The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” (Posthumously) to Gunnery Sergeant Aaron M. Kenefick, United States Marine Corps, for heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as an Staff Noncommissioned Officer Advisor-Mentor, 1st Kandak, 2d Brigade, 201st Corps, Afghan National Army, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 8 September 2009. Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick was a member of a combined Marine and Afghan patrol that led the way into Ganjgal village to visit with village elders. As the patrol entered the village it was ambushed. Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick took cover near a retaining wall and returned fire. When the team leader directed his Marines and the Afghan soldiers to attack and seize the house from which they were receiving fire, Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick boldly led the Afghan soldiers forward under fire and cleared the house. The enemy then attempted to encircle the team’s position while subjecting the team to a hail of machine gun and rocket fire. Despite being pinned down, Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick returned fire and called in supporting artillery and mortar fire before falling mortally wounded. Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick fought with bravery and determination while demonstrating unwavering courage in the face of the enemy. By his zealous initiative, courageous actions and exceptional dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick is authorized the Combat “V”.)

Action Date: September 8, 2009
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Gunnery Sergeant
Company: Embedded Training Team 2-8