GYSGT FRANK 'The Tank' SIMMONS
Awarded for actions during Global War on Terror Service: Marine Corps Battalion: 2d Battalion.
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Corporal Franklin M. Simmons, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Assistant Team Leader and Designated Marksman, Team 3, Force Reconnaissance Platoon, Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, Marine Corps Forces Central Command (Forward) on 8 August 2008 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Conducting clearing operations in the village of Shewan in Farah province, Afghanistan, Corporal Simmons' platoon was ambushed by a numerically superior enemy force. Volleys of intense rocket propelled grenade and machine gun fire disabled one of the platoon's vehicles and trapped several Marines in the kill zone. Without regard for his own safety, Corporal Simmons exposed himself to intense enemy rocket propelled grenade and machine gun fire as he crawled to the top of a berm to locate targets for his Mark 11 sniper rifle. He resolutely ignored enemy machine gun rounds impacting within a foot of his position as he calmly employed his weapon to kill the enemy firing at his fellow Marines in the kill zone. Remaining in this exposed position to get the necessary observation of his targets, he killed an estimated 18 enemy fighters and wounded at least two others. Corporal Simmons' devastating fires during an eight hour battle in oppressive heat were critical in saving the lives of his fellow Marines. By his extraordinary marksmanship, courageous actions, and exceptional dedication to duty, Corporal Simmons reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.