MARSOC Marine Awarded Silver Star

January 30, 2016 0 Comments

Sgt. Donovan Lee Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300.0"]Staff Sgt. Robert T. Van Hook Staff Sgt. Robert T. Van Hook

Staff Sgt. Robert T. Van Hook, critical skills operator, 2d Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Raider Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, was awarded the Silver Star Medal during a ceremony at Stone Bay on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Jan. 15, for his actions in Afghanistan.

Van Hook was nominated for the prestigious award following a deployment to Herat province, Afghanistan, with 2d MRB in 2013 where he served as an element leader.

It was during an operation on Aug. 14, 2013, that Van Hook organized a hasty ambush on 10 insurgents, wounding two and killing four. He continued the fight, leading an attack on an enemy-held building with hand grenades and small arms, killing another insurgent and detaining two others.

Van Hook said the team excelled that day because of how thoroughly they prepared for the mission.

"We train like we fight," said Van Hook. "Plans from time to time become worthless, however, the planning process is unforgiving. Once you have done the planning process correctly and you’ve identified all your contingences and rehearsed them to muscle memory, that’s when you’re successful on the battlefield."

Van Hook’s actions during the ambush and the assault on the building were enough to earn recognition, but his fight that day wasn’t over.

According to his citation, during a skirmish later that day Van Hook manned a MK-19 machine gun position which had been abandoned, directing enemy fire away from friendly forces.

"His effects on the enemy caused them to focus their efforts back to his position, targeting him with a rocket propelled grenade and machine gun fire which resulted in his wounding and temporarily rendering him unconscious," reads the citation. "Despite his wounds affecting his ability to walk, he continued to direct fires on the enemy while under enemy fire; aggressively led his element; and ultimately played a pivotal role in coordinating 120 mm mortar danger close suppressive fires for aerial medical evacuation during approach into a hot landing zone."

Despite what many consider heroic actions, Van Hook remains humble and said any of his MARSOC counterparts would have done the same thing.

"Any Raider could have been switched out with me and done the same exact thing," said Van Hook. "A Raider isn’t going to let anybody down, not the brothers that went before him, not the Marine beside him. He might have done it differently, but he would have got the job done."

Major Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, presented the medal to Van Hook during the ceremony and spoke on his character.

"As a commander, I’m just incredibly appreciative that we have men of (his) caliber that are amongst our ranks," said Osterman. "You take a look at all his phenomenal accomplishments, it’s everything we talk about at MARSOC and our culture of quiet processionals."

Van Hook said he accepts the award on behalf of the men he served with at the time, and for those who continue to serve.

"Walking past the Memorial Wall, to receive this award in front of the crowd that will be there is an extremely humbling experience," said Van Hook, a day before the ceremony. "This award isn’t given to me, it’s given to my team."

 

Source: The Globe




Also in The Raider Weekly

The New Enemy - Post Traumatic Stress
The New Enemy - Post Traumatic Stress

June 27, 2019 0 Comments

The word Post Traumatic Stress DISORDER is ridiculous. I understand the Post Traumatic Stress part but the DISORDER? Why? Does having PTS really mean you have a disorder. Maybe to a clinical psychologists who refer to the DSM IV to diagnose a certain mental health issue it can be a disorder. However, the word disorder used for veterans can cripple your mental stability. 

Read More

MARINE CORPS SUICIDE EPIDEMIC; ONE RET. MARINE'S SOLUTION
MARINE CORPS SUICIDE EPIDEMIC; ONE RET. MARINE'S SOLUTION

June 24, 2019 0 Comments

I hope this letter reaches you in relative peace. I am Fritz Sleigher and just retired out of MARSOC after 22 years in our beloved Corps. Thank you for the retirement note. I served as an 02, 0369, 0311, and 0317 with a smattering of other MOS’ at various units. I retired as a Gunny, which will come into play shortly. I watched your video and feel your pain. Although we have never met, I am certain that you feel each loss of life and are just as confused as to why Marines are taking their lives at an alarming rate. I’ll never understand the monumental burden of command you bear, but I am certain we both share the feeling of loss, guilt, and confusion after each suicide. The BLUF on suicide is this: The current culture of the Corps conflicts with itself and creates an environment where those in need feel even more secluded. I re-posted your article on FB, and several peers (recently retired enlisted combat vets) sing the same tune: The Corps let them down.

Read More

Finding Your New Tribe - The Calling
Finding Your New Tribe - The Calling

May 06, 2019 0 Comments

This month is Military Caregiver's Month. Hannah Honsberger is a Raider wife with an amazing story of restoration. After her husband's life altering static line crash, Hannah rushed to Josh's side to help him through the debilitating injury that pulled him from his life's purpose and mission as an operator. But that is only the beginning of their story.

Read More

Sign up now!

Keep up to date with all of our programs, sales, and events!