India Company came under enemy machine gun and RPG fire. A mounted and dismounted element pursued the enemy, later uncovering an improvised explosive device and a vehicle borne improvised explosive device.
Heroic achievement in the superior performance of his duties while serving as Mobile Assault Platoon Commander, Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Regimental Combat Team-7, I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, from March to September 2006, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On 11 August 2006, First Lieutenant Bechtold’s mounted section came under enemy machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire. He calmly directed accurate suppressive fires at the enemy positions while coordinating with the dismounted element in a cordon and sweep of the surrounding area. While screening forward of the dismounts, his section located an improvised explosive device and a vehicle borne improvised explosive device. First Lieutenant Bechtold ensured all friendly units in the area cleared the casualty radius of these grave threats and quickly coordinated with the explosive ordnance disposal team to destroy them in place. His composure under enemy fire prevented any of his Marines from sustaining injuries. First Lieutenant Bechtold’s initiative, perseverance, and total dedication to duty reflected credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.