Patterico's Pontifications


Staff Sergeant Joshua J. Cullins, RIP

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 11:05 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Joshua Cullins, an LAPD officer assigned to Central Division, was killed last week in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, where he was serving as a staff sergeant in the Marine reserves. As an active-duty Marine, Cullins had served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, then became a bomb technician after joining a reserve unit. Only last July he was wounded by a roadside bomb, sustaining a concussion that might have been his ticket home had he so chosen.

He was not that kind of man. Few outside the military will comprehend it, but Cullins chose to shrug off the injury and stay with his unit, the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, for the duration of their tour. He was due to rotate out of the field two days after he was killed and would have been home by Christmas.

Mike Hillmann, a retired LAPD deputy chief, passed along these words of tribute for Cullins:

Every American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine serving in Afghanistan faces a daily question most of us can scarcely fathom: Will today be my day? And yet somehow they persevere.

Marine Staff Sergeant Joshua J. Cullins was a member of our LAPD family who personified that perseverance. His commitment and dedication to his fellow Marines were unwavering, as exemplified by his decision to remain in theater and complete his tour with his comrades even after sustaining a serious injury.

It is that uncommon commitment that made Joshua Cullins an example of what is best in both the United States Marine Corps and the Los Angeles Police Department. Indeed, Joshua was a shining example of the mottos of both of these proud organizations. The Marines’ motto is “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful), and the LAPD’s is “To protect and to serve.” In his roles as a police officer and a Marine, Joshua protected and served his fellow Americans, ever faithfully, to his last breath.

May he rest in peace.

Michael R. Hillmann
Deputy Chief, LAPD (retired)

9 Responses to “Staff Sergeant Joshua J. Cullins, RIP”

  1. What an amazing person to show that kind of devotion after a head injury. He helped keep America safe. Everything we have and enjoy, especially the important things, some version of the Taliban, in its million incarnations, would have taken away from us, but for this kind of devotion.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  2. Thanks, Jack, for posting that.

    I appreciate it.

    elderly fat bastard (4fbede)

  3. Joshua Collins is doubly honorable. He risked his life as a police officer, and then as a soldier.

    Sometimes, when faced with petty adversity in my personal life, it occurs to me that there are much bigger problems in the world. This serves as a sober reminder.

    Thanks, Jack. By the way, your articles at National Review Online are some of my favorite reads.

    norcal (3d7d81)

  4. My condolences, for whatever they may be worth,
    for the family, and my thanks to him for his service,
    and that of many others like him, both as unfortunate
    as he was and those far more fortunate, for their actions.

    IgotBupkis (9eeb86)

  5. Jack Dunphy:

    Few outside the military will comprehend it, but Cullins chose to shrug off the injury and stay with his unit, the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, for the duration of their tour.

    I strongly dispute that statement: I believe the great majority of Americans would easily comprehend why a dedicated Marine, or member of any other service, would prefer to stay on his tour even after being wounded.

    For that matter, I believe the same supermajority of Americans would just as easily understand why a dedicated cop or firefighter would also stay in the department, even after being wounded by a criminal or a conflagration… and would understand why a lifeguard would return to the job after almost drowning while rescuing a swimmer.

    This is the United States, not Europe. Real Americans (which is all of us save maybe 6%-7% of the most radical) instinctively understand dedication, loyalty, patriotism, and the willingness to “stand between their loved home and the war’s desolation.”

    Don’t you agree?


    Dafydd, Speaker for Real America (632d00)

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Sincerest condolences for a brave hero.

    JEA (90eb9c)

  7. Semper Fi, Staff Sergeant, from a Marine Corp Dad.

    I know when my son was in Afghanistan, I worried every day about his safety.

    He made it home safely.


    Lazarus Long (5720c3)

  8. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family. Thank you Joshua, for your bravery and commitment to our country. But most of all thank you for being a loyal friend and comrade to my son who is still serving in Afghanistan. I know that he will miss you and will never forget you! “Semper Fidelis”

    Proud Marine Mom

    Celestina Quebec (0be72a)

  9. USMC Staff Sgt JOSHUA J. CULLINS, KIA, Arrives Home!

    USMC Staff Sgt. & LAPD Officer JOSHUA J. CULLINS arrives at Los Angeles International Airport. The Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band, Marine Corps, LAPD representatives and numerous law enforcement agency bomb squad members joined the family plane side.

    George CARROLL (ec327c)

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