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Aliso Viejo Marine receives Silver Star

Marine Corps News

Release Date: 5/3/2004

Story by Cpl. Luis R. Agostini

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.(May 3, 2004) -- Marine Staff Sgt. Adam R. Sikes received the Silver Star from the Secretary of the Navy, Honorable Gordon R. England, during a ceremony Monday at 5th Marine Regiment parade deck here.

"These brave Marines did good things without notice," said England, "and without the acclaim of crowds. But they got the acclaim of their fellow Marines."

Sikes, 27, an Aliso Viejo, Calif., native, received the military's third-highest award for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as the platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on April 12, 2003.

During the At Tarmiyah Battle, located 30 kilometers north of Baghdad, Sike's platoon was pinned down by heavy small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire in the opening moments of the fight.

Sikes quickly rallied two of his squads and set them into position to suppress the enemy and prepare them to counterattack. With the squads already in position, Sikes charged across 70 meters of fire-swept ground alone to close in on the first enemy strongpoint, which he cleared with a grenade and his rifle.

Moving to the roof of a three-story building exposed to enemy fire, Sikes adjusted 60-millimeter mortar rounds onto nearby enemy reinforcement positions. The rounds isolated the town from enemy reinforcement and decimated an enemy position in the nearby tree line. After learning that his other squad had taken casualties, he signaled an assault amphibious vehicle and directed their evacuation while under a hail of small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. "It was a very intense moment," said Sikes. "You don't consider what's going on in the world when everything explodes around you. You want to take care of the Marines to the left and right of you."

Established in 1918, the Silver Star is awarded to a person who is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The required gallantry, while of a lesser degree than that required for award of the Distinguished Service Cross, must nevertheless have been performed with marked distinction.

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