Navy Crosses for 2 Marines in Afghanistan actions

| May 17, 2012

Two Marines are about to be awarded Navy Crosses tomorrow for their valor in Afghanistan. One is Sgt. Clifford Wooldridge who was a vehicle commander when they were ambushed by about 15 Taliban. Sgt. Wooldridge dismounted his Marines and assaulted the ambush killing, wounding and running off all of the Taliban. DVIDS continues the story;

As his fire team was withdrawing, Wooldridge heard voices from behind an adjacent wall of a nearby compound. When he went to investigate the voices, Wooldridge found himself face to face with two Taliban fighters, whom he then killed with his weapon. Out of ammunition, Wooldridge crouched to reload his weapon when he saw the barrel of a Taliban machine gun appear from around the corner of the wall. Wooldridge grabbed the barrel and pulled the surprised fighter around the corner with it. The two began fighting hand-to-hand.

Realizing his predicament against the 220-pound former football player, the Taliban fighter attempted to pull the pin on a grenade in order to kill them both. Wooldridge used the fighter’s own machine gun to kill him with several blows to the head.

The other Marine is Sgt. Christopher Farias who had promised his Marines that he’d get them all home alive and he claims that was his motivation that led to this award according to the Houston Chronicle;

“I had to keep my promise, which was to bring my guys home,” Sgt. Farias told the news station. “I promised my best friend’s wife that I would get him home. I could hear him screaming and I knew I had to do something.”

In 2010, Farias was knocked out during an attack, and when he regained consciousness he started fighting back against the Taliban. He saved his fellow [M]arines by leading them out of danger, KTRK reported.

Category: Marine Corps

Comments (16)

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  1. Hondo says:

    Well done, Sergeants. Your valor has brought honor to your branch of service and yourselves – and earned a salute from this old soldier.

  2. SGTKane says:

    “Wooldridge used the fighter’s own machine gun to kill him with several blows to the head.”

    Has there ever been crafted a more bad assed sentence than that? Screw shooting the guy with his own weapon, no, Wooldridge takes the guys weapon from him and butt strokes him to the face a few times.

    I love the Marines.

  3. 68W58 says:

    This is outstanding-well done Gents!

    I think there have been something like 5 Air Force Crosses awarded for the current conflicts and the Army publishes awards statistics at

    As much for my own curiosity as anything else, does anyone know a link for Navy and Marine awards statistics?

  4. NHSparky says:

    Hall of Heroes probably has a pretty good compilation of Silver Stars and above.

  5. Tman says:

    Holy s**t, now THAT is one bad ass Marine. I can’t imagine the balls it takes for someone in an extreme situation like that to act so heroically.

    I would have been crumpled in a heep, soiling my pants and crying for mommy.

    I salute these bad ass heroes!

  6. 68W58 says:

    NHSparky-I like Hall of Heroes, but some of their stuff is not up to date. I guess what I was looking for was something from the Navy or Marine Corps similar to what the Army does.

  7. Just Plain Jason says:

    God job devil dogs…

  8. BohicaTwentyTwo says:

    Sgt. Farias – No better friend
    Sgt. Wooldridge – No worse enemy

  9. Semper says:

    Awesome Story! I cannot for the life of me understand why this story and those like it are NOT in the mind of our collective American body. Semper Fi Brothers.

  10. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Marine, kinda says it all. Makes me proud to claim the title…

  11. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    God Bless these two Marines, United States Marine Corps, and the United States of America. HooYah!

  12. OldSoldier54 says:


    “Realizing his predicament against the 220-pound former football player…” LOL … yeah, gettin’ beat like a red-headed step-child … hahaha, this made my day!

    Well Done young men, you’re a credit to the Corps!

  13. Jake says:

    Well done Marines! Gives me a chill up my spine reading about their badassness.

  14. Ann says:

    Jesus Christ that Sgt Woolridge guy sounds scary as hell. His citation would make excellent slapstick comedy if it wasn’t real. I want to know what sort of nicknames he’s acquired since then.

  15. Ann says:

    @68W58 try Hall of Valor. I don’t know how accurate it is about previous conflicts, but it’s go everything that’s been awarded in OEF and OIF.

  16. 68W58 says:

    Ann-thanks. I don’t think that link is inclusive of all GWOT valor awards, but it has some cool citations and it is interesting to read about what GIs have done.