For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as Fire Team Leader, Company I, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II on 11 December 2004. As India Company moved to clear through a possible enemy stronghold, Lance Corporal Rund served as the point man for his fire team as they made entry into a building. After entering the building and seizing a foothold, he noticed that it was too dark to continue and turned on his flashlight. Immediately after turning on his light, an enemy ambush of approximately eight insurgents attacked with small arms fire. Lance Corporal Rund ordered his fire team to withdraw in order to allow tanks and amphibious assault vehicles to fire onto the enemy stronghold. In an effort to allow his team to withdraw, Lance Corporal Rund conducted a one man delaying action. After killing three of the enemy insurgents in an extremely close firefight and hand-to-hand combat, he fell mortally wounded under the relentless onslaught of insurgents attempting to pursue the other Marines of the fire team. As his last courageous act, Lance Corporal Rund placed his body across the exit from the house in order to further delay the enemy's pursuit. In giving his life, Lance Corporal Rund ensured that the men of his fire team would live on to rid the building of enemy insurgents. By his zealous initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Rund reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Lance Corporal Rund, while in receipt of IDP, is recommended for the Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device for recognition of heroic achievement while serving as Fire Team Leader, Company I, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines on 11 December 2004 during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II. Superior professional achievement during this period is as follows:
On 11 December, Company I conducted search and destroy operations in support of Operation AL FAJR. The area through which Lance Corporal Rund and his team were clearing had been identified as a possible enemy strongpoint and was considered more dangerous than usual. Due to the danger of the area, and after considering the possible impact on the men of his team, Lance Corporal Rund decided to place himself at the front of his team as they began to move through the buildings along their lane. From that position, he believed that he would be able to increase his response time to any enemy threat and would best be able to prevent harm from coming upon his men. At approximately 0900 the push through the area began.
As Lance Corporal Rund and his team began to push into the courtyard of their first assigned house, Lance Corporal Rund quickly assessed that the front door to the house had been barricaded and locked. Seeing that there was a possible entry point along another axis of the house, Lance Corporal
Rund led his team along the side of the house and to another door into the kitchen of the house. Seeing no immediate threat within the kitchen area
of the house, Lance Corporal Rund and another member of his fire team breached the door into the house and gained a foothold within the kitchen. Moving from the bright light of day into the dim interior of the house, Lance Corporal Rund saw the futility of pressing through the house almost blind, and he immediately turned on his Surefire flashlight to sweep through the house.
As soon as the flashlight was turned on, up to eight enemy insurgents from deep within the house sprung their ambush and engaged the Marines with small arms fire. Hearing and seeing the amount of firepower being directed at himself and his Marines, Lance Corporal Rund strove to return accurate fire in the close confines of the house. Seeing the impossibility of pressing deeper into the house against such a fierce and well-prepared enemy resistance, Lance Corporal Rund directed the men of his fire team to withdraw from the house. Lance Corporal Rund knew that at the first sound of enemy contact, company assets, such as tanks and assault amphibian vehicles would move into position to bring their firepower to bear on the enemy stronghold. Knowing this and thinking quickly under fire, Lance Corporal Rund decided to remove his men from contact while preventing the enemy from fleeing the area and allow the other assets of the company to destroy the enemy.
Seeing that the enemy was attempting to push their attack against the beleaguered Marines, Lance Corporal Rund decided to place his own life in jeopardy and fight a one-man delaying effort to allow the other Marines of his team to withdraw to safety. During this delaying action, Lance Corporal Rund engaged the enemy in a close-in firefight, eventually fighting the encroaching enemy in hand-to-hand combat. In all, three enemy insurgents were killed at the hands of Lance Corporal Rund before he fell to the relentless onslaught of closing enemy personnel. Even as Lance Corporal Rund was falling from his mortal wounds, he had the presence of mind to place his body across the doorway through which his team had exited the confines of the building, thereby further slowing the advance of the enemy.
Once most of the enemy threat in the housing area had been reduced by the company, another team from Lance Corporal Rund's squad moved forward to bring his body from the wreckage of the enemy stronghold. Upon entering the house, that team was forced to remove the bodies of dead insurgents from where they were stacked around Lance Corporal Rund in order to allow them to gain access to his body. Lance Corporal Rund had obviously taken many of the enemy with him as he fought his desperate delaying action within the house. Lance Corporal Rund gave his life in an effort to ensure the continued safety of the Marines in his charge. His quick thinking and unhesitating courage greatly contributed to the success of the platoon's engagement. He deserves special recognition and is enthusiastically recommended for the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device.