Corporal Steven M. Lowery

For extraordinary heroism while serving as a patrol leader with Company C, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the morning of 5 March 1969, Corporal Lowery's twelve-man reconnaissance patrol was occupying a defensive position at Fire Support Base Argonne south of the Demilitarized Zone. Suddenly, the Marines were assaulted by a North Vietnamese Army platoon employing mortars, hand grenades, and automatic weapons. In the initial moments of the fire fight, Corporal Lowery was seriously wounded in both legs by the intense enemy fire. Steadfastly remaining in his hazardous position, he boldly delivered accurate return fire and hurled grenades at the advancing enemy. When two hostile soldiers approached his position in an attempt to penetrate the Marine perimeter, Corporal Lowery calmly lobbed three hand grenades outside of his emplacement, killing several of the enemy and causing the others to retreat. Although suffering extensive pain and weakness from his wounds, he then commenced directing artillery fire upon the hostile force to within 20 meters of friendly lines and skillfully readjusted his defenses. When helicopters arrived to extract his team, he skillfully directed supporting gunships against the North Vietnamese unit and ensured that all other wounded Marines were aboard the extraction aircraft before allowing himself to be carried to the helicopter. His bold initiative and resolute determination inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his unit's accounting for twenty North Vietnamese soldiers killed. By is courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Corporal Lowery upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.