Reconnaissance Marine awarded Silver Star Medal, Purple Heart
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Patrolling between a tree line and a row of buildings, Staff Sgt. Timothy Williams and his squad heard the sharp cracks of rifles and immediately realized they were being ambushed. Outnumbered and under heavy enemy fire, Williams, a section leader with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, found himself relying on his instincts and training to protect himself and his Marines.
Williams, a native of Hudson, Mich., received the Silver Star Medal and the Purple Heart for his actions that day during an award ceremony held at Camp Las Flores here, Jan. 7.
“I couldn’t be more proud of all that he has done,” said Jill Williams, Williams’ wife of more than nine years. “He constantly makes me want to improve myself and become a better person. He’s an inspiration to me, and I’m sure he was an inspiration to those men that he was with that day.”
Williams was part of a joint Afghan National Army and Marine team when the ambushed occurred. Williams’ element was tasked with investigating a weapons cache in the local area. The element was making their way through a wooded area when the first shots rang out.
The enemy chose a poor location for the ambush, Williams said. If his team had been a few hundred meters to the West then they would have been completely surrounded.
Because of their poor positioning, the insurgents were steadily pushed back. Williams’ element had the upper hand until tragedy struck. The team leader was shot, immediately changing the climate of the battle.
“We had pretty good control of the situation up until Jason was shot, that’s when everything changed and I knew what I had to do," Williams said.
Without hesitation and still under heavy enemy fire, Williams rushed out from cover to aid his wounded team leader and carried him nearly 1,000 feet to the safety of the medical evacuation platform.
“When someone is under fire they don’t rise to the occasion, they just fall back on their training,” Williams said. “Jason is one of the best men that I have ever trained with and he credits me with saving his life even though he taught me most of the things that saved him that day. In a way, he saved his own life.”
Aware that others still needed his help, Williams rushed back to the forefront of the fight and continued assaulting the enemy. Williams maneuvered the force across the open terrain destroying enemy positions and killing approximately 20 insurgents during the 10 hour battle.
Williams served 4 years in the Navy aboard the USS Stout and was honorably discharged before he enlisted in the Marine Corps May 5th, 2005.
“I joined the Navy before 9/11 and I didn’t really have any direction in life,” Williams said. “After 9/11 when I saw a lot of my friends joining the Marines, I realized that I wanted a change and the Marine Corps was the best fit for me.”
Once in the Marine Corps, Williams knew he wanted to challenge himself further. Having already had multiple occupations in the military, he knew that becoming a reconnaissance Marine was one of the biggest challenges to conquer.
“My wrestling coach would always tell me that if I wanted to be great then I would have to spend my life surrounding myself with great people and great things,” Williams said. “I moved to 1st Recon Battalion, and I instantly knew that these were the greatest guys that I could possibly train or live with.”
Many people see Williams’ actions July 10, 2012 as outstanding acts of courage. Williams believes his actions were a reflection of the men to his left and right.