Staff Sergeant Philip Crosby exhibited extraordinary leadership and courage during his deployment from November 2007 to October 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Crosby, assigned to 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, was serving as the assistant effects advisor for Military Transition Team 133, Multinational Force West.
His Military Transition Team and he were embedded with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, and were assigned to protect the Iraqi people and support the local government in the Diyala and Baghdad provinces.
“Our main role was to support the Iraqis by controlling air assets, gathering intelligence, planning operations and organizing support from units, such as AH-64 Apache helicopters and explosive ordinance disposal,” said Crosby.
On February 17, 2008, Crosby was assigned to a group of 20 Iraqi scouts when their unit was ordered to join 20 members of a U.S. Army team to conduct a combined raid on the Iraqi village of Bodija.
After capturing multiple enemy suspects, Crosby and the Iraqi scouts set out on foot with U.S. Army soldiers in pursuit of possible insurgents that had been spotted by U.S. air assets.
After a two-kilometer chase, the U.S. and Iraqi forces encountered a fierce ambush from insurgent forces.
During the ensuing battle, Crosby demonstrated unwavering heroism by exposing himself to enemy fire all the while maintaining constant communication with his forces
Ultimately he organized and coordinated a counter-attack with the U.S. Army forces.
While the team continued to receive sporadic enemy attacks, Crosby once again exposed himself to enemy fire, assisting wounded soldiers and transporting them to a helicopter landing zone for evacuation to a medical facility.
“He stepped up to the occasion, and exhibited some incredible bravery that day,” said Lt. Col. John Orille, who worked with Crosby in Iraq. “He intuitively thinks on his feet and executes with confidence. His judgment is spot-on at the snap of a finger. No matter what you throw at home, he’s able to assess the situation and take action.”
“The last time I’d been to Iraq was during the invasion,” said Crosby. “I saw a lot of differences from before. Mostly with the people in the towns we went and cleared. You could see the difference two or three days later, because there would be kids playing in the street that weren’t there before.”
For his outstanding bravery, Crosby was awarded the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing ‘V’ device.
Profile written from 6/16/2009 article by LCpl. John Faria, II MEF, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C.