Thursday, January 11, 2007

Private First Class Ross McGinniss 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gunner in 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in Adhamiyah (Northeast Baghdad), Iraq on the afternoon of 4 December 2006.

On December 4th, 2006, 1st Platoon, PFC Ross McGinnis' platoon was conducting a combat patrol to deny the enemy freedom of movement in Adhamiyah and reduce the high-level of sectarian violence in the form of kidnappings, weapons smuggling, and murders. 1st Platoon's combat patrol moved deliberately along a major route north towards the Abu Hanifa mosque, passing an IED hole from a recent detonation on a Military Police patrol that very morning.

The combat patrol made a left turn onto a side street southwest of the Abu Hanifa Mosque. There were two-story buildings and parked vehicles on either side of the road. PFC McGinnis was manning the M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun on the Platoon Sergeant's M1151 Up-armored HMMWV. His primary responsibility was to protect the rear of the combat patrol from enemy attacks.

Moments after PFC McGinnis' vehicle made the turn traveling southwest a fragmentation grenade was thrown at his HMMWV by an unidentified insurgent from an adjacent rooftop. He immediately yelled "grenade" on the vehicle's intercom system to alert the four other members of his crew. PFC McGinnis made an attempt to personally deflect the grenade, but was unable to prevent it from falling through the gunner's hatch. His Platoon Sergeant, the truck commander, was unaware that the grenade physically entered the vehicle and shouted "where?" to PFC McGinnis. When an average man would have leapt out of the gunner's cupola to safety, PFC McGinnis decided to stay with his crew. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life he announced "the grenade is in the truck" and threw his back over the grenade to pin it between his body and the truck's radio mount.

When the grenade detonated, PFC McGinnis absorbed all lethal fragments and the concussion with his own body killing him instantly. His early warning allowed all four members of his crew to position their bodies in a protective posture to prepare for the grenade's blast. As a result of his quick reflexes and heroic measures, no other members of the vehicle crew were seriously wounded in the attack.

His gallant action and total disregard for his personal well-being directly saved four men from certain serious injury or death.

PFC McGinness has been nominated for the Medal of Honor.

Jason, the president presented this award to Corporal Dunham's mother this morning, but you wouldn't know it from looking at, listening to, or watching any of our MSM outlets. I'm disgusted.

Here's the USMC link on his award:
Yeah, I was going to give the NYT til midnight and then search on his name.
There can be no doubt that PFC McGinniss deserves the Medal of Honor. That said, I think the criteria for getting the Medal have become too rigorous. When's the last time that anyone actually survived to wear the medal?

Sure, for the last 70 years or so (at least) survival was decidedly optional for Medal-winners. But since Viet Nam, it seems that survival is entirely disallowed.

IIRC, during WWII, about a third of Medal winners lived to be presented with their decorations. I think it's time to revisit some of the more recent DSC/DFC/Navy Cross awards with the view of a possible upgrade to the Medal.

(If you haven't, it can be instructive to compare MoH award citations from before 1955 or so with DSC citations now.)
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