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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Major Brian M. Kennedy Class of 2016

Distinguished Flying Cross


Distinguished Flying Cross

For heroism while participating in aerial flight as Flight Lead of an AH-1W Cobra helicopter attached to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 20 March to 14 April 2003. Major Kennedy performed courageously as a primary flight lead during 71 combat missions. He routinely led his flight at night and during the harshest of conditions to support I Marine Expeditionary Force's rapid advance into Baghdad, Iraq. Conducting close air support missions in support of the British 7th Armored Brigade in Al Basra, Major Kennedy's section successfully engaged numerous Iraqi units, which proved critical to the maneuver of British forces in their successful bid for the city. While deftly guiding his section through air defense artillery and small arms fire, his flight destroyed the final unlocated theater ballistic missile system capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction against Allied Forces in Kuwait. Acting as a Forward Air Controller (Airborne), Major Kennedy coordinated more than 30 strikes against fortified Iraqi weapons caches of the Special Republican Guard, which helped to eliminate enemy defenses west of Tikrit. By his superb airmanship, inspiring courage, and loyal devotion to duty in the face of hazardous flying conditions, Major Kennedy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.