SPRINGFIELD, Virginia — A U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant assigned to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s headquarters here was honored May 3 during a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, for the actions he took March 30 at NGA to save a coworker.
Staff Sgt. Andrew Kremmel received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for performing CPR on a member of the NGA workforce who went into cardiac arrest while exercising at the NGA gymnasium.
“I am extremely proud, but I am not surprised,” said Heath Lewison, senior departmental requirements officer, Enterprise Collection Management Marine Corps Intelligence Activity. “I know that Marines like Staff Sgt. Kremmel will do the right thing at all times, and I would expect nothing less than that from them,”
The NGA employee went into cardiac arrest while working out and fell to the ground, said Kremmel. Kremmel heard the noise and ran over to his unconscious coworker. After he assessed the vitals and there was no pulse, he used a defibrillator and performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.
“I think Staff Sergeant Kremmel exemplifies the Marine Corps core values of honor, courage and commitment - especially the honor and courage,” said Lewison. “Honor comes with assisting and saving someone’s life, but [he had] the courage to step up when no one else would.”
Cardiac arrest survival depends on how soon CPR is administered, according to the American Heart Association. Almost 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die.
“I was just reacting, and it was my Marine Corps training that kicked in,” said Kremmel. “I am humbled to receive the award and acknowledgement, but I am grateful that he is alive and his family is able to spend another day with him.”
The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal is a mid-level U.S. military decoration presented for sustained or significant acts of heroism or meritorious service.
Kremmel is one of more than 500 active duty and reserve military members supporting NGA’s mission and daily operations. The service members serve in a variety of jobs throughout the agency, and work side by side with civilian and contract workforce in the completion of NGA’s mission.