A then-Camp Pendleton-based United States Marine has been cited for his leadership heroics in combat. In January of 2011, as 22-year-old Sergeant Phillip McCulloch, Jr. was on patrol with his unit in Afghanistan, he and his men found themselves in a sudden firefight, surrounded by Taliban militia. Instinctively, Sergeant McCulloch did what war-fighters know to do. He took the fight to the enemy, as his Marines proceeded to send a large number of Taliban thugs to their version of the promised-land. As reported by AP, the Sergeant later recalled (quote): "There was no way out. So we just went toward the enemy."
Last week, for his courage and leadership under fire, Sergeant Phillip McCulloch, Jr., the son of a very proud Marine dad, received the Silver Star, our nation's third-highest honor for combat valor. Our congratulations to this outstanding Marine. And our continuing thanks for the service, and all of the sacrifices made, by the brave men and women of our five military branches, members of the finest fighting and shore-protection force in the world.