During the Battle for Baghdad in April 2003, United States Marine Corps Sgt. Scott Montoya was serving as a Scout Sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, 2d Battalion, 23d Marines, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. At one point, enemy fire had Montoya’s sniper team pinned down, and he directed his team to return fire while he ran into an open roadway to rescue an Iraqi civilian trapped in a vehicle. Montoya spotted a wounded Marine on the same roadway and led him to safety, and then another wounded Marine, and then another, who was unconscious, and then a fourth, all while shooting at the enemy with his free hand. Later, when Montoya was asked how many bullets went by him as he rescued four fellow Marines, he answered, “About 300.” He added, “I saw a hurt Marine and all my training came into play. It wasn’t a cognitive thing; I just saw the situation and cared for my Marines.” For his “extraordinary heroism,” Sgt. Montoya was awarded the U.S. military’s second-highest honor, the Navy Cross.
Well done Marine.