Sgt. Rafael Peralta
1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 7, 1st Marine Division
Fallujah, Iraq, November 15 2004
Award: Navy Cross (Posthumously)
Clearing scores of houses in the previous three days, Sergeant Peralta asked to join an under-strength squad and volunteered to stand post the night of 14 November, allowing fellow Marines more time to rest. The following morning, during search and attack operations, while clearing the seventh house of the day, the point man opened a door to a back room and immediately came under intense, close-range automatic weapons fire from multiple insurgents. The squad returned fire, wounding one insurgent. While attempting to maneuver out of the line of fire, Sergeant Peralta was shot and fell mortally wounded. After the initial exchange of gunfire, the insurgents broke contact, throwing a fragmentation grenade as they fled the building. The grenade came to rest near Sergeant Peralta’s head. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Sergeant Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade to his body, absorbing the brunt of the blast and shielding fellow Marines only feet away. Sergeant Peralta succumbed to his wounds. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Sergeant Peralta reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.​​​​​​​

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  1. Right! This Marine should had received the MOH like several other Marines and soldiers did. The asshole who conducted the forensic autopsy on him claimed he could not have reached for the grenade given his wounds. One round got him in the head. Now this shithead’s review outweighed the testimony of the Marines whose lives he saved. Eye witnesses to this event. Many, including me, believe this was simply a case of discrimination because Sgt Peralta was a Mexican immigrant (you know, those drug dealers, murderers, etc. that trump talks about) and the govt. didn’t want to award him the MOH. I, and many of my fellow Marines, thought Bush’s administration did a horrible thing by not accepting the eye witnesses accounts and going with some asshole’s “scientific” advice. Oh, yeah, I’m a Vietnam combat veteran and a retired Marine Master Sergeant. OOH RAH! Semper Fi Marines!

  2. It seems appropriate for this award to be reviewed. General Mattis could make that happen. An upgrade to MOH appears to be in order.

  3. Based on how I was trained and what I have seen how other Marines were. Their selfless attitude in watching out for their fellow Marine’s in what ever they should be involved in such as Sgt Peratta , I am sure even being injured to the extent at this so called forensic expert said , I believe he still willed himself to grab this grenade and pulled it in to protect his fellow Marines. To not award him the MOH based on this so called expert and over ruling the Marines that were their is a dishonor to Sgt Peratta. I have been taught ever since I can remember that our brain is capable of doing a lot. There has been documentation of people doing extraordinary feats of strength and it is wander how they were able to do this. I say that was how Sgt Peratta did what he did and we would ever wander how he was able to accomplished this. Semper Fi

  4. As an old man from the late 60’s &70’s in our Corps I agree with all these other young Marine. Sgt Peralta most likely was considered for the CMH, at least I hope his supervisor recommended him. Someone at the Pentagon reduced it for some unknown reason.

  5. God Bless this American hero and guardian angel to the Marines with him that day. He sacrificed himself so others may live. The words of our Savior come to mind, “No greater love has any man than to lay down his life for a friend.” I’m a mom of 2 active duty United States Marines, I can’t express to you how grateful I am and how proud I am of them and all Marines, especially young men like Sgt. Peralta, God Bless you all and thank you for your service and sacrifice.

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