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UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

1ST BATTALION, 23D MARINE REGIMENT


4TH MARINE DIVISION, MARINE FORCES RESERVE
ELLINGTON FIELD JOINT RESERVE BASE
10949 AEROSPACE AVENUE
HOUSTON, TX 77034-5568
IN REPLY REFER TO:

1000
ADMIN
24 NOV 13
From: Captain James C. McKendree, 1st Battalion, 23d Marines
To:
Lance Corporal James Crosby, 1st Fire Team Leader, 2d Battalion, 7th
Marines
Subj:

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION

The purpose of this correspondence is to outline the accomplishments and


character of Lance Corporal James Crosby during his term of enlistment under
my command while serving as Team Leader, 1st Squad, 2d Platoon, Company E,2d
Battalion, 7th Marines at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC)
Twentynine Palms, CA from 15 Oct 2007 to 20 Jan 2009.
Upon arrival to the unit, I was quickly introduced to LCpl Crosby as a member
of our platoon. From the outset, it was apparent that this Marine was one of
the few quiet professionals you hope to come across as a young platoon
commander. Our battalion had been subjected to a late re-tasking, switching
our intended Iraq deployment to Afghanistan with only three months to
prepare. As a result, our pre-deployment work-up involved a grueling training
pace, demanding long hours and extended weeks in the field. During this time,
I noted that LCpl Crosby never complained, and never wavered physically
during even the most intensive live fire training events. Most importantly,
however, I noticed that the platoon as a whole looked to him for advice and
counsel; the same counsel I would draw upon as the deployment unfolded. In
training, LCpl Crosby was always punctual, never gave excuses, and was
professional as a field Marine and in garrison. I observed his professional
competency in the employment of his weapon system, both in accuracy and
tactically. One of the most valuable character traits I observed, however,
was his ability to be completely transparent and honest in any situation.
During our deployment to Afghanistan from 05 April to 28 October 2008, LCpl
Crosby served as a SAW(Squad Automatic Weapon) gunner and Team Leader. Our
platoon was deployed to Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. His
squad completed more than 150 combat patrols, conducted seven deliberate
offensive operations to include movements to contact and cordon and search
operations, and fought multiple small arms engagements with anti-coalition
militia forces. In addition, his squad found, and reacted to, multiple IED
strikes on his squad and adjacent elements. LCpl Crosby was within 10 meters
of at least three of the IED detonations, and his fellow Marines attested to
the fact that he never lost his bearing or wavered in his duties. On 10
September 2008, during a movement to contact operation in Sangin, Helmand
Province, Afghanistan, I witnessed LCpl Crosbys calm under fire. While one
of his fellow Marines moved to employ his SMAW on the enemy firing position,
LCpl Crosby exposed himself to enemy fire in order to ensure effective
suppression on the enemy position, thereby allowing his fellow Marine to
employ his weapon system which allowed us to move on the enemy position.
During another engagement in July of 2008, our platoon was ambushed in the

open with rocket propelled grenade and small arms fire. Once again, I
witnessed LCpl Crosbys devotion to his fellow Marines as he immediately
provided effective suppressive fire on the enemy without seeking proper cover
for himself. He understood that the swift employment of his weapon system
would provide his fellow Marines the valuable seconds needed to find covered
positions from which they could return accurate fire. This action embodied
who he was as a Marine, and who he is as a man; one who always puts the needs
of those around him ahead of his own.
LCpl Crosby continued to distinguish himself, and continued to be a pillar on
which his fellow Marines could rely on when they needed a listening ear or
the hard truth. His intelligence, common sense, and approachability allowed
him to mentor his fellow Marines, and added to the overall effectiveness and
morale of the platoon. LCpl Crosby was one of the few that, if myself or the
platoon sergeant gave him a task, we agreed that we did not have to worry
about its execution. He is a solid Marine, on and off the battlefield, and I
am glad to know that he has passed on his proven character, devotion, and his
stalwart example of selflessness to the younger Marines in his charge. If
given the opportunity, I would most definitely serve in combat with this
Marine again.

J.C. MCKENDREE