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Maj. Seth MacCutcheon, a team officer in charge with the Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group, is awarded the Bronze Star Medal with a gold star in lieu of second award by Brig. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III, the Combat Center's commanding general, during a ceremony at MCTOG's headquarters Feb. 18.

Photo by Cpl. Tyler w. Hill

Leading from the front; MCTOG Marine awarded Bronze Star Medal

26 Feb 2010 | Cpl. R. Logan Kyle

To be a leader means to lead from the front and by example. For Maj. Seth MacCutcheon, a team officer in charge with the Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group here, those leadership traits come naturally to him.

MacCutcheon was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with a gold star in lieu of second award, during a ceremony outside MCTOG’s headquarters here Feb. 18.

The award, which was presented to MacCutcheon by Brig. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III, the Combat Center’s commanding general, marked the second time the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native, has received the honor.

MacCutcheon received the award for his actions while serving as the commanding officer of Company L, Task Force 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, from Aug.27, 2008, to March 23, 2009, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During that time, MacCutcheon led and integrated nearly 400 Marines, sailors, soldiers and civilians in Iraq’s Hit district, which encompasses more than 2,700 miles of the Al Anbar Province.

He was first awarded the Bronze Star Medal after his actions during the beginning stages of OIF 1, where he saw action in Nasiriyah.

“It feels really good to receive this honor a second time,” MacCutcheon said. “I’ve been lucky enough during my career to have had the opportunity to work with some very special people.”

Master Sgt. Ramon Martinez, a team staff noncommissioned officer in charge with MCTOG, said MacCutcheon is truly one of “the fewer.”

“He’s a very common sense-oriented person,” said Martinez, a Phoenix native. “He knows what he wants from his Marines, and he doesn’t waste their time. He draws the best out of everyone he’s around.”

Martinez and MacCutcheon also deployed to the Democratic Republic of Georgia together in October to support the training of foreign militaries. 

Bree Lepke, MacCutcheon’s girlfriend, said she was proud to see him be awarded for his hard work.

“He’s really intense and focused in anything he does,” said Lepke, a Rochelle, Ill., native. “He’s always concerned about his team.”

As MacCutcheon was congratulated by the last of his friends and coworkers, the atmosphere at MCTOG returned to the mission of training warriors for combat.

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