Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation©

Marine Corps Vietnam-era Tankers and Ontosmen Have Made History. 

Your Historical Foundation is Making it Known.

SSgt. Jose Juan Alvarado

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Staff Sergeant Jose Juan Alvarado (MCSN: 1259372), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Tank Section Commander with Company B, Third Tank Battalion, THIRD Marine Division, in connection with military operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 August 1966. During Operation SUWANEE, Staff Sergeant Alvarado was participating in a coordinated tank and infantry operation as the leader of a section of two tanks in support of Company M, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines. As the infantry unit moved along an open area, it came under an intense volume of automatic weapons, rifle grenade, and anti-tank rocket fire from concealed ambush sites. The ferocity of the attack pinned down the Marines so effectively that they were unable to maneuver into assaulting positions without suffering heavy casualties. Reacting instantly and with great professionalism, Staff Sergeant Alvarado immediately positioned his tanks between the Viet Cong force and the Marine unit while he directed effective 90-mm. and machine gun fire on the enemy positions. The enemy responded with a heavy concentration of anti-tank fire which hit Staff Sergeant Alvarado's accompanying tank, wounding the Tank Commander seriously and severely damaging the communications system. With complete disregard for his own safety, he left his armored vehicle, maneuvered under intense small arms and anti-tank fire, to assist his wounded comrade to a position where he could receive medical aid. He then returned to the disabled tank, reorganized the crew, and utilized arm and hand signals to direct the movement of the tank. Again braving the enemy fire, he returned to his own tank and maneuvered his section to positions where they were able to gain fire superiority over the enemy. Exhibiting outstanding courage and presence of mind, he successfully maintained his section of tanks as a cohesive fighting force and contributed significantly toward the death of at least 27 Viet Cong and the ultimate defeat of the enemy. By his inspiring leadership, resourceful professionalism, bravery, and loyal devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Alvarado upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Board Serial 1857 (March 16, 1967)

Action Date: August 20, 1966

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Company: Company B

Battalion: 3d Tank Battalion

Division: 3d Marine Division (Rein.), FMF