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U.S. Army
Awards of the Silver Star

for 
Conspicuous Gallantry
in Action in the
Global War on Terrorism
(2001 - Present)

Links to Army GWOT Silver Star Citations

A-C  D-F  G-I   J-L  M-Q  R-S  T-Z

.

 To All Who Shall See These Presents Greeting:
This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918
Has Awarded


THE SILVER STAR
TO

 

ADAMEC, JEFFREY
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jeffrey Adamec, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company C, 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 6 April 2003, at Debecka Pass, Iraq. Staff Sergeant Adamec destroyed four Iraqi armored personnel carriers and one enemy position with Javelin anti-tank missiles while under fire when his team attacked a fortified ridgeline in northern Iraq. Those actions helped secure an intersection linking Mosul and Kirkuk, Iraq. Staff Sergeant Adamec's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Howell Township, New Jersey
If you can help us locate S/Sgt Adamec's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


ALICEA, BENNY
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Benny Alicea, Sergeant [then Specialist], U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company A, 2d Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 4 November 2004, in Iraq. Sergeant Alicea, then a Specialist serving as a rifleman and grenadier in Company A, was part of a door-to-door sweep to round up terrorist suspects when his squad was ambushed at a two-story house along the primary north-south road in Fallujah. Dropping back into the courtyard, with gunfire spraying out of the house and from across the street, Sergeant Alicea was struck in the hip and buttocks by shrapnel from two grenades that had been rolled through the front door. Moving away from the courtyard, the squad headed for the street. After continuing to fire on the house, Sergeant Alicea was the last to emerge. When his wounded leg gave out, he huddled into a position alongside three