Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device
For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as Squad Leader, Company K, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 17 September 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While conducting combat operations, an unknown number of insurgents attacked Sergeant Diaz and his squad with rifles, medium machine guns, and grenades from three positions. Without hesitation, he left cover, exited the compound and engaged the enemy. Selflessly exposing himself to fire, he pulled a wounded Marine to cover. Realizing that a radio had been dropped outside the compound, he again left cover to retrieve the radio and initiated a contact report. Still under heavy enemy fire, he began directing his squad’s actions. To regain the initiative, he established a hasty skirmish line and oriented effective fire on the enemy, preventing two enemy combatants from flanking the squad’s position and closing to hand grenade range. Although wounded in his left arm, Sergeant Diaz was able to transmit casualty reports and evacuation requests. As his Marines gained and maintained fire superiority, the enemy extracted with two wounded, leaving one dead. His tenacity repelled a complex attack and forced the enemy to withdraw. His actions resulted in the evacuation of all Marine casualties and undoubtedly saved additional lives. Sergeant Diaz demonstrated to the enemy how fierce a Marine squad can be as he led his men that day. By his extraordinary guidance, zealous initiative, and total dedication to duty, Sergeant Diaz reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.