DVIDS-Marine Corps Base Hawaii – Kaneohe Bay
Story by Lance Cpl. Tyler Main
Date: 12.02.2010For displaying gallantry in more than 20 firefights and 90 combat patrols, Staff Sgt. Cody M. Maynard was awarded the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device Tuesday at the Combat Assault Company headquarters building on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.
Maynard, a Carleton, Ore., native, was deployed to Afghanistan from August 8, 2009 to April 1, 2010 as an Embedded Tactical Trainer, Embedded Training Team 7-5, Regional Corps Advisory Command Central 3-7, 201st Corps, Afghan National Army an in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“I’m happy I got [the award] but I was just trying to make sure we got out alive,” Maynard said. “I was just doing my job.”
But according to the summary of action report, it was more than just a day on the job.
One of the many valiant actions performed by Maynard occurred at 5 a.m. on Sept. 25, 2009 near the town of Dargo, Afghanistan.
Maynard and fellow ETTs along with 1st Platoon Chosen Company and one squad of Afghan National Army were conducting a key leader engagement and searching for enemy weapons caches.
While searching for weapons cache sites, the warriors found nothing. As a result, they began their trek off of a large mountain where the search ended. The ANA and ETTs were in the rear of the formation.
As they were heading down, intense enemy small arms, rocket-propelled-grenade and recoilless rifle fire began to accurately rain down on their position. They were now in a kill zone.
The barrage pinned down Maynard, fellow ETTs and their Afghan counterparts. It wasn’t until Maynard and the ETTs began returning suppressive fires on the enemies elevated position that the ANA were given a chance to move out of the kill zone.
Maynard moved from his covered position into open territory, still under heavy fire, to reach the ANA squad leader. He gave the ANA instruction and provided additional covering fires so that all ANA could evacuate the kill zone and continue to a safe route.
Next, Maynard and the ETTs followed. But Maynard wasn’t done. The warrior called in corrections to air assets fire resulting in accurate and devastating air attacks on enemy positions. This allowed the patrol to continue down the mountain without suffering any life threatening casualties.
A fellow ETT sprained his ankle on the way down and Maynard took most of the ETTs gear, still keeping heavy suppressive fire on pursuing enemy fighters. After reaching their base, Maynard rallied the ANA and prepared for additional attacks.
There was more than four other recorded occasions where Maynard displayed similar gallantry in the face of danger. During the first month alone, Maynard was involved in more than 20 firefights and 90 combat patrols.
“During the first month we were there was also election week,” Maynard said. “That was like a four day fire fight itself. Over the entire deployment, we racked up around 70 or 80 firefights. We eventually stopped counting them. It was ridiculous.”
3rd Marine Regiment commander Col. James W. Bierman Jr. and Sgt. Maj. Paul G. McKenna honored his actions in Afghanistan.
“When a Marine goes out on an ETT you find out if he’s got game,” McKenna said. “Staff Sgt. Maynard has got game.”
“What an opportunity it is for the sergeant major and I to come down to this great company and present a combat award with a write-up like the one you just heard,” Bierman said. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of Staff Sgt. Maynard and this company.”