MARSOC Burch, William E.

Heroines of SOE
By Beryl E. Escott

John Robertson

Staff member
William E.
  • UNIT
Marine Special Operations Regiment (2 Marine S.O. Bn)
  • RANK
Silver Star
Afghanistan 2010
from Lake City,Florida
WIA 6.4.2010 Badghis Province,Afghanistan


Silver Star : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant William E. Burch, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as an Element Member, Marine Special Operations Company G, Special Operations Task Force 81, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 6 April 2010. During a combat reconnaissance patrol, Sergeant Burch's element came under heavy enemy contact from an insurgent-held compound. While attempting to assault the building, Sergeant Burch was wounded when an enemy rocket propelled grenade exploded within feet of him, lodging shrapnel into his left leg. After administering self aid, he continued to engage the enemy positions as well as direct Afghan National Army Commandos to sustain fire on the enemy positions. Sergeant Burch continued to clear compound with the Commandos while several engagements were taking place in close quarters, requiring the use of fragmentation grenades. Later in the fight, Sergeant Burch volunteered to reinforce a support by fire position on an exposed hillside that had taken several friendly casualties. He sprinted up the hill with enemy fire impacting around him. He manned a machine gun position and immediately began providing effective fire on the enemy positions. When given the word to withdraw, Sergeant Burch continued to suppress the enemy positions until all friendly forces were off the hill. His actions throughout the 10-hour firefight facilitated the destruction of dozens of enemy fighters and saved the lives of his fellow Marines, U.S. Soldiers, and Afghan National Army Commandos. By his bold initiative, undaunted courage, and complete dedication to duty, Sergeant Burch reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

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