Mountain in John Muir Wilderness named after fallen Marine

Marine Staff Sgt. Sky Mote, seen here, was one of two Marines posthumously awarded the Navy Cross after confronting a rogue Afghan uniformed policeman who started shooting unsuspecting Marines inside the wire in Helmand province on Aug. 10, 2012. He and Capt. Matthew Manoukian were credited with giving other Marines time to flee and forcing the enemy to withdraw.


By STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS Published: January 25, 2018

Sky Point is the new name of a California mountain.

Republican Rep. Tom McClintock recently announced that legislation to rename the mountain after slain Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Sky Mote has been signed by President Donald Trump.

H.R. 381, which was re-introduced and passed last year, was originally approved by House officials in 2015, but never made its way to the Senate, according to a report by McClatchy's D.C. Bureau.

"It's a small token of the gratitude of our nation," McClintock said last year, adding the renaming serviced an "irredeemable debt to an eternally grieving family."

Mote, a native of El Dorado, was 27 when he was killed Aug. 10, 2012, while serving in Afghanistan. He graduated from Union Mine High School in 2003 and enlisted in the Marine Corps shortly after.

"We will not allow the young men from our region who perished in service to our country to be forgotten," McClintock said in a statement last week. "Nor will we ever forget the daily anguish of the Gold Star families they leave behind. This bill is a small token of the commitment of our country and our community to remember the fallen and to grieve with their families."

Sky Point, a roughly 11,240-foot Sierra Nevada peak in the John Muir Wilderness, honors Mote, who died while serving as an explosive ordinance disposal technician with the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion. McClintock's release says the Mote family often camped and hiked in the region where the peak is located.

Mote has also posthumously received the Navy Cross, the Marines' second-highest honor for bravery in combat. Mote was killed in a 2012 attack in Helmand province, Afghanistan, and he was one of two Marine Corps special operators who were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for their actions during the attack.

Capt. Matthew Manoukian and Mote were assigned to the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion in support of Operating Enduring Freedom when they came under hostile fire from an Afghan police officer inside a tactical operations center, according to a Marine Corps press release.

Mote stepped forward and attracted the shooter’s attention, which halted the enemy’s pursuit of other Marines. He remained exposed and engaged the shooter who was only five yards away. Mote kept up the attack, despite having been shot, until he was killed, according to a Marine Corps description of Mote’s actions.

People who served with Mote later told his parents about his actions on the battlefield, according to a Los Angeles Times story from 2013. A captain said that when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, Mote applied tourniquets and prevented him from bleeding to death.

"He was just a humble person doing his job, and his job was to protect his team," Mote's father, Russell Mote told the Times.

This report includes information from Stars and Stripes, The Sacramento Bee and The Los Angeles Times.

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