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Marine to receive Silver Star for bravery in Afghanistan

February 7, 2012 |  4:31 pm

A Marine sergeant now serving as a drill instructor at the boot camp in San Diego will receive the Silver Star for bravery during combat in Sangin, long an insurgent stronghold in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Philip McCulloch Jr., 23, who was raised in Galveston, Texas,  was a squad leader with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment from Camp Pendleton on Jan. 8, 2011, when Marines were attacked by insurgents.

McCulloch quickly took a leadership role, organizing Marines into a counter-attack and directing air support and indirect fire, officials said.

"Only after six hours of fighting, with his squad dangerously low on ammunition and himself wounded in the leg, did he return to friendly lines," according to the Silver Star citation signed by Commandant Gen. James Amos.

The award ceremony is set for Friday at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

The fight for control of Sangin was one of the fiercest in the 10-year war in Afghanistan. In a seven-month deployment, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment had 25 Marines killed and more than 200 wounded.

McCulloch also served two tours in Iraq.


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Photo: Sgt. Philip McColloch Jr. Credit: Marine Corps