Bradley Kasal

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Bradley Kasal
Kasal awarded the Navy Cross and promoted to Sergeant Major on May 1, 2006
Nickname(s) Brad
Born 1966 (age 49–50)
Marengo, Iowa
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Rank USMC-E9-SGM.svg Sergeant Major
Unit 3rd Battalion 1st Marines
Battles/wars Iraq War
*Operation Phantom Fury desert storm
Awards Navy Cross
Purple Heart

Bradley Kasal (born 1966 in Marengo, Iowa) is a Sergeant Major in the United States Marine Corps who received the Navy Cross for heroic actions performed as the First Sergeant of Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines during a firefight in Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq on November 13, 2004.

On May 1, 2006, in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, Kasal was awarded the Navy Cross, followed by his promotion to Sergeant Major and reenlistment in the Marine Corps.

Actions in Iraq[edit]

In a fire fight in a house in Fallujah, although wounded by seven 7.62×39mm rounds and hit by more than 43 pieces of hot fragmentation from a grenade while using his body to shield an injured fellow Marine, Kasal refused to quit fighting and is credited with saving the lives of several Marines during the U.S. assault on insurgent strongholds in Fallujah in November 2004.

By the time he was carried out of the house by LCpl Chris Marquez and LCpl Dan Shaffer, Kasal had lost approximately 60 percent of his blood.[1] The photograph of Kasal, taken by photographer Lucian Read — blood-soaked and still holding his M9 pistol and KA-Bar fighting knife — being helped from the building by fellow Marines, has become one of the iconic pictures of the war.[2]


Due to the injuries, Kasal lost four inches of bone in his right leg. Kasal has undergone 21 surgeries to date in order to repair his injuries and save his leg.[3] Kasal continues his recovery from his wounds and still walks with a limp.

Sergeant Major Kasal served as the Sergeant Major of Recruiting Station Des Moines, Iowa from May 2006 until January 2010. He then returned to Camp Pendleton to serve as the Sergeant Major at the School of Infantry West[4] In March 2010, Kasal was featured in the debut episode of Sharing the Courage, a graphic novel series depicting decorated Marines of the 21st century.[3]

Navy Cross citation[edit]

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

Bradley A. Kasal
First Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

For Services as Set Forth in the Following Citation:

For extraordinary heroism while serving as First Sergeant, Weapons Company, 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 13 November 2004. First Sergeant Kasal was assisting 1st Section, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon as they provided a traveling over watch for 3d Platoon when he heard a large volume of fire erupt to his immediate front, shortly followed by Marines rapidly exiting a structure. When First Sergeant Kasal learned that Marines were pinned down inside the house by an unknown number of enemy personnel, he joined a squad making entry to clear the structure and rescue the Marines inside. He made entry into the first room, immediately encountering and eliminating an enemy insurgent, as he spotted a wounded Marine in the next room. While moving towards the wounded Marine, First Sergeant Kasal and another Marine came under heavy rifle fire from an elevated enemy firing position and were both severely wounded in the legs, immobilizing them. When insurgents threw grenades in an attempt to eliminate the wounded Marines, he rolled on top of his fellow Marine and absorbed the shrapnel with his own body. When First Sergeant Kasal was offered medical attention and extraction, he refused until the other Marines were given medical attention. Although severely wounded himself, he shouted encouragement to his fellow Marines as they continued to clear the structure. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, First Sergeant Kasal reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Floto, "U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bradley Kasal: Wounded First Sergeant Awarded Navy Cross, Defend America, 2006.
  2. ^ Floto, "Wounded Marine in iconic Fallujah photo awarded Navy Cross", Marine Corps News, 2006.
  3. ^ a b Sanborn, James K. (March 22, 2010). "Heroics illustrated, comic-book style". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Iowa Navy Cross honoree gets send-off worthy of a hero January 16, 2010


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

External links[edit]