In a battle against ISIS, one Marine Raider's heroism stood out. Heroism that is getting him awarded a Navy Cross.
On March 8, 2020, Staff Sgt. Nicholas Jones of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion was the element leader accompanying the Iraqi forces. According to Marine Forces Special Operations Command, they were heading into the northern Iraqi mountains to root out ISIS positions.
ISIS fighters were hunkered down in caves and ambushed another unit. A French operator was hurt in the attack, followed by two Marine Raiders.
Jones led the counterattack, making his way toward the French operator. He was under heavy ISIS fire and used his rifle and grenades against the enemy.
He reached the French operator and took him to a safe spot where he could be medically evacuated. Next, Jones tried to reach the two Marines, but there was heavy enemy fire.
According to a press release, they were in a steep ravine, and Jones had to turn back. He tried again about five hours later but was hit in the leg.
He refused treatment and kept fighting, that is, until he was medically evacuated.
According to command, "By his decisive actions, bold initiative, and unconquerable spirit, Staff Sgt. Jones reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service."
Honored for His Efforts
Seven other members who were a part of Operation Inherent Resolve received the Navy Cross. Jones will be the eighth.
Jones will be given the medal in a ceremony at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina. The ceremony will be on August 26th and will be presided over by the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger.
The Navy Cross is the second-highest honor a service member can be awarded. The only higher medal is the Medal of Honor.