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1st Sgt. Frank Robinson, Company A First Sergeant, Headquarters Battalion, shakes the hand of Lt. Col. Dennis Sanchez, HQBN Commanding Officer, aboard the Combat Center, after being pinned with a Purple Heart and a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Jan. 22, 2015. Marines from HQBN congratulated Robinson after the citation and awards were given. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

First Sergeant of Marines leads from front

28 Jan 2015 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd Adjutant

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Frank O. Robinson, Company A First Sergeant, headquarters battalion, native of Baltimore, Md., received a Purple Heart and a Navy Commendation Medal with valor aboard the Combat Center, Jan. 22, 2015.

Robinson received a Purple Heart Medal for wounds sustained in Afghanistan on Aug. 10, 2014 and received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his actions while serving as Weapons Company first sergeant for 1st battalion, 7th Marine regiment, Marine Expeditionary Brigade Afghanistan, from March 2014 to Sept. 2014.

“I am truly humbled to be able to award the Purple Heart and a navy commendation with a combat distinguishing device for valor to an outstanding Marine,” said Lt. Col. Dennis Sanchez, commanding officer, HQBN. “Moments like this brings to mind the statistic that only one percent of Americans join the armed forces.”

Robinson was engaged by small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades that sent rounds and shrapnel into the side of his vehicle. After repositioning his vehicle to gain positive identification of the targets, he engaged the enemy with his vehicle and the vehicle next to him. His actions lead to a successful engagement of the enemy while in Afghanistan.

“I have no doubt in my mind that America woke up today and forgot that we are still fighting a war,” Sanchez said. “What is intangible and not mentioned in the [citation] is that his leadership and guidance in combat probably saved the lives of his fellow Marines on a daily basis.”

Robinson served his Marines with dedication and led them to complete objectives while in Afghanistan. He plans on using the same drive to serve in HQBN.

“I could not have done this without the Marines I served for,” Robinson said. “I say ‘served for’ because as a first sergeant I don’t serve with you, you don’t serve me, I serve you. Colin Powel once said, ‘There are no secrets to success. So don’t go looking for it. Success is a direct result of hard work and learning from failure.’ That is what those Marines did.”

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