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

Climb On
Climb On

August 09, 2017 0 Comments

This command tells your climbing buddy that you’ve got him. You are literally watching his back, and should he slip or tire, or should the rock surface give way you are the only thing standing between him and death or serious injury. Climbing is applicable to virtually every area of your life, and fits solidly within each of GallantFew’s Functional Fitness areas of the STAR, which stands for Self-Training and Response-ability.

Read More

2017 Climbing Trip
2017 Climbing Trip

August 02, 2017 0 Comments

The Raider Project is offering a weekend outdoor rock climbing trip to veterans that are working through the rigors associated with transition out of the service. Previous trips have included top rope climbing of beautiful Windgate Sandstone face and crack climbs. We'll be teaching the basics of rope work, climbing techniques, and belaying. There will be camping, hiking, climbing, and rappelling.

Read More


July 12, 2017 0 Comments

The members of this unit and others like it are still so completely dedicated to the organization that their bodies, their marriages, what’s left of their mental bandwidth, and eventually their overall happiness are willingly handed over just so they can spend as long as they can with the men they truly love and for what……...So that can protect each other through the hard times and be in good company when stepping off into the frey.

Read More

Sign up now!

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