Ellsworth, Justin Mark, LCpl

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 Service Details
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Last Rank
Lance Corporal
Last Primary MOS
1371-Combat Engineer
Last MOSGroup
Engineer, Construction And Equipment
Primary Unit
2003-2004, 1371, 1st Force Service Support Group FWD (1st FSSG)
Service Years
2003 - 2004
Lance Corporal

 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Tony Lamson to remember Marine LCpl Justin Mark Ellsworth.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Mount Pleasant
Last Address
Mount Pleasant

Casualty Date
Nov 13, 2004
KIA-Killed in Action
Other Explosive Device
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
Location of Interment
Evergreen Cemetery - Lansing, Michigan
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
GWOT FallenMarine Corps Engineer Association (MCEA)
  2004, GWOT Fallen
  2004, Marine Corps Engineer Association (MCEA)

 Photo Album   (More...

OIF/Transition of Iraq (2003-04)
From Month/Year
May / 2003
To Month/Year
June / 2004

Upon assuming the post of chief executive of the CPA in May 2003, L. Paul Bremer also assumed the title of U.S. Presidential Envoy and Administrator in Iraq. He was frequently called Ambassador by numerous media organizations and the White House because it was the highest government rank he had achieved (Ambassador to Netherlands). However, Bremer was not ambassador to Iraq, and there was no U.S. diplomatic mission in Iraq at that time.

The CPA was created and funded as a division of the United States Department of Defense, and as Administrator, Bremer reported directly to the Secretary of Defense. Although troops from several of the coalition countries were present in Iraq at this time, the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) was the primary military apparatus charged with providing direct combat support to the CPA to enforce its authority during the occupation of Iraq.

While many of Saddam Hussein's ornate palaces were looted in the days immediately following the invasion, most of the physical structures themselves survived, relatively intact. It is in these numerous palaces situated throughout the country that the CPA chose to set up office in order to govern. Several of these palaces were retained by the U.S. Government even after the transition of power back to the Iraqi people. The administration was centred in a district of Baghdad, known as the Green Zone, which eventually became a highly secure walled-off enclave.

The CPA was also responsible for administering the Development Fund for Iraq during the year following the invasion. This fund superseded the earlier UN oil-for-food program, and provided funding for Iraq's wheat purchase program, the currency exchange program, the electricity and oil infrastructure programs, equipment for Iraq's security forces, Iraqi civil service salaries, and the operations of the various government ministries.

The first act of the CPA under Bremer was to issue order of de-Ba'athification of Iraqi society. On 23 May, CPA Order Number 2 formally disbanded the Iraqi army  On 22 July 2003, the CPA formed the Iraqi Governing Council and appointed its members. The Council membership consisted largely of Iraqi expatriates who had previously fled the country during the rule of Saddam Hussein and also with many outspoken dissidents who had been persecuted by the former regime.

Though still subordinate to the CPA, the Iraqi Governing Council had several key responsibilities of its own. Its duties included appointing representatives to the United Nations, appointing interim ministers to Iraq's vacant cabinet positions, and drafting a temporary constitution known as the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), which would be used to govern Iraq until a permanent constitution could be written and approved by the general electorate.

In the late afternoon of 14 December 2003, the CPA held a press conference at the Iraqi Forum convention center within Baghdad's Green Zone to announce that former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein had been taken into custody the previous night from a foxhole in a town near Saddam's home town of Tikrit, Iraq. Present at the announcement was Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez of the U.S. Army, Administrator Bremer, members of the British and American intelligence agencies, several members of the Iraqi Governing Council, and a large room full of journalists representing news organizations from around the world.

In order to defeat possible insurgent planning, the CPA transferred power to the newly appointed Iraqi Interim Government at 10:26 AM local time on 28 June 2004. With the CPA disbanded, Bremer left Iraq that same day.

The United States hoped that Iraq could be reconstructed and democratized in much the same way as Japan and Germany were after the Second World War, using them as "examples or even models of successful military occupations."

