The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in presenting the
NAVY COMMENDATION MEDAL to
LANCE CORPORAL ROBERT B. SPARKS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
For service as set forth in the following
CITATION: "For meritorious service while serving with Company F, Second Battalion, First Marines in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from 16 December 1970 to 27 May 1971. Throughout this period, Lance Corporal Sparks performed his duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner. Serving consecutively as an Ammunition Man, First Team Leader, and Company Mail Clerk, he tirelessly accomplished all assigned tasks and consistently provided his command with outstanding support. Participating in several major combat operations, including Operations Imperial Lake and Scott Orchard, as well as in numerous patrols and ambushes, he repeatedly distinguished himself by his courage and composure under fire. Particularly noteworthy were his actions on 13 February 1971 when two Marines from his squad were seriously injured by fragments of an antipersonnel mine. Simultaneously, enemy movement was detected in a nearby tree line. Reacting instantly, Lance Corporal Sparks deployed his men into more effective firing positions and, seemingly oblivious to the enemy rounds impacting around him, carried the wounded men to safety. His bold and timely actions prevented further injury to the Marines and enabled the remainder of the unit to assault and destroy the hostile force. As a result of his diligent and resourceful efforts throughout his tour in the Republic of Vietnam, the operational effectiveness of his unit was greatly enhanced. By his initiative, superb professionalism, and loyal devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Sparks earned the respect of all who served with him and upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.
FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY,
WILLIAM K. JONES
LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDING GENERAL, FLEET MARINE FORCE, PACIFIC
LANCE CORPORAL ROBERT B. SPARKS