Marine Sgt. Matthew Abbate Receives the Navy Cross

Sgt. Matthew Abbate

Sgt. Abbate and his scout-snipers were patrolling Sangin’s northern green zone when Taliban fighters and insurgents attacked the Marines. The squad didn’t know it but they were in the midst of a minefield. Two Marines and the Navy corpsman hit improvised explosive devices in rapid succession.  Abbate quickly reacted.

From Navy Cross Citation:

“With the squad leader incapacitated, and the rest of the patrol either wounded or disoriented, Sergeant Abbate took command. With total disregard for his own life, he sprinted forward through the minefield to draw enemy fire and rallied the dazed survivors. While fearlessly firing at the enemy from his exposed position, he directed fires of his Marines until they effectively suppressed the enemy, allowing life-saving aid to be rendered to the casualties.”

“As the medical evacuation helicopter was inbound, Abbate swept the landing zone for explosives, but the patrol again had to duck enemy fire. Still, the sergeant persevered.

“Realizing that the casualties would die unless rapidly evacuated, Sergeant Abbate once again bravely exposed himself to enemy fire, rallied his Marines and led a counter attack that cleared the enemy from the landing zone, enabling the helicopters to evacuate the wounded.”