CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (NNS) — February 4, 2016 — Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandro N. Salabarria, a Navy corpsman with 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Raider Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, will be awarded the Silver Star Medal for his heroic actions during 2014 deployment to Afghanistan.
The award ceremony is scheduled to take place at MARSOC headquarters aboard Stone Bay, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Feb. 5, at 3 p.m.
Salabarria, a Miami native, was serving with 2nd Marine Raider Battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when his team, along with Italian Special Forces and Afghan Special Operations Commandos were engaged by a rogue Afghan Commando. During the initial seconds of the attack, several U.S. and Afghan personnel were wounded, creating immediate overwhelming chaos across the formation. Without hesitation, Salabarria maneuvered into the kill zone, engaging the rogue commando.
Once he reached a severely wounded fellow corpsman, he dove between him and the rogue commando, using his body as a shield to prevent further injuries. While protecting the other corpsman with his body, he engaged the rogue commando with his M4 assault rifle, eliminating him and any further threat to his team. Immediately after securing the area, Salabarria rendered aid to two wounded team members and coordinated their evacuation via helicopter. His bold actions ultimately saved the lives of his fellow team members and Afghan Commando partners.
Major Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, will present the award.