USS BATAAN --
A Marine with Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device during an award ceremony aboard USS Bataan April 26, 2011.
Private First Class Jose C. Picena, a rifleman and Pasadena, Texas, native, with Fox Company received his medal for heroic actions while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom last year.
“I feel honored,” said Picena. “There are a lot of people who did a lot of great stuff and haven’t been presented anything. It’s not just my award, it’s everyone’s award.”
According to Picena’s citation, during combat action, he quickly responded to a squad under fire in early November, and in late December, killed, captured and wounded multiple enemy fighters while on a patrol.
“Picena is a Marine who would sprint to the sound of machine gun fire,” to help the Marines in need, said 1st Lt. Tyler Kurtz, a platoon commander and Greensboro, N.C., native with Fox Company. “That is unique and special.”
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and will continue to train and improve the MEU’s ability to operate as a cohesive and effective Marine Air Ground Task Force.
The 22nd MEU is a multi-mission, capable force, commanded by Col. Eric J. Steidl and comprised of an Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); a Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; a Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines; and its Command Element.
Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps' smallest permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors ready to provide immediate response to a hostile environment or crisis.