Royal Marines

Royal Marine Receives Rare US Bronze Star For Afghanistan Service

Major James Fuller was decorated for his 12-month tour of duty while on exchange with the US Marine Corps.

A Royal Marine has been decorated by the US military for his service in Afghanistan.

Commando Major James Fuller was awarded the Bronze Star for his year-long tour of duty while on exchange with the US Marine Corps.

The honour is typically bestowed upon US military personnel for battlefield heroism or excellent service on the frontline.

‘Truly Humbled’

The green beret received the Bronze Star in front of his US comrades during a ceremony at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

He said: "This means a lot to me – I’m truly humbled. There wasn’t anything which I did differently from my US Marine colleagues."

Major Fuller receives the Bronze Star (Picture: Royal Navy).

Major Fuller added: "The colour of your uniform or the flag on your arm didn’t matter – we all worked together for one goal. It was a team effort."

He served as part of the Marine Corps Foreign Personnel Exchange programme, in which non-American officers can serve alongside their US comrades.

"To live and breathe as a US Marine for two years has been pretty incredible – I’ve made some life-long friends.

"I like to think that we bring a sense of humour. Royal Marines are renowned for their cheerfulness in the face of adversity – it's important to smile in difficult situations."

Tour of duty

Major Fuller served as assistant operations officer with the US Task Force Southwest in Afghanistan.

The force carried out the US military’s Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and NATO's Resolute Support Mission – both aimed at bringing peace and stopping terrorism.

Between 1 June 2018 and the end of May 2019, Major Fuller helped to plan missions with the Afghan National Defence Security Forces and US Special Operation Forces.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Presley, the regimental gunner with 2nd Marine Regiment USMC, said: “Without Major Fuller we couldn’t have done what we did in Afghanistan.

“He was instrumental in us trying to achieve our objective with Task Force Southwest.”

Cover image: Major James Fuller stands during the ceremony at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina (Picture: Royal Navy).