Here come the Marines – SSgt Bart Cole



When the going gets tough, what you really want to see is a Marine.

So it went in Mushahidah, Iraq in 2004 when SSgt Cole’s convoy came upon an Army convoy. As the convoy passed, small arms fire broke out, injuring several Soldiers inside a stopped Humvee. The Marines immediately began to return fire.

Fearing that the wounded Soldiers would be overrun, Cole exited his vehicle and ran to the Army Humvee. Seeing that the Soldiers inside were too hurt to fight, he loaded the .50 cal machine gun and began to fire at the attackers from the turret. The small arms fire increased as a full-blown ambush erupted.

Cole fired until the .50 cal was out of ammo, then exposed himself again to pick up a M249. He returned to the Humvee and continued the fight, while directing his Marines to fire grenades at a machine gun emplacement until the threat was eliminated.

In the end, all the Soldiers and Marines survived. SSgt Cole coordinated the security for a MEDEVAC helo, and the wounded troops were evacutated.

As in times past, the Marines were there when the chips were down, and they came through.

For his actions, SSgt Cole was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor. He is our hero of the week.

For the complete story, read the DefenseLink account.


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