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This is an awesome story that shows how badass Marine Infantryman really are. Cpl. Clifford Wooldridge part of 3/7 was riding in a convoy in Afghanistan on June 17th 2010. Suddenly, the convoy came under intense enemy fire from roughly 15 Taliban fighters. As RPG and small arms fire rained on Cpl. Wooldridge and his squad of blood thirsty warfighters, they dismounted their death trap of a vehicle and quickly took the fight to the enemy. They quickly spotted a group of fighters setting an ambush. Cpl. Wooldridge led one of his fire teams across an open field to flank the enemy, where there they killed at least 8 fighters and forced the rest to flee.
He told his team to withdrawal while he covered their movement alone, when suddenly he heard voices from behind the wall next to him. Without hesitation, he rushed the corner, coming face to face with 2 enemy fighters. After killing both of them with his M249, he attempted to reload his weapon when he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall. He then disarmed the enemy fighter and proceeded to bash the fighter’s face in with the machine gun.
Pretty badass right? His actions that day earned him the Navy Cross.
His Navy Cross citation — reads:
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Corporal Clifford M. Wooldridge, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Vehicle Commander, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon White, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, FIRST Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 18 June 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
When their mounted patrol came under intense enemy fire, Corporal Wooldridge and his squad dismounted and maneuvered on the suspected enemy location. Spotting a group of fifteen enemy fighters preparing an ambush, Corporal Wooldridge led one of his fire teams across open ground to flank the enemy, killing or wounding at least eight and forcing the rest to scatter. As he held security alone to cover his fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall. Boldly rushing around the corner, he came face-to-face with two enemy fighters at close range, killing both of them with his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon. As he crouched back behind the wall to reload, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall. Without hesitation, he dropped his empty weapon and seized the machine gun barrel.
He overwhelmed the enemy fighter in hand-to-hand combat, killing him with several blows to the head with the enemy’s own machine gun. His audacious and fearless actions thwarted the enemy attack on his platoon. By his bold and decisive leadership, undaunted courage under fire, and total dedication to duty, Corporal Wooldridge reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.