Fall of Saddam Hussein's regime
Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Baghdad's Firdos Square on 9 April 2003.
On 1 May 2003, President Bush declared the "end of major combat operations" in Iraq, while aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln with a large "Mission Accomplished" banner displayed behind him.

The weeks following the removal of the Saddam Hussein regime were portrayed by American media as generally a euphoric time among the Iraqi populace. New York Post correspondent Jonathan Foreman, reporting from Baghdad in May 2003, wrote that looting was less widespread than reported, and that "the intensity of the population's pro-American enthusiasm is astonishing". There were widespread reports of looting, though much of the looting was directed at former government buildings and other remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime.

There were reports of looting of Iraq's archaeological treasures, mostly from the National Museum of Iraq; up to an alleged 170,000 items, worth billions of U.S. dollars: these reports were later revealed to be vastly exaggerated. Cities, especially Baghdad, suffered through reductions in electricity, clean water and telephone service from pre-war levels, with shortages that continued through at least the next year.

Insurgency begins

Canal Hotel Bombing
In the summer of 2003, the U.S. military focused on hunting down the remaining leaders of the former regime, culminating in the killing of Saddam's sons Uday Hussein and Qusay Hussein on 22 July. In all, over 200 top leaders of the former regime were killed or captured, as well as numerous lesser functionaries and military personnel.

However, even as the Ba'ath party organization disintegrated, elements of the secret police and army began forming guerilla units, since in many cases they had simply gone home rather than openly fight the invading forces. These began to focus their attacks around Mosul, Tikrit and Fallujah. In the fall, these units and other elements who called themselves Jihadists began using ambush tactics, suicide bombings, and improvised explosive devices, targeting coalition forces and checkpoints.

They favored attacking the unarmored Humvee vehicles, and in November they successfully attacked U.S. rotary aircraft with SA-7 missiles bought on the global black market. On 19 August, the UN Headquarters in Baghdad was destroyed in the Canal Hotel Bombing, killing at least 22 people, among them Sérgio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General.

Saddam captured and elections urged

Saddam Hussein shortly after capture by American forces, and after being shaved to confirm his identity
In December 2003, Saddam himself was captured. The provisional government began training a security force intended to defend critical infrastructure, and the U.S. promised over $20 billion in reconstruction aid in the form of credits against Iraq's future oil revenues. At the same time, elements left out of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance (IPA) began to agitate for elections. Most prominent among these was Ali al-Sistani, Grand Ayatollah in the Shia sect of Islam.

The United States and the Coalition Provisional Authority, run by Jay Garner and three deputies, including Tim Cross, opposed allowing democratic elections at this time, preferring instead to eventually hand over power to an unelected group of Iraqis. More insurgents stepped up their activities. The two most turbulent centers were the area around Fallujah and the poor Shia sections of cities from Baghdad to Basra in the south.


Spring uprisings
In the spring, the United States and the Coalition Provisional Authority decided to confront the rebels with a pair of assaults: one on Fallujah, the center of the "Mohammed's Army of Al-Ansar", and another on Najaf, home of an important mosque, which had become the focal point for the Mahdi Army and its activities. In Fallujah four private security contractors, working for Blackwater USA, were ambushed and killed, and their corpses desecrated. In retaliation a U.S. offensive was begun, but it was soon halted because of the protests by the Iraqi Governing Council and negative media coverage.

A truce was negotiated that put a former Ba'athist general in complete charge of the town. The 1st Armored Division along with the 2nd ACR were then shifted south, because Spanish, Salvadoran, Ukrainian, and Polish forces were having increasing difficulties retaining control over Al Kut, and Najaf. The 1st Armored Division and 2nd ACR relieved the Spaniards, Salvadoran, Poles, and put down the overt rebellion.

At the same time, British forces in Basra were faced with increasing restiveness, and became more selective in the areas they patrolled. In all, April, May and early June represented the bloodiest months of fighting since the end of hostilities. The Iraqi troops who were left in charge of Fallujah after the truce began to disperse and the city fell back under insurgent control.

