Hogan, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, died in service to his fellow Marines during a foot patrol through Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2009.
The San Clemente native was killed by an improvised explosive device he spotted in Nawa district. After identifying the threat, he alerted his squad mates in Alpha Company, pushed a Marine out of the blast zone, and was mortally wounded.
"Lance Corporal Hogan's extreme act of selflessness saved a Marine's life and allowed the rest of the squad to avoid the full brunt of the fragmentation from the improvised explosive device," reads his Navy Cross citation.
In addition to the Navy Cross, Hogan's personal awards include the Purple Heart Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan Navy Cross Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Rifleman, 2nd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 7, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, on Aug. 26 2009, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
While on a dismounted patrol in Helmand province, Hogan’s squad came under attack from an enemy fighter attempting to command detonate a directional fragmentation Improvised Explosive Device. Hogan observed a kite string leading onto the road from an adjacent corn field being pulled taut in an attempt to activate the Improvised Explosive Device. Familiar with this common enemy tactic, Hogan immediately recognized that the attack was imminent and that he had only moments to react. Without hesitation, Hogan hurled his body into the nearest Marine in an effort to keep him from the effects of the imminent explosion. Hogan then turned in the direction of Improvised Explosive Device and placed himself in the road so that he could effectively yell verbal warnings to the rest of his squad-mates. This desperate effort to warn the rest of the patrol bought the remaining Marines valuable seconds to begin moving away from the Improvised Explosive Device before it detonated. Mortally wounded by the explosion, Hogan’s extreme act of selflessness saved a Marine's life and allowed the rest of the squad to avoid the full brunt of the fragmentation from the Improvised Explosive Device. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Hogan reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan Bio
Lance Corporal Donald J. Hogan, from San Clemente, Calif., was born Nov. 25, 1988. He graduated from Tesoro High School, in Mission Viejo, Calif., in 2007. Hogan enlisted in the Marine Corps Nov. 5, 2007, during a time of war, and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Upon completion, he reported to Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, where he earned the military occupational specialty of 0311 rifleman.
Upon graduation, Hogan reported to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton. While assigned there, he served as a rifleman in Alpha Company, 2nd Platoon, 3rd Squad and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Hogan was killed in action, Aug. 26, 2009, by an Improvised Explosive Device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Nawa district, Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Hogan's personal decorations include the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism while conducting combat operations against the enemy, Combat Action Ribbon, and Purple Heart Medal.
LCpl Hogan's parent's received his Navy Cross in a ceremony that took place in front of the Marine barracks named in his honor.