JORDAN, PHILLIP A.
Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
Company C, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, Task Force Tarawa, I MEF
Date of Action: March 23, 2003
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Phillip A. Jordan, Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Weapons Platoon Sergeant, Company C, First Battalion, Second Marines, Task Force TARAWA, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 23 March 2003. During the battle of An Nasiriyah, Iraq, gunnery Sergeant Jordan fearlessly directed lethal small arms fire to suppress an enemy equipped with rocket-propelled grenades. After crossing the Saddam Canal, and receiving heavy machine gun and mortar fire, he directed fire on an enemy mortar position. As the engagement continued, he adjusted accurate return mortar fire on the enemy while fearlessly encouraging his Marines in the face of tenacious enemy fire. Despite a withering barrage of enemy fire, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan moved across open terrain to re-supply vital mortar ammunition. Upon locating an entrenched enemy machine gun position raking the company's flank, he dashed across a fire-stricken road and directed devastating machine gun fire that destroyed the enemy's position. While a mortar crew displaced to cover the company flank, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan continuously carried ammunition 80 meters to and from this new position under enemy fire. After making three trips under a heavy bombardment of mortar and artillery fire, he fell mortally wounded. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Silver star request supporting documents.
For actions as the Platoon Sergeant, Company C, First Battalion, Second Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2 during the Battle of An Nasiriyah. On 23 March 2003, First Battalion, Second Marines conducted a movement to contact north towards the city of An Nasiriyah, Iraq, in order to establish a battle position south of the city. Once south of the city, at about the same time as the lead elements of the battalion began to receive indirect and machine gun fire, the battalion received orders to execute its be prepared to mission to secure a line of communication, Route 7, that ran north-south through the east side of the city. This would allow I Marine Expeditionary Force and follow-on units to continue their drive to the north.
Company Cís mission was to seize the northern bridge across the Saddam Canal. After several hours of fighting as a mechanized infantry company south of An Nasiriyah, Company C attacked north up the main supply route through the eastern side of the city. The company began to take heavy small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire attacking through the city while mounted in amphibious assault vehicles. Gunnery Sergeant Jordan boldly directed suppressing fire from on top of his Amphibious Assault Vehicle as volleys of enemy fire ricocheted off his vehicle.
Company C seized the northern bridge under intense direct and indirect fire and established hasty battle positions north of the bridge in order to secure the northern approach of the main supply route, and to project combat power north of the city. Once fully into the attack north of the bridge, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan quickly ordered his Marines off the vehicle and without hesitation led his men to establish a mortar firing position on the east side of the main supply route using the road's partial defilade for protection. The direct fires and rocket propelled grenade attacks that had begun with Company Cís mounted attack in the city street continued unabated. Although under constant and intense machine gun, mortar, and rocket propelled grenade fires from a determined enemy, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan quickly and accurately directed his mortar men to fire on several key enemy battle positions to include the Iraqi 23rd Infantry Division Headquarters as well as multiple dug in machine gun and mortar positions.
During the fight, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan continued to walk upright under an extreme barrage of enemy fire and shouted words of encouragement and laughed to raise the Marinesí spirit and confidence. Increasing artillery and mortar rounds were impacting his position while the mortar section calmly poured fire back at critical enemy positions under his direction. To keep up continuous fire and not take anyone off the mortar tubes, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan began running the thirty meters to and from the amphibious assault vehicle by himself to get mortar rounds. His path was ripped up under continuous rocket propelled grenades and machine gun fire. Again determinedly moving through tenacious enemy fire and without regard for his personal safety, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan sought out the platoon commander adjusting fire on the exposed, fire stricken, four lane highway several times in order to assess the situation and advise on employment of crew served weapons.
To cover the expanded company perimeter and suppress fire from multiple directions, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan took it upon himself to cross the main supply route riddled with enemy fire in order to direct machine gun fire on a dug in enemy position that he had located. The enemy position was tearing into the companyís flank. His ability to rapidly adjust the machine gun fire quickly destroyed the enemy position and stabilized the companyís left flank, which allowed the rifle platoons on the west side of the main supply route the ability to maneuver into more advantageous positions.
Again under withering fire, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan crossed over the main supply route without hesitation in order to inform his platoon commander of several casualties. Upon direction from the platoon commander, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan helped to displace one of the companyís mortars and relocate it eighty meters south under accurate enemy fires. Without regard for his personal safety yet again, and on his own initiative, Gunnery Sergeant Jordan made three trips back and forth from the new mortar position to the mortar amphibious assault vehicle, a distance of eighty meters under the heaviest enemy fire of the day to include rocket propelled grenades, machine gun fire, mortars, and artillery in order to resupply vital mortar ammunition until he was mortally wounded by enemy indirect fire.
His skills displayed and decisions made under continuous and lethal enemy fires that day were without hesitation and undoubtedly ensured the ultimate successes of Company C, of First Battalion, Second Marines, and of Task Force Tarawa.
To: Commanding Officer, Company C, 1st Battalion 2d Marines
From: 1stLt J.B. Reid 228270554/0302, Weapons Platoon Commander
Subj: WITNESS STATEMENT CASE OF GYSGT JORDAN 455314092/0369
On March 23, 2003 during the battle of An Nasiriyah, GySgt Jordan 455314092/0369, was riding in the company commanders amtrack with two 60mm mortar squads. While conducting a mechanized attack to the northern bridge, GySgt Jordan directed small arms fire until the order to dismount was given. He then helped me get the 60mm mortars firing on three different enemy targets using direct lay and alignment. While I was spotting for the mortars, I gave GySgt Jordan the order to orient the machine gun fire southwest back into the city. To communicate this order since radio communication was bad, GySgt Jordan moved through a hail of small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire. That mission accomplished, he returned to my position where we decided to move a mortar squad about a hundred meters south down towards the canal. He followed me to the new mortar position with two cans of ammunition and we got the gun up and firing southwest into the city. GySgt Jordan was actually manning the gun as well as helping me search for targets under continuous enemy indirect fire when a round impacted at our position killing GySgt Jordan and two other Marines.
From: LCpl Collazo
To: Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines
Subj: WITNESS STATEMENT CONCERNING CASE OF GYSGT PHILLIP JORDAN
On 23 March 2003 during the battle of An Nasiriyah, Iraq, GySgt Jordan showed a substantial amount of leadership for the Marines, and not once did he show fear towards the enemy. As we were making our way through the city towards the bridge, I personally saw GySgt Jordan take out 15 to 20 Iraqi enemies with his M-16 while the track was moving. As we deployed off the tracks, I saw him run directly towards the road to lay down fires as we set up our mortars. I remember looking back several times and saw him dive across the road showing no fear towards the enemy and spot our rounds. As a platoon sergeant, he performed with confidence and showed tremendous amounts of bravery. GySgt Jordan inspired and boosted the moral of the junior Marines and myself.