Second Marine Division Sgt. Maj. Bryan Zickefoose congratulates Sgt. Ryan Steinkamp on Aug. 28. The rifleman with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, led his squad through a hostile village in Afghanistan in 2012 and cleared more than 50 compounds.
A rifleman from Camp Lejeune received the Silver Star on Aug. 28 for leading a successful night mission in 2012 that cleared more than 50 enemy compounds near an Afghan village without causing a single civilian casualty.
Sgt. Ryan Steinkamp, a squad leader with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, was pinned with the military’s third-highest valor award for his decisive battlefield leadership during a lengthy and grueling combat engagement while attached to Regimental Team Combat 6 in Afghanistan.
On April 17, 2012, Steinkamp and his squad were inserted by helicopter near the village of Payawak in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, close to Forward Operating Base Delaram for a night mission that would become a test of combat skills and endurance. Steinkamp led the squad across 800 meters of terrain laced with mines en route to clear Payawak of insurgents, according to his award citation.