Sgt. William B. Soutra
Company B, First Marine Special Operations Battalion
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
July 11, 2010
Award: Navy Cross

While patrolling with Afghan commandos in Helmand Province, Sergeant Soutra’s unit became pinned down by a complex ambush initiated by an improvised explosive device that mortally wounded his Staff Sergeant element leader. Sergeant Soutra unhesitatingly took charge, and with complete disregard for his own life, moved across open terrain to each commando’s position, orienting their fires on the enemy. Under intense fire he fearlessly moved forward with the team Corpsman to reach the fallen element leader. While the Corpsman rendered aid to the element leader, Sergeant Soutra placed a tourniquet on a nearby severely-wounded commando and pulled him to safety. Repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire, he again moved from position to position to orient and direct friendly fires, accurately relayed enemy information that enabled aircraft to provide suppression, and calmly coordinated a successful evacuation of the casualties – personally carrying one of the wounded 75 meters. Nearly 70 minutes after the ambush began, Sergeant Soutra rallied the platoon and maneuvered them safely out of the kill zone with his military working dog still at his side. By his decisive leadership, exceptional courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and complete dedication to duty, Sergeant Soutra reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

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  1. The Navy Cross , Outstanding! I was never confronted with a situation such as that and wonder if I would have had the balls, I would hope that I would. Well done Marine! Nick 0311 67-69

    1. I’m not a Marine. But I read this newsletter and follow the Valor of the USMC. William acts of Valor are worthy of the Medal of Honor. In particular both for his fight and for saving the lives of wounded buddies. I grieve for the mortally wounded Staff Sgt.

  2. Sgt. Sutra you’re bravery is inspiring to every Marine to ever wear the EGA. Hell, I imagine even your dog was impressed by your heroism, wondering what breed of dog you are. Well, we all know your lineage-DEVIL DOG!! OOORAH!

  3. Thank you to Sgt. Sutra, his wonderful canine, and to all of our unsung hero’s who bravely and unselfishly keep us safe and ensure our freedom. It’s wonderful to have Sgt Grit tell us their stories.

  4. A true Marine. Exemplifies the motto “Never leave a fallen warrior behind, EVER”
    Semper Fi Sergeant. May God Bless you.

    1. Good morning gentlemen, I’ve read the story of this Sargent and his accomplishments and his ability to take over command. I am a United States Marine and proud of it! I believe this information should go to the secretary of the Navy. And formally asked for a reconsideration, due to the circumstances surrounding this operation. And have the sergeant given the highest award, of this nation ! The Medal of Honor. !

      I personally believe Carmen did his actions which bar above his obligation to the core. We are United States Marines, we are expected to go above and beyond. Therefore based on the information that you provided a limited amount, I would like to recommend this man to be considered for an upgrade to the
      Medal of Honor !

      If there is anything that I can do, any recommendations that I can make nine I need to come down in the Marine Corps, but all parties that are involved in a said manner.


      P.S. contact me at

  5. Outstanding Sergeant, your commitment, courage and honor are of the highest standards of the Marine Corps. Semper Fi my brother, we are Marine Corps !!! 🇺🇸💪

  6. That sounds like Medal of Honor material to me! My uncle, Edward J. Moskala, an Army PFC, was bestowed that honor posthumously for bravery and valor under very similar circumstances in the WWII battle of Okinawa. Sgt. Suetra deserves that same honor! I am proud if you, Marine!

  7. OoRah Marine and I to feel this action should deserve the MOH!
    Job well done, Marine!
    Semper Fi
    Al Scott
    USMC ‘64-‘70
    Vietnam Veteran

  8. Rebecca I Lanning, LCpl 72-74
    Well done and faithful servant. The Lord was, is and will always be with you. I never had to privilege to bear arms for my country, but my heart is with everyone who has and will to ensure my freedom to do so. My husband served 21.9 years and retired as a gunny. If you are married and have family here at home they are praying and waiting for your safe return; I also honor them for their steadfast support of both you and our Marine Corps. Thank you for your service and Gods speed. Ever Faithful.

  9. It these days of uncertainty, a world wide pandemic, and a divided country, it is actually uplifting to hear that there are men and women out there that don’t give a crap about that. They go out there, heroically, saving their fellow man day in and out. God Bless you soldiers.
    Prayers for the recovery of the wounded.
    Semper Fi!

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