Navy-Marine Corps MARS in Vietnam

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                                  THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

                                    WASHINGTON, D.C, 20350-1000


                    The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the SILVER STAR MEDAL to




for service as set forth in the following


 For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Squad Leader, Company I, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 14 and 15 November 2004. Sergeant Pennell displayed unyielding personal courage while leading his attacking squad through sustained high intensity urban combat in south Fallujah, Iraq. As an adjacent squad entered a house occupied by nine fanatical insurgents, the squad came under heavy enemy fire and sustained numerous casualties. Demonstrating great presence of mind, he unhesitatingly led his squad in an assault into the house to assist his fellow Marines. Locating a Marine shot in the face, Sergeant Pennell, under intense grenade and small arms fire, rescued the Marine and carried him to safety. He immediately called for assistance and courageously reentered the house with another Marine. With bullets impacting all around them. Sergeant Pennell directed his Marines to lay down suppressive fire as he searched for the remaining wounded. Immediately, enemy PKM machine gun fire struck Sergeant Pennell's comrade. Ignoring this intense machine gun fire, he proceeded to suppress the enemy with lethally accurate fire of his own, rescue his fellow Marine and carry him to safety. Sergeant Pennell's multiple attacks and accurate fire repeatedly drew the enemy's attention and allowed a supporting attack from an adjacent platoon to clear the house and rescue the remaining wounded. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Sergeant Pennell reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. 


For the President,



Secretary of the Navy







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