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U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Paul T. Archie, 2nd Medical Battalion sergeant major, shakes the hands of the Marines and sailors of 2nd Medical Battalion after his Bronze Star ceremony at Camp Lejeune, N.C., July 30. Archie was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with the Combat Distinguishing Device for his concerned leadership, intense work ethic and personal fortitude, while deployed to Iraq with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Aaron Rooks
U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Paul T. Archie
First Sergeant Awarded Bronze Star for Duty in Iraq
By Lance Cpl. Aaron Rooks
2nd Marine Logistics Group
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Aug. 3, 2007 — U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Paul T. Archie’s Marines were put to the test during a series of heavy and sustained attacks, Oct. 19, 2006, in Iraq. His forward operating base faced a mass of insurgent firepower ranging from small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades to a suicide dump truck intent on disaster.

During the firefight, Archie and his company commander Capt. Scott R. Burlison exposed themselves to incoming enemy fire while moving from post to post in an effort to ensure that the Marines had the necessary supplies and wounded Marines were evacuated.

Despite his personal heroics, his actions on that day represent only a small portion of the reasons why he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with The Combat Distinguishing Device here, July 30.

According to his award citation, Archie, now serving as the 2nd Medical Battalion sergeant major, earned the medal for his concerned leadership, intense work ethic and personal fortitude, which were instrumental to the company’s success during seven months of counter-insurgency operations.

During his deployment to Iraq with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, Archie participated in more than 200 combat missions and, according to his citation, provided exceptional leadership during more than 78 small-arms fire attacks, 24 indirect fire attacks, eight complex attacks such as improvised explosive devices and thousands of other routine security and intelligence gathering missions.

“I was with them during everything,” Archie explained. “Normally first sergeants and other senior members aren’t there for every mission that the Marines do. I positioned myself where I was in just as much danger as (the Marines) were.”

“The deployment started off real hot and dangerous where we were at,” he continued. “There were several places where we drove by that presented a 50-percent chance of there being an IED.”

Archie explained that despite the dangers, the Marines of Weapons Company always ran into the fight and in the process, formed close bonds, supporting Archie’s motto of “one team, one fight.”

“We can’t do anything individually,” Archie said. “Without a team, I wouldn’t be here right now. I wear (the medal for the Marines).”

Last Updated:
08/03/2007, Eastern Daylight Time
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