while also serving with the Three-One, his quick thinking and aggressiveness during the battle for Fallouja were extolled by author Bing West in his book "No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah."
From page 291, describing the action as Marines were in a house-to-house fight with insurgents:
"They rushed down to the street. As they moved up the alley, Lance Corporal John Winnick, a machine-gunner, ran toward (Lt. Jesse) Grapes with an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) launcher and a bag full of rockets. 'Sir can I shoot these back at them?' Winnick yelled.
'Do you know how to use that thing?' Grapes asked.
Winnick had never held or fired an RPG. "Yes, sir. Fired one in a threat weapons course!' Winnick said.
'Then start firing!'"
Winnick fired twice, blowing open a gate and then hitting a fuel drum inside a house as Marines cheered. "In minutes the fire had spread through the first floor, and the insurgents had fled."
— Tony Perry, in San Diego
Photo: Marines during the battle for Fallouja, 2004. Photo credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times