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Marine earns rare medal for noncombat bravery

17 Jan 2018 | Lance Cpl. Josue Marquez III Marine Expeditionary Force

Cranford “returned to the surf zone for the last time and placed the man on top of himself to keep him buoyant and away from the coral reef as he guided him to the shore, sustaining cuts and abrasions due to being raked across the coral reef,” the award citation reads.

The Navy and Marine Corps medal was established in 1942 and is rare. It is the highest decoration for valor in a noncombat situation. Recipients of the award have put their lives in great danger and risk to save others.

The award is considered higher than a Bronze Star and just below the Distinguished Flying Cross in order of precedence.

Back in January, a Navy midshipman earned the award after leading and rescuing a Boy Scout troop caught in a dangerous storm in Ontario, Canada. Midshipman 3rd Class Jonathan Dennler canoed over a mile in 60 mph winds to reach a ranger station for help.

“First Lt. Cranford is a superb representative of the United States Marine Corps,” Maj. Gen. Craig Q. Timberlake, the commanding general for 3rd Marine Division, said in a Marine Corps news article. “His actions took a lot of guts and a lot of courage. He reflects a United States Marine doing what a United States Marine does.”

Cranford “returned to the surf zone for the last time and placed the man on top of himself to keep him buoyant and away from the coral reef as he guided him to the shore, sustaining cuts and abrasions due to being raked across the coral reef,” the award citation reads.

The Navy and Marine Corps medal was established in 1942 and is rare. It is the highest decoration for valor in a noncombat situation. Recipients of the award have put their lives in great danger and risk to save others.

The award is considered higher than a Bronze Star and just below the Distinguished Flying Cross in order of precedence.

Back in January, a Navy midshipman earned the award after leading and rescuing a Boy Scout troop caught in a dangerous storm in Ontario, Canada. Midshipman 3rd Class Jonathan Dennler canoed over a mile in 60 mph winds to reach a ranger station for help.

“First Lt. Cranford is a superb representative of the United States Marine Corps,” Maj. Gen. Craig Q. Timberlake, the commanding general for 3rd Marine Division, said in a Marine Corps news article. “His actions took a lot of guts and a lot of courage. He reflects a United States Marine doing what a United States Marine does.”