Leading By Example: 12th MLR Sergeant Major Provides Life-Saving Aide to Japanese National

Sgt. Maj. Ismael Bamba, sergeant major of 12th Marine Littoral Regiment, received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for heroically saving the life of a civilian in Okinawa, Japan.

Bamba was driving home on the expressway when he witnessed a motor vehicle accident. The vehicle in front of him had flipped over and slid into the side of a guardrail. Without hesitation, he instinctively used his vehicle to block the accident, running over immediately to assess the driver’s condition.

“The first thing that went through my head was not, ‘Are they a Marine?’ It was, ‘They’re a human being,’” said Bamba. “I’m going to fight for what’s right, protect what’s right, and do what’s right.”

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