Sgt. Joseph Murray was born in El Toro, CA on Dec. 28, 1990. He graduated from Sandalwood High School, Jacksonville, FL in May 2009 and reported to Recruit Training at Parris Island, SC in August 2009. Upon graduating boot camp, he attended the School of Infantry in December 2009 at Camp Geiger, NC, receiving the primary MOS of 0331 Machine Gunner and being meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal for being the class honor graduate. Lance Cpl. Murray reported for duty at 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC in February 2010, where he was assigned to Weapons Platoon, Charlie Company, as a M240 Gunner.
In September 2010, Lance Cpl. Murray deployed as a Machine Gun Team Leader to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, serving as a Turret Gunner and Vehicle Commander in his company’s Mobile Assault Platoon. In April 2011, Lance Cpl. Murray received the billet of Machine Gun Squad Leader and was made Machine Gun Section Leader. In January 2012, he deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan, where he received a meritorious promotion to Corporal. Shortly afterward, Charlie Co. attached to Regimental Combat Team 6, conducted raids and clearing missions throughout Helmand and Nimroz provinces in which Cpl. Murray worked directly with British Special Operations Forces. During these operations, Cpl. Murray acted in the billets of Assistant Mobile Assault Platoon Section Leader, Rifle Squad Leader, Machine Gun Squad Leader and M240 Gunner.
Cpl. Murray reported to Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Parris Island, SC in February 2013 to serve as Range Staff, where he attended Coaches Course and received the BMOS 0933: Marksmanship Coach. He served as a Range Coach on Inchon Rifle Range, later received the billet of Block NCO, and attended Combat Marksmanship Trainers Course receiving the BMOS 0931: Marksmanship Trainer, eventually becoming a Primary Marksmanship Instructor.
In August 2014, Cpl. Murray was promoted to Sergeant and attended MARSOC Assessment and Selection. In January 2015 he reported to the Individual Training Course on Stone Bay, NC, graduating in October 2015 and receiving the MOS 0372, Critical Skills Operator. Sgt. Murray attended Basic Language Course for Arabic and in April 2016 he reported to 2nd Marine Raider Battalion.
Sergeant Murray died when a KC-130T crashed in LeFlore County, Mississippi on July 10, 2017.
Sgt. Murray’s personal decorations include the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement medal with two gold stars in lieu of third award, Combat Action Ribbon and a Good Conduct Medal with bronze star in lieu of second award.