St. James City resident Andrew "Jake" Lutz was recently awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for actions while deployed to Afghanistan. The award citation reads as follows:
"This is to certify that the Secretary of the Navy has awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal to Lance Corporal Andrew J. Lutz, United States Marine Corps. For professional achievement in the superior performance of his duties while serving as a dog handler and sweeper, Route Clearance Company, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Afghanistan, from August 2009 to October 2009. As a dog handler, Lance Corporal Lutz employed his dog in over 16 operations and 100 kilometers of route clearance throughout the area of operations. Lance Corporal Lutz was integral in detecting 63 improvised explosive devices and sweeping 1600 kilometers of routes. Lance Corporal Lutz's ability to employ his dog by phase line reduced his platoon's time on target without compromising his search. Lance Corporal Lutz's keen eye and sense of judgment resulted in the sustained employment of his dog as part of a two dog team during missions spanning several hours. Lance Corporal Lutz led his dog to a likely improvised explosive device position. Upon working the dog it discovered a radio controlled improvised explosive device, the first of its kind in the battle space. Lance Corporal Lutz's initiative, perseverance and total dedication to duty reflected credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. Given this 17th Day of June, 2010. A.M. Niebel, LtCol, U.S. Marine Corps, Commanding, for the Secretary of the Navy."
Lutz is stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and was promoted to corporal July 1, 2010.
He is the son of Carol Lutz and grandson of Peg Harmon, both of St. James City.