SGT LANCE MAY
USMC Scout/Sniper Association
Sgt Lance May, a member of our Association
since March 2005, and a scout sniper from 1st Battalion, 7th Marine
Regiment, was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing
device for his valorous actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 from
September 2004 until March 2005 in a ceremony held Nov. 18, 2005 at the
1/7 battalion headquarters.
Serving as the team leader of the 1/7 Scout Sniper Platoon, Sgt. Lance May, 28, demonstrated outstanding leadership during two engagements with enemy forces within the period of his third deployment.
"It was the instant reaction due to my training," said May, a native of Jonesboro, La. "My job was pretty easy due to the stellar Marines I had in my platoon. They never hesitated to follow orders. This medal is really a reflection on the entire platoon."
May refused to take full credit for the award, saying although he had a young platoon, they respected and trusted him, and most of all, were fearless under fire.
During the first incident on Jan. 6, May led his team through hostile enemy fire while administering medical aid to the injured passengers and crew of a vehicle hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. As he continued to fight off the enemy, May ensured the treatment and accountability of the causalities, and then transported them to a medical evacuation landing zone.
"I was in the vehicle hit by the RPG," said Lance Cpl. Stacey Alexander, mortarman, 1/7, and 21-year-old native of Carli, Nev. "He was the first man I saw and he immediately started wrapping my leg."
Alexander had always looked up to May since his arrival to the unit in April 2003, he said.
"He's an awesome guy who cares about his troops," said Alexander. "He's always teaching his Marines everything he knows."
In a second incident, on Jan. 15, as the enemy ambushed May's team, May was quick to direct a counter-ambush position, leading to the extinguishment of the enemy attackers.
"He's more proactive than the average man," said Cpl. Steven Butler, scout sniper, 1/7, and 21-year-old native of Magna, Utah. "He always takes the extra step to better every situation."
Butler was a member of the team led by May, and was present during the two incidents. He witnessed the incident of Jan. 6 from a distance and the view was horrific, he said.
"All we could see was a bunch of explosions and we could only think of the worst," said Butler.
As Butler approached the scene, he saw his team leader taking charge of the situation and taking on various tasks to make certain he was doing all he could do, he said.
"That's the kind of leader he is," said Butler. "He's a natural leader."
May credits his leadership qualities to his father and the non-commissioned officers and staff non-commissioned officers he has come across.
"It's surreal to imagine that my husband is a part of all this," said Jessica May. "He's a good husband. When he's home, he's home."
Jessica, May's wife, has been his number one supporter for seven years through his deployments supporting the war on terrorism.
"His family is so proud of him," said Jessica.
May is now a part of many decorated troops of 1/7 for heroic actions on the battlefield, proving the Marine Corps' long tradition of honor is still alive and well.