Photo and Story courtesy of DVIDS
Location: Camp Fallujah, IQ

Dycus, a 21-year-old from Vidor, Texas, is redefining what it means to be a combat leader. His performance in combat was impressive enough to earn him a combat meritorious promotion to his present rank from Regimental Combat Team 5. He’s a Marine respected by his peers and admired by his Marines because of the cool, calm demeanor he displays even in the hottest of action.

Dycus is assigned to D Company, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, RCT-5.

“He’s an aggressive vehicle commander who knows how to support the infantry on the ground,” said Capt. William E. O’Brien, the 36-year-old D Company commander from Moline, Ill. “He earns a huge amount of respect from his seniors. He’s calm and collected in stressful situations and tactically aggressive.”

Dycus has a track record of combat success. He earned a selection as Marine of the Quarter for RCT-8 on his first tour to Iraq and was selected as Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter for RCT-5 before being selected for his promotion.

“He’s a stud,” O’Brien said. “I’ve known him for almost two years and from the beginning he’s been a quiet kid with the fortitude to stand up.”

Master Sgt. Richard W. Cover, a 41-year-old operations chief for the company, said Dycus is the sort of leader Marines flock to in combat. He anticipates needs, prepares his crew and puts the mission ahead of everything.

“He’s a good strong presence,” said Cover, from Mars, Pa. “He portrays a lot of force. He’s not boisterous, just a quiet strong leader.”

Dycus is all business around his Marines. Prior to a recent patrol, he stood inside his amphibious assault vehicle, also called an “amtrac,” with beads of sweat dripping off his cleanly-shaved head. His crew moved about him, listening to his instructions. In minutes, they were ready to leave.