South Shore graduate earns Bronze Star with valorA graduate of South Shore High School in Port Wing has earned one of the nation’s highest military honors.
A graduate of South Shore High School in Port Wing has earned one of the nation’s highest military honors.
Master Sgt. Ryan Glau, a 35-year-old Marine based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., was awarded the Bronze Star medal with a combat “V.”
The Bronze Star is the nation’s fourth highest individual military honor. The “V” attachment to the Bronze Star is worn to demote combat heroism, and recognizes Marines who have been exposed to personal hazard during direct participation in combat operations.
Glau was recommended for the Bronze Star with a “V” for heroic service in combat operations against the enemy while serving as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team Leader in Afghanistan from October 2012 until April.
During that time, Gunnery Sgt. Glau was responsible for disarming over 49 Improvised Explosive Devices, and training some 610 Coalition Force Members in the proper procedures to effectively operate in hostile IED saturated environments.
Glau has a long list of heroic actions to his credit, including an action on Nov. 28, when Glau and his team were attached to the lead element of an Alpha Company foot patrol in the village of Mazr Abad Shamali. As the patrol moved through a wadi field, it was caught in an ambush by an enemy laying down machine gunfire from fortified positions. The patrol was pinned down in the open, unable to maneuver. Realizing small arms fire against the enemy was not effective, Gunnery Sgt. Glau directed his team to engage the enemy positions with 40mm high explosive projectiles. While the rounds went down range, Glau and his team exposed themselves to the enemy fire in order to achieve maximum effect against the enemy positions. His decision-making under fire resulted in two direct hits on the enemy fortified positions, which allowed his team and the patrol to find safe cover, with no casualties.
Two days later, his team was conducting a foot patrol in response to an IED being discovered in the village of Regay. Glau disarmed the device, but another IED was discovered east of his position. While moving toward the second device, his patrol was again hit with machine gun fire from an enemy in fortified positions. Realizing his patrol was caught in the open, with no cover, Ryan disarmed the second IED, while enemy rounds were falling within several feet of him, and his patrol. Once the second IED was cleared, a third was discovered. Glau led his team through render safe procedures, resulting in the clearance of the third IED, while his patrol was still taking enemy fire. His heroic action allowed his patrol to maneuver out of the kill zone, again, with no casualties.
Gunnery Sgt. Glau, in still another Afghanistan mission, led a detailed search of who vehicles, which resulted in over $12 million worth of heroin being confiscated, and two insurgents transporting the heroin were arrested.
In total, Gunnery Sgt. Glau courageously led his team on over 120 explosive ordinance disposal missions, resulting in more the 49 IEDs being disarmed, and five enemy cache’s being discovered, all of which resulted in some 620 pounds of explosives being destroyed.
In addition to earning the Bronze Star with a “V” Glau has twice been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal, with a “V” and the Combat Action Ribbon. He has also earned the Defense Meritorious Service medal, and the Navy Achievement medal.
Master Sgt. Glau’s father, Robert Glau, resides in Herbster, and his mother, mother, Suzanne Mieritz, lives in Iron River. Master Sgt. Glau, and his wife, Joanne, live in San Diego, Calif.