MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Two years ago, then Gunnery Sgt. Jason S. Dempsey, deployed to Afghanistan serving as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal section leader with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, 1st Marine Division (Forward), where he would display exceptional bravery on numerous occasions.
Now Warrant Officer Dempsey, a Provo, Utah native, is the officer in charge for EOD Section, Headquarters Detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and was recognized for his complete dedication to duty by being awarded the Bronze Star with “V” for combat valor, April 23.
“I’m humbled to be recognized,” said Dempsey. “But I’m fortunate because I’m surrounded by a lot of people that demonstrate bravery on a regular basis.”
According to his citation, Marines discovered a major enemy cache after a fierce engagement on the night of June 17, 2010. Dempsey immediately discovered two booby trapped mines as the Marines came under intense enemy fire. Disregarding the enemy’s fire and his own safety, he set about reducing the cache with only his red lens flashlight to assist him through the dark night in avoiding the booby traps.
After four hours of dangerous work under fire, he destroyed the cache of more than 1,000 pounds of explosives and 400 blasting caps. This bold act crippled the enemy’s supply lines and devastated their morale.
Two months later on August 10, Dempsey and a patrol came under heavy fire. Soon after, a Marine stepped on and ignited an improvised explosive device. Ignoring the threat of secondary devices, he ran to the critically wounded Marine, applied tourniquets under fire and carried the wounded Marine 200 meters to safety. His actions saved the Marine’s life.
“I’m just one guy being recognized, but Marines do this every day,” said Dempsey. “This is the kind of stuff EOD and infantry Marines do every day outside the wire in Afghanistan.”
Over the period of the deployment, Dempsey personally disabled 37 IEDs, saved the lives of countless Marines, and degraded the combat power of the enemy forces throughout southern Afghanistan.
Dempsey enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1997 as a machine gunner and has served six combat tours since. He received the Bronze Star with “V” once before and the Purple Heart last year.
Dempsey is slated to serve his country again by deploying with the 15th MEU to the Western Pacific and Middle East later this year.