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Silver Star operator: Master sergeant routed insurgents in 2012 firefight

May. 9, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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An operator with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command will become the latest Marine to receive the nation’s third-highest valor award at a Silver Star presentation ceremony on May 12.

Master Sgt. Donovan E. Petty, assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will receive the award for gallantry he demonstrated during a Nov. 1, 2012, firefight in Afghanistan when he received “small-arms fire from only feet away.”

At the time, Petty and Marine Special Operations Team 8214 were conducting a raid to kill or capture a key insurgent leader when the unit came under fire from the insurgent’s protective detail.

“Master Sergeant Petty maneuvered through a hail of gunfire to suppress the enemy fighting position, only retreating in the face of hand grenades being thrown at his position,” his citation reads. “Realizing the precarious position of assaulting a fortified enemy position from an open courtyard, he maneuvered to the roof of the building in order to gain a position of advantage over the enemy.”

On the rooftop he braved enemy fire to throw a hand grenade before directing the emplacement of an explosive breach to punch a hole in the outer wall of the building where the insurgent was holed up.

“Though receiving small-arms fire from only feet away, Master Sergeant Petty maintained stalwart control, directing the activities which resulted in the capture of the insurgent leader,” according to his citation.

Maj. Gen. Mark A Clark, the head of MARSOC, will present the award to Petty at Stone Bay during an 11 a.m. ceremony.

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