War Heroes I - Brian Chontosh

The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting
The Navy Cross

Brian R. Chontosh
United States Marine Corps

For Services as Set Forth in the Following

For extraordinary heroism as Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 25 March 2003.

While leading his platoon north on Highway I toward Ad Diwaniyah, First Lieutenant Chontosh’s platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and automatic weapons fire. With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.

He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, First Lieutenant Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.

He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, First Lieutenant Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack. When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, First Lieutenant Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.

When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.

By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

The media, sadly, has not made Brian Chontosh a household name. I find this unfortunate, since his courage and devotion to his men should be examples to us all.

More balanced coverage would show us the heroes along with the villains in places like Abu Ghraib.

In the interests of this, I will be posting the citations of war heroes from the current conflict in a series of threads. I hope there will be some discussion about the bravery shown by these soldiers, and that they will receive some of the recognition justly due them.

I’d imagine one of the greatest fears any serviceman encounters prior to going into battle is that of the uncertainty as to how they’ll react once all hell breaks loose.

Lieutenant Chontosh has probably put his own mind to rest about that particular issue. A modern day Sgt. York he is.

Thanks Mr. Moto. Let’s hope such bravery while available is no longer necessary in the very near future.

Mr. Moto
As an OEF/OIF Vet, I would like to thank you for attempting to draw people’s attention away from the negative things and show us the true Heros.
All the training in the world can not prepare you for battle because you truely do not know how you will react. Brian Chontosh is a great example of combining training with personal courage. All soldiers hope they can act as bravely as this man.

Immoral and unsupportable.

Perhaps Muffin is right. Mr. Brian Chontosh should have put his arms down and tried to resolve this ambush peacefully. A good shaking of the hand may have put an end to the fighting.

I no way would I say the death of 20 people and the injury of another few is a good thing; however, there are now 20 less people trying to kill AMERICANS. Just my opinion.

Is it too much to ask for one thread about the troops in combat that isn’t shit upon by people like you?

Hats off, Mr. Moto. Excellent idea for a thread.

Make that twenty fewer people defending their country from an unjustified invasion by Americans.

If you don’t want American soldiers to be killed, then don’t invade and occupy.

Not simply troops in combat, but rather foreign invading troops who have destroyed an independant nation without having any supportable reason either under international law or domestic defence for invading in the first place.

There can be Sgt. York type heros for the aggressors in such a war.

So get used to being shat upon.

Have you been to Iraq? Have you seen then weapons factories inside of elementary schools? Have you heard the stores of war crimes first hand from Iraqis? Have you seen the deformities caused by Saddam’s torture? Have you seen how the average Iraqi lives as opposed to Saddam and his comrades? Have you witnessed poor, illiterate children playing in and drinking waste water because its all they have? Hmm . .just a few things to think about, Muffin. Oh, by the way, I have pictures/examples of each of these atrocities if you would like evidence.
If you do not support the war, support the troops. They are falling day by day because they are in Iraq to help.

MM, where did you find this citation? I would like to wander through them.

Fine, then shit somewhere else. Your hijack, while certainly not on the same level, is an aggressive and unexcusable invasion, sort of like what you’re ranting on and on about. :rolleyes:

Get the message. The war is wrong. Individuals must take responsibility for their actions, which means not participating in the war. Not going to Iraq. Not killing Iraqis. Not fobbing off personal responsibility on the excuse of following orders. And most certainly not pretending that they are improving the lives of the occpupied by killing them.

Makes me wonder what it would take to get the Medal of Honor. It doesn’t have to be posthumous. As far as I know there haven’t been any awarded since Somalia.

Hijack, Casey? Hardly.

Seems the only discussion and recognition that you are willing to tolerate, Casey, is that in support of your nation’s troops. Well guess what. Discussion includes the presentation of more than one point of view, and recognition of what is justly due includes recognition that in this war there is nothing justly due.

Hijack. Yes. This is not GD and this is not the Pit and your posts have nothing to do with the spirit or purpose of the OP. You are attempting to turn this thread into a debate on whether the war is justified or not or whether the troops deserve respect (which they do) or not. This is not appropriate here.

I chose this forum for just that reason.

I think that bravery under fire is a virtue worth noting. Even if it is in the service of a war you don’t necessarily agree with.

That’s why John Kerry’s genuine courage and beavery are so noteworthy, whether you choose to support him or not. Silver and Bronze Stars aren’t given out for just showing up for work.

Neither, I can assure you, are Navy Crosses.

Also, Paul in Saudi, check your email for a link to more citations.

I shall post all winners of Air Force Crosses, Distinguished Service Crosses, and Navy Crosses here, perhaps in combined threads.

The stories are truly amazing ones of selfless bravery.

Mixed feelings, he certainly showed plenty of courage and competance, and that is in stark contrast to his CEO.

Just shows the differance between our so called leaders and the real heroes who do the bleeding and the dying.

Muffin, knock it the hell off. There are plenty of threads on this board, mainly in GD, dealing with the validity of the Iraq war. This is not one of them, as can be clearly deduced from the OP. So, your participation stops right here. Go find another thread in which to argue your point.

Thing is, though, if you use CAPT Brian Chontosh’s (he’s since been promoted) heroism to measure others, we all fall a little short.

I’m an honorably discharged, five-year Navy veteran, and my rack of fruit salad can’t measure up to his. Of course, I was never in combat. Circumstances like there not being a large scale conflict while I was in prevented me from engaging in such. I was a good sailor, though, and did my duty.

There’s no dishonor to me in not having a Navy Cross. I just feel, like anybody else who was ever in, that those who’ve earned such awards have demonstrated clearly some extra-special qualities of heroism and bravery.