CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
February 21st started like any typical day in the Marine Corps when members of Alpha Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Combat Logistics Regiment 1 gathered outside their barracks to start P.T.-- their group workout.
The day’s workout consisted of a run along a familiar route, shuttle runs, and a train run. Suddenly, in the middle of the train run, one of the Marines turned to Cpl. Ricardo Cruzmontoya and grabbed ahold of him just before falling to the ground.
In the ensuing seven minutes, the life of one Marine would be in the hands of those around him.
In the moments after the Marine (whose name is being withheld) hit the ground, seizing, Cpl. Christopher Parris says he “did what he was trained to do.” Instantly directing Lance Cpl. Elijah Serrano to call 911, Cpl. Parris simultaneously ensured that the seizing Marine was put into the recovery position to assist his shallow breathing. Once the seizing stopped and Pfc. Thomas Godwin III was able to locate a pulse, the group, led by Cpl. Parris, noticed that the Marine was no longer breathing. From there, Cpl. Parris started chest compressions in an effort to preserve the life of their comrade.
Over the next few minutes, the injured Marine went from being physically responsive and breathing to completely unresponsive with no pulse or breath. Three times the Marine would start breathing on his own before once again ceasing to breathe. The gravity of the situation was apparent to all the Marines present. In those moments, Cpl. Parris and the others fought to save the life of their fellow Marine.
When Cpl. Diego Ruiz, with the Provost Marshall’s Office, arrived on the scene, the Marines assisted in using an AED on the Marine. Ultimately, the Marine was transported to receive a higher echelon of care and is recovering there. Cpl. Ruiz said of the incident: “I am confident that without the life-saving effort of these Marines and the AED, the outcome of this situation would be entirely different.”
Cmdr. Janelle Marra, Force Surgeon for 1st Marine Logistics Group further elaborated, “A Marine lived to see his next birthday because of his fellow Marines providing CPR and first responders using an AED”
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, nine out of ten people who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital die, typically in only minutes. Without intervention from Cpl. Parris, Lance Cpl. Serrano, Cpl. Cruzmontoya, and Pfc. Godwin, a member of their Marine family would not be alive today.
The Marines were recognized by Brig. Gen. Phillip Frietze, commanding general for 1st Marine Logistics Group for their heroic actions.
Cpl. Christopher Parris has been awarded a Navy Commendation Medal.
Lance Cpl. Elijah Serrano was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Lance Cpl. Ricardo Cruzmontoya received a Certificate of Commendation.
Pfc. Thomas Godwin III received a Certificate of Commendation.
The professionalism and bias for action displayed by young noncommissioned officers is a testament to their leadership and the vital role which noncommissioned officers fill throughout the Marine Corps.