The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

Staff Sergeant

United States Marine Corps



Staff Sergeant Ambrosio Guillen
United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Platoon Sergeant of Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy forces in Korea on 25 July 1953. Participating in the defense of an outpost forward of the main line of resistance, Staff Sergeant Guillen maneuvered his platoon over unfamiliar terrain in the face of hostile fire and placed his men in fighting positions. With his unit pinned down when the outpost was attacked under cover of darkness by and estimated force of two enemy battalions supported by mortar and artillery fire, he deliberately exposed himself to the heavy barrage and attacks to direct his men in defending their positions and personally supervise the treatment and evacuation of the wounded. Inspired by his leadership, the platoon quickly rallied and engaged the enemy force in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Although critically wounded during the course of battle, Staff Sergeant Guillen refused medical aid and continued to direct his men throughout the remainder of the engagement until the enemy was defeated and thrown into disorderly retreat. Succumbing to his wounds within a few hours, Staff Sergeant Guillen, by his outstanding courage and indomitable fighting spirit, was directly responsible for the success of his platoon in repelling a numerically superior enemy force. His personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
President of the United States

Footnote: Staff Sergeant Ambrosio was born July 25, 1929 in Lajunta, Colorado. He entered the Marine Corps at El Paso, TX and is buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery, Fort Bliss, Texas. He is memorialized in a mural honoring Hispanic heros in downtown El Paso. There is also a middle school named in his
home town of El Paso.

Staff Sergeant Ambrosio Guillen, a young Texas Marine whose personal heroism only two days before the cease-fire in Korea and was responsible for turning an overwhelming enemy attack into a disorderly retreat, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

His Medal or Honor was presented to his parents by the Secretary of the Navy Charles S. Thomas at ceremonies in his office, 18 August 1954.

Staff Sergeant Guillen was cited for his heroic leadership of a platoon of Marines on 25 July 1953, near Songuch-on, Korea.

Ambrosio Guillen was born 7 December 1929, in La Junta, Colorado, and grew up in El Paso, Texas. Enlisting in the Marine Corps at the age of 18, he completed recruit training at San Diego, California, and was assigned to the 6th Marines. Later he was chosen for Sea School, and served after graduation on the USS Curtis. Following his tour of sea duty, he was appointed a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.

As a drill instructor, he trained two honor platoons and was given a Letter of Appreciation by his Commanding General. In that letter, MajGen John T. Walker observed that "your success in training these two platoons has demonstrated your outstanding ability as a leader."

That ability was proved in combat soon after SSgt Guillen arrived in Korea.

After the truce, his body was escorted to the United States by his brother, who had been serving in the Far East with the Army. SSgt Guillen was buried in Texas on 20 October 1953, at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.

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