Unwavering Courage- Silver Star for a Fallen Marine

By Faye Higbee

Unwavering Courage- Silver Star for a Fallen Marine

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Sprovtsoff deployed to Afghanistan in November 2006 to train US Army Troops. He was embedded in the unit as part of a training team with the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment. While there, a 48 hour fire fight earned him the nomination for a Silver Star. But he was given a Bronze Star by mistake.

A mistake that needed correction

The Bronze Star award was an error …he had been recommended for the Silver Star, but someone made a mistake…one that waited for correction until April 29. SSgt Sprovtsoff was killed in 2011. The award was presented to his wife, Tasha by MARSOC commander, Major General Joseph Osterman.

silver star

SSgt Nicholas Sprovtsoff – USMC photo

Unwavering Courage

The Marine Corps Times reported,

When the team was hit hard by an enemy ambush, Sprovtsoff “with complete disregard for his own safety and in spite of wounds sustained in combat, effectively orchestrated his unit’s defense,” according to his citation. “His unwavering courage, selfless service, and situational awareness under fire were decisive in his unit’s defeat of the enemy ambush.”

Osterman told Marine Corps Times that the Marine Raiders are “proud and honored” to award the Silver Star to Sprovtsoff’s family on behalf of the Army.

“His courage, dedication and sacrifice inspire us on a daily basis to help others, to cherish our freedom, and to try to make a positive difference in the world,”Osterman said. “Also, the individual sacrifices Staff Sgt. Sprovtsoff’s family have made is extremely important for MARSOC to recognize. We will always be inspired by the actions of our fellow Raiders and we will strive to operate at a level that honors them and their family.”

 A Marine who eliminated  40 IEDs

Sprovtsoff laterally transferred into the EOD unit in 2009. After EOD school, he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. He earned another bronze star with a V on September 20, 2011 when he led his team of Marines through a field of IEDs while under enemy fire.

Eight days later, he an IED detonated as he started to examine it. Two of his fellow servicemen, Chief Petty Officer Justin Wilson and SSgt Christopher Diaz, ran to his aid. As they reached him, another IED blew up, severely wounding CPO Wilson. The blast killed both SSgt Sprovtsoff and SSgt Diaz. Both men received the Bronze Star with V posthumously. Wilson survived and received the Navy Cross.

Sprovtsoff is credited with eliminating 40 IEDs.  His acts of heroism were written in Oliver North’s book, “American Heroes on the Homefront: The Hearts of Heroes.”

A heart of a hero indeed. He finally gets the right award. R.I.P. Marine