For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as a machine gunner with the Second Platoon, Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines in Vietnam on 13 May 1967. Corporal Ortiz was engaged as a member of a force assigned to cover the evacuation of dead and wounded from a landing zone under heavy fire from a large enemy force. His position was on the edge of the zone where intense enemy fire had been building steadily for an hour. Only a thin tree line stood between the company and two North Vietnamese Army Battalions firmly entrenched 1500 to 2000 meters away with interlocking grazing fields of fire. As the helicopter landed and his fellow Marines started to load the dead and wounded Corporal Ortiz saw the bar bank, 250 meters away, erupt in a hail of fire as the enemy attempted to halt the
evacuation. With complete disregard for his own safety, he rose from his protected position, and firing his machine gun from a standing position, silhouetted against the background of the helicopter, delivered a steady stream of accurate, withering suppressive fire into the enemy. While fearlessly exposing himself to enemy fire in defense of his comrades, he was mortally wounded as the helicopter took off. His heroic action and initiative in defense of his fellow Marines undoubtedly resulted in saving the helicopter, the wounded aboard, and prevented further casualties. By his daring actions and selfless devotion to duty Corporal Ortiz was an inspiration to all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country. For the President, Paul R. Ignatius, Secretary of the Navy.