While assigned to Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, (then) Corporal Clifford M. Wooldridge (Port Angeles, Washington) distinguished himself in the service to his country while serving in Afghanistan on 18 June 2010. When his mounted patrol came under intense enemy fire, Corporal Wooldridge and his squad dismounted and maneuvered on the suspected enemy location. Spotting a group of fifteen enemy fighters preparing an ambush, Wooldridge led one of his fire teams across open ground to flank the enemy, killing or wounding eight of them, and forcing the rest to scatter.
As he held security alone to cover his fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall. Boldly rushing around the corner, he came face to face with two enemy fighters at close range, killing both of them with his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon. As he crouched back behind the wall to reload his weapon, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall. Without hesitation, he dropped his empty weapon and seized the machine gun barrel. He overwhelmed the enemy fighter in hand to hand combat, killing him with several blows to the head with the enemy’s own weapon.
Wooldridge’s audacious and fearless actions thwarted the enemy attack on his platoon. By his bold and decisive leadership, undaunted courage under fire, and his total dedication to duty, (now) Sergeant Wooldridge reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval service.
American Marines —beating the akbar out of the enemy with their own weapons since the days when Jefferson was president.