For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as squad leader, Heavy Combined Anti-Armor Team, attached to Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Combined Joint Task Force-76, while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan from November 2004 to June 2005. During this period Corporal Whalen demonstrated exceptional leadership, challenging his squad mentally and physically and seamlessly operating independent of his platoon headquarters. Serving in a challenging billet usually reserved for senior sergeants, he was considered the subject matter expert in heavy machinegun employment, and combined anti-armor concepts. During an engagement on 24 December 2004, he calmly and confidently employed his squad, successfully suppressing the enemy forces attacking his section’s mounted patrol. Under heavy fire, Corporal Whalen continued to expertly control his section’s fire, providing the necessary support to allow his fellow Marines to close with the enemy. Corporal Whalen’s professionalism and dedication to duty reflected credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.