In the April battle for Fallujah, U.S. troops killed about 200 resistance fighters, while 40 Americans died and hundreds were wounded in a fierce battle. U.S. forces then turned their attention to the al Mahdi Army in Najaf. A large convoy of US Army supply trucks manned by civilian contractors was ambushed and suffered significant damage and casualties.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
May / 2003
To Month/Year
June / 2004
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories

People You Remember
"I was assigned to CSSB-1 at Camp Fallujah from March to September of 2004. During my turnover with the incoming Marines that were to assume duties that we had been assigned over the previous months, I was chosen along with the Marines of 1st Plt, B Co, 2d MPBN, 2dFSSG, to do a two week training in various areas to the new arrivals. One afternoon as I was finishing my work day, I stepped out to the smoke pit and jaw jacked with a bunch of Marines that I had been with along with some of the new kids that just arrived. Had I put two and two together while I was standing there, I would have given this young Marine standing in front of me a big hug. You see, it wasn't until I arrived back stateside that I learned that LCpl Justin Ellsworth was the son of a classmate from High School, was the Marine that stood before me that day. John, Justin's father, reconnected soon after I returned home and continued to talk. I sent an email to a friend of mine that remained in Iraq with CSSB-1 to keep an eye on Justin for me as a special favor. Little did I know that my email arrived a day after Justin had been killed in action. I sat at home only days later when I received a call from another classmate of ours who bore me the news of Justin's death. I sat down hard on the floor crying at the loss of someone so young and someone whose family I had recently reconnected with. I will always remember the day when I had the honor and privilege of standing in that smoke pit at Camp Fallujah with a true Hero and an eternal Marine. Semper Fidelis Justin. Guard those streets well in heaven until I come there to relieve you. You are in my heart and will never be forgotten."
SSgt Tony Lamson, USMC of Camp Lejeune, NC

Words on Justin's Bronze Star Citation with V device

Lance Corporal Ellsworth's selfless dedication and personal bravery in the face of grave danger were heroic. His sacrifice prevented the serious injury or loss of further life among his fellow Marines. Lance Corporal Ellsworth actions and service are deserving of recognition consistent with that of the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device. His courageous actions and exceptional dedication reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and United States Naval Service.

For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as Combat Engineer, 2d Platoon, Company A, 2d Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II on 13 November 2004. While conducting a dismounted combat patrol, Lance Corporal Ellsworth, received an initial reading on his metal detector indicating the potential for a possible improvised explosive device. He realized that the potential explosive device was only 50 meters away from the patrol base and numerous Marines were in the near proximity, he immediately focused his efforts to identify and neutralize the threat to his unit. Demonstrating a complete disregard for his own personal welfare, he selflessly moved forward exposing himself to the potentially lethal effects of the explosive. Once Lance Corporal Ellsworth positively identified the location of the improvised explosive device, determined that it was not wired and it that it was in all probability a remote controlled device, he immediately sounded the warning for his fellow Marines to clear the area.

Only seconds later, the improvised explosive device was detonated by the enemy mortally wounding Lance Corporal Ellsworth. There were a total of 11 Marines within 30 meters of the detonation, and another four Marines within 30 meters. Lance Corporal Ellsworth courage and decisive actions placed him in a position in which he absorbed the majority of the blast and prevented further loss of life or injury to the members of his team and platoon. By his zealous initiative, courageous actions and exceptional dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Ellsworth reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Units Participated in Operation

7th Marines

1st Marines

2nd Bn, 1st Marines (2/1)


2nd Bn, 4th Marines (2/4)


1st Combat Engineer Bn (CEB)

3rd Bn, 7th Marines (3/7)


Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron - 2 (VMAQ-2)

HMH-466 (Wolf Pack)


USS Boxer (LHD-4)


1st Bn, 4th Marines (1/4)

8th Comm Bn

8th Engineer Support Bn (ESB)

4th LAAM Bn

H&S Bn, 1st Marine Logistics Group (1st MLG)

