MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, presented the Silver Star Medal to Capt. Andrew Kim, intelligence officer, Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group, during Kim’s award presentation at Sunset Cinema, May 18, 2017.
Through an initiative from the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy has reviewed valor awards presented to sailors and Marines for actions after Sept. 11, 2001.
“It is my privilege and honor to be here,” Walters said. “There’s no other place I’d rather be than here to present this award to Capt. Kim.”
Kim initially received a Bronze Star Medal for actions performed on August 6, 2003, while serving as a counterintelligence specialist with Task Force Scorpion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“When reviewing more than 1400 valor awards this one rose to the top to be elevated,” Walter said. “It is a small group of people in more than 15 years of conflict who will share the company of Capt. Kim.”
Kim, a sergeant at the time, was conducting operations with his team chief, a linguist, and a source, when they were approached by an Iraqi man who suddenly produced a pistol and shot the team chief. Kim immediately returned fire, killing the man.
He was then hit several times by small arms fire from the rear. Disregarding his own wounds, Kim maneuvered to his fallen team chief, helped him into a vehicle and began egressing from the kill zone. Five Iraqi aggressors in a white pickup truck pursued him, subjecting his vehicle to intense volleys of enemy fire. Kim linked up with a light armored reconnaissance security element and ordered a deadly counterattack on the enemy.
“I’m humbled to have this award upgraded,” Kim said. “I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported me through this time. We are all here together, to help one another, you’re never alone.”