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Huntington Beach 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 Cpl. Timothy C. Tardif 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."

Tardif, 22, a Huntington Beach, Calif., resident, received the military's third-highest award for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as these 2nd squad leader, 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, Tardif and his squad reinforced his platoon, which was pinned down in a violent enemy crossfire ambush.

Immediately assessing the situation, he directed Marines to return fire into enemy positions in a town. He identified the location of the enemy, and determined the precise point in which to assault the enemy.

Tardif then charged across a road under intense small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire, inspiring his Marines to follow his example. Engaged in an intense close-quarters battle, he received shrapnel wounds from an enemy grenade. Tardif refused medical attention and continued leading his squad in an assault on an enemy-held compound.

After securing the compound, Tardif egressed on order and led his reinforced squad in a fighting withdrawal. Tardif collapsed after traveling 150 meters from wounds suffered during fighting.

"This award means a lot to me, personally," said Tardif. "But it's not just about me. It's about my platoon and everyone else out there."

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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