2nd Supply Bn


My Photos From This Battle or Operation
Brick 2

  4266 Also There at This Battle:
  • [Name Withheld], (2002-2010)
  • Abalama, Lani, Sgt, (1999-2005)
  • Abdool, Nicholas, Cpl, (2003-2007)
  • Abernathy, Jason, Sgt, (1995-2007)
  • Abramov, Vladimir, Cpl, (2003-2011)
  • Acevedo, Gerardo, MSgt, (1991-2007)
  • Ackerman, Michael, GySgt, (1983-2006)
  • Ackerman, Ryan, Cpl, (2001-2005)
  • Acosta, Jose, SgtMaj, (1979-2008)
  • Acosta, Richard, LCpl, (2000-2004)
  • Acosta-Abreu, Chuck, SSgt, (2001-Present)
  • Acri, Micheal, Cpl, (2001-2005)
  • Adam, John, SSgt, (1977-2007)
  • Adams, Bobby, SSgt, (1996-2008)
  • Adams, Brandon, Sgt, (2001-2005)
  • Adams, Chris, Cpl, (1999-2003)
  • Adams, Christopher, Sgt, (1995-2005)
  • Adams, Joshua, Sgt, (2002-2008)
  • Adams, Robert, Sgt, (1972-1976)
  • Adamson, Jeffrey, Sgt, (2000-2007)
  • Adeyeye, Temmy, LCpl, (2002-2006)
  • Adkins, Brent, HM2, (2000-2007)
  • Adkins, Cory, Sgt, (2002-2007)
  • Adkins, Sean, GySgt, (1990-Present)
  • Adle, Jeb, GySgt
  • Adrian, Joshua, Sgt, (2003-2008)
  • Adwell, Bob, MGySgt, (1975-Present)
  • Afflerbach, Jeff, Cpl, (2001-2006)
  • Agee, Joseph, Sgt, (2002-2010)
  • Aguayo, John, MSgt, (2001-Present)
  • Aguilar, Adrian, SSgt, (2000-2010)
  • Aguilera, Carlos, Sgt, (2003-2007)
  • Aguirre, Jessica, Sgt, (2003-2008)
  • Ahlin, Evan, Sgt, (2002-2008)
  • Aiello, Keith, Cpl, (1989-1997)
  • Aiu, Lucas, Sgt, (2001-2005)
  • Ajeroh, Eboh, Capt, (1994-2014)
  • Akeley, David, GySgt, (1986-2007)
  • Akerelrea, Sean, Sgt, (2001-2005)
  • Akins, Benjamin, GySgt, (1991-2008)
  • Akins, Tom, GySgt, (1986-2008)
  • Akrish, Eric, HM3, (2001-Present)
  • Akrish, Eric, PO3, (2001-2007)
  • Alao, Asher, HM2, (2000-2012)
  • Aldean, Jacob, 1stLt, (1994-2008)
  • Aldridge, Steve, Capt, (1979-2006)
  • Alejandre, Angel, SSgt, (1998-2014)
  • Alexander, Joshua, Cpl, (2003-2007)
  • Alexander, Kenya, LCpl, (2001-2006)
  • Alexander, Lee, SSgt, (1981-1993)
  • Alexander, Vincent, MSgt, (1981-2007)
  • Alexanian, Phil, HM2, (1996-2006)
  • Alfaro, Ramon, HM3, (2002-2007)
  • Alferez, Jose, Sgt, (2003-Present)
  • Ali, Oscar, Cpl, (2000-2004)
  • Allen, Brandon, LCpl, (2002-2006)
  • Allen, James, GySgt, (1990-2004)
  • Allen, James, GySgt, (1995-2008)
  • Allen, Kevin, SSgt, (2001-2008)
  • Allen, Tony, SSgt, (1999-Present)
  • ALLISON, KEVIN, Sgt, (1998-2005)
  • Allison, Michael, Sgt, (1982-1991)
  • Allred II, Carl, GySgt, (1995-Present)
  • Allridge, Craig, MSgt, (1990-2010)
  • Allwerdt, Karl, MGySgt, (1990-2011)
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  • Alvarado, Michael, PO3, (1999-2004)
  • Alvarez, Angel, GySgt, (1993-Present)
  • Alvarez, Christopher, GySgt, (1993-2013)
  • Alvarez, Johnny, Pvt
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