Former 'Marine of the Year' to receive Silver Star

January 14, 2015 0 Comments

     A MARSOC sergeant who was named "Marine of the Year" by the USO in 2013 will receive the military's third-highest award for valor, officials said.

Sgt. Andrew Seif, 27, of Holland, Mich., is expected to receive the Silver Star in early March, said Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command spokesman Capt. Barry Morris.

A critical skills operator with 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Seif is credited with risking his life to save a wounded team member while both faced heavy enemy fire during a 2012 deployment to Afghanistan.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="534.0"]Sgt. Andrew Seif poses for a photo with his wife during the reception before the 2013 USO Gala in Washington, D.C. in 2013 after being named the organization’s “Marine of the Year.” Seif will be awarded the Silver Star for heroic actions in Afghanistan. (Photo: Cpl. Tia Dufour/Marine Corps) Sgt. Andrew Seif poses for a photo with his wife during the reception before the 2013 USO Gala in Washington, D.C. in 2013 after being named the organization’s “Marine of the Year.” Seif will be awarded the Silver Star for heroic actions in Afghanistan. (Photo: Cpl. Tia Dufour/Marine Corps)

On July 24, 2012, Seif and a small team of operators were tasked with apprehending a man known as western Afghanistan's expert in improvised explosive devices, the favorite weapon of insurgents. At the time, he was a member of Marine Special Operations Company H, Special Operations Task Force-West, operating in Afghanistan's Bagdhis province.

The team surrounded a compound where the "high-value target" was known to be. As Seif moved in to prevent the insurgent's escape, his teammate, identified in news reports as 26-year-old Sgt. Justin Hansen, was wounded by gunfire.

"Uncertain of the severity of his teammate's wounds, Sergeant Seif quickly and courageously moved toward the compound to render immediate aid and secure the area," his citation reads. "Refusing to wait for reinforcements, he tactically moved alone across exposed ground and entered the compound to identify the threat and violently finished the engagement."

After Seif had cleared the compound by himself, according to the citation, he went back outside to treat Hansen's wounds. While still under enemy fire, he moved Hansen to a safer position to treat him, periodically firing back at the enemy as he did so.

Despite Seif's efforts, Hansen would succumb to his wounds later the same day.

Seif, who joined the Corps in 2006, was named USO's "Marine of the Year" in 2013 for his selflessness and bravery.

His commanding officer was quoted by the organization saying Seif had "tenacity, vigor and common sense that he applies to every task or endeavor he undertakes."

Despite the accolades, Seif has maintained his humility.

"We do what we got to do to take care of our boys and complete the mission," he told local news outlet the Grand Rapids Press in 2013.



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