Moultrie Marine earns Bronze Star

Kevin Hall
The Moultrie Observer
Published: August 25, 2011

MOULTRIE — A Moultrian serving in the U.S. Marine Corps recently received the Bronze Star with Combat V for his role in a 2009 firefight in Afghanistan.

Steven Alexander “Alex” Norman was a 21-year-old corporal at the time of the ambush in Kunar Province, but has since been promoted to sergeant.

Norman was one of eight servicemen to receive the Bronze Star in connection with the action; two others received the Navy Cross. Four of the Bronze Stars were awarded posthumously.

Norman was a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in September 2009. On Sept. 8 of that year, his job was to establish an overwatch element as other team members led two platoons of Afghan National Security Forces into Ganjgal Village for a predawn meeting with village elders, according to a description of the incident distributed with his medal.

The dismounted patrol was ambushed by about 50 enemy fighters in fortified positions, and Norman directed the fire of his Afghan squad into the positions he could see.

“As the enemy detected his fires, they delivered a high volume of fire on his overwatch element from multiple positions on adjacent terrain,” the description reports. “He quickly relocated his M240 machine gun to suppress adjacent enemy positions and ordered his squad of Afghan National Army soldiers to fall back to their alternate positions.

“He remained in position as they relocated, using his M4 rifle and M203 grenade launcher to cover their movement,” the description continues. “As his squad reached its alternate positions, he displaced and resumed firing his M240 at the enemy.”

Norman’s unit stayed at the alternate firing position for six hours, allowing other members of the patrol to get out of the ambush’s kill zone.

“Corporal Norman’s courage, decisive actions and complete devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service,” ends the description, which was signed by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

Norman is the son of Steve and Linda Norman of Moultrie and brother of Jennifer Norman Gay, of Norman Park. He is currently stationed at Camp LeJeune, N.C., according to his sister.