Bronze Star Marine was #039;just doing his job#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

For Master Sergeant Robert Brian Foshee, son of Bob and Diane Foshee of Andalusia, the events that led to his being awarded a Bronze Star for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom were all part of the job.

Foshee was awarded his Bronze Star in August, and was pinned in


"I did what I did over there for my fellow Marines and Sailors, there is no other reason discernable," Foshee is quick to point out when questioned about why he received a Bronze Star.

And what he did is show impeccable leadership on the field of battle - support for his troops and his country.

According to the US Marine Corps, Msgt. Foshee, or Brian, as many people in Andalusia know him, distinguished himself through exceptionally meritorious service while assigned as the Operations Chief 2d Transporta-tion Support Battalion, Marine Logistics Command, US Marine Corps Forces, Central

Command in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from February to June 2003.

"Throughout this period, Master Sergeant Foshee consistently performed his duties in an exemplary manner employing exceptional leadership ability, professional knowledge, unmat-ched initiative, and forward thinking."

In other words, Foshee was a leader to numerous soldiers, being that stable rock that is so necessary in times of conflict.

With his assignment as Opera-tions Chief, Brian was responsible for the daily success of all assigned missions. To attain that success, he made sure that resupply convoys were ready and on their way to soldiers in the field, helicopter support was carried out, delivery missions were completed, and more.

"His ability to coordinate and influence multiple tasks simultaneously are truly remarkable and a snapshot of his significant actions," the Corps said.

In a summary of his awarding of the Bronze Star, the Marine Corps issued the following statement:

"Upon arrival in Kuwait, he immediately grasped the magnitude of work

required and established himself as the Battalion Subject Matter Expert for

Operations. Despite limited initial organic command and control capability,

Master Sergeant Foshee skillfully pieced together daily higher headquarters support requests, and after a careful, but rapid analysis was able to translate them into movement requirements that successfully provided initial

CSS capability to I MEF Forces arriving in theater. In addition to the

demands of his billet, he provided consistently sage senior enlisted counsel to the Commanding Officer and Sergeant Major. Master Sergeant Foshee led

and or supervised over 63 Operational Planning Teams (OPTs) to ensure each

mission assigned to 2d TSB was accomplished."

What all that means is that Brian kept things moving. Kept troops

supplied and made sure that American soldiers were always prepared for the

battles that might lay ahead - sometimes operating for 24-hours straight But Brian takes all of this in stride, with the humility that Marines are known for. It’s a team effort, not an individual.

"In my eyes, I was just doing what good Marines do and that is to do their jobs to the best of their ability," Brian said.

Operation Iraqi Freedom was Brian's first time in a combat zone, but he

says he was as prepared as he could be for what he saw.

"The training that we did beforehand prepared us for it, but nothing

actually prepares you for it until you actually see and experience it,&uot; he said.

There were also tough times, as the Corps said in its statement

regarding Brian’s awarding of the Bronze Star.

"There were times when we were working off of two or three hours sleep and had SCUD and MOP attacks,&uot; he said. &uot;That meant we would have to go and

get in full MOP gear and sit in the bunker for 10-15 minutes for every attack. But, the men and women who were driving the transports were exceptional. They would drive sometimes 400 miles one way, and only have a few hours rest. Those are the 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old men and women doing


Although he’s not sure if he’ll have to go back to the Middle East,

Brian believes the future of the Marine Corps is in good hands.

"I think the future of the Corps and the military is going to be fine. The young marines over there performed outstanding," Brian said. "Being a former drill instructor, I didn’t know how they would hold up. They went well above and beyond what was expected."

While Brian was overseas, helping ensure the safety of our country and

other free countries around the world, he was getting loads of support from

his wife Sonja, and son Cayce Aaron, back at Camp LeJune, N.C.; and from his

friends and family in Andalusia.

"I had tons of support from back home,&uot; he said. "My parents, Pleasant

Home Baptist Church, my Aunt Gail’s church, my family - they all sent a lot

of care packages and support. It was great knowing we had that kind of

support. The support that my parents gave with all the packages, emails and

letters, it was tremendous. It really meant a lot."