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U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kayden Cardona, aircraft maintenance support equipment electrician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 24, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) receives an award from Col. William Heiken, commanding officer of MAG-24, 1st MAW at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, March 1, 2024. Cardona was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for lifesaving actions. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Logan Beeney)

Kailua, Hawaii. (March 18, 2024): A victim of a motorcycle crash is alive today thanks to the quick response and cool nerves of a U.S. Marine. In this photo by Lance Corporal Logan Beeney, Lance Corporal Kayden Cardona, an aircraft maintenance support equipment electrician, is awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal by his commanding officer Colonel William Heiken. Cardona is assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing based at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay. An Arlington, Texas native, Cardona came upon a terrifying motorcycle accident on January 26, 2024, and his decisive efforts are credited with saving the victim’s life. Hailed as a hero by local authorities, Cardona humbly attributed his response to being in the right place at the right time.

He was commended for his remarkable courage in providing vital emergency medical care to the injured rider who was struck by a car travelling in the opposite direction. The rider was ejected from his bike and suffered significant trauma to his head and left leg. According to his citation, Cardona “without hesitation sprang into action to provide aid by using his belt to fashion a tourniquet to stop the bleeding from the rider’s injured leg.” Drawing upon his training in Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), Cardona enlisted the assistance of a nearby Marine to monitor the rider’s breathing while he continued to assess the victim for additional injuries.

TCCC is a program developed by the Defense Health Agency’s Joint Trauma System to teach life-saving techniques and strategies to provide initial trauma care on the battlefield. This seven-hour course is required for all servicemembers regardless of their occupations and is designed to ensure all servicemembers can provide immediate lifesaving care until medical professionals arrive. Thanks to TCCC, the U.S. military now has the best casualty survival rate in its history and TCCC is now the accepted pre-hospital care across the Department of Defense.