Michael W Ouellette

OuelletteMichael W. Ouellette, United States Marine Corps: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as the 2nd Squad Leader, 1st Platoon, Company L, 3rd Battalion 8th Marines (Reinforced), Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force- Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. On 22 March 2009, Corporal Ouellette was leading his squad on a combat patrol in Nowzad District, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device exploded beneath his feet, severing his left leg and spraying him with shrapnel. Following the explosion, he directed his squad to prepare a hasty defense while helping to treat his own injuries. Moments later, enemy fighters opened fire on his squad with assault rifles and machine guns from point blank range. Even as a Corpsman worked to stem his massive bleeding, Corporal Ouellette continued to direct the fire of his squad. When attack helicopters arrived, he cooly talked his radio operator through the employment of the aircraft as they made repeated strafing runs within 20 meters of the squad’s position. These expertly-applied fires suppressed the enemy long enough for a fire team to link up with reinforcements and bring them forward to Corporal Ouellette’s position. He held that position and continued to give orders to his squad as they fought, allowing himself to be evacuated only when the entire squad was ready to move out of the area. He continued to give directions to his team leader up until he was loaded into an ambulance, where he soon lost consciousness. He later succumbed to his wounds. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Corporal Ouellette reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Ouellette entered the Corps from Manchester, NH and is buried in Boscawen, NH. His Navy Cross was presented to his parents by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus November 10, 2010. His membership in the Legion of Valor was sponsored by Justin Lehew, NC.

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