A year ago, many people fretted that Iraq’s Anbar province was lost. Yet since then progress has come at an almost unthinkable pace, the results of principled and dangerous work by Marines working with locals. As the top enlisted Marine in his company, 1st Sgt. Archie provided consistent leadership in battle from August 2006 through February 2007, a key period of the turnaround in Anbar.
In October of last year, insurgents launched a brazen attack on his company’s base: mortars, rockets, AK-47’s, and a suicide bomber driving a truck. Archie coordinated the defense of the base by setting up fortifications on six rooftops and sending out Humvees to block roads from incoming insurgents. Under constant and heavy fire, he moved throughout the battlefield, making sure his Marines had everything they needed. He also successfully oversaw the evacuation of two wounded Marines from the fight. Archie is largely credited for the defense of the base during the intense hour-long fight.
That was not 1st Sgt. Archie’s only encounter with insurgents: His company saw combat all over Anbar during the seven-month deployment. In all, Archie undertook more than 200 combat missions and guided his company through more than 100 engagements with the enemy. Archie estimated that in many areas, there was a 50 percent chance his unit would face an Improvised Explosive Device attack.
For his leadership, dedication, and courage, 1st Sgt. Archie received the Bronze Star with the Combat Distinguishing Device at Camp Lejeune on July 30, 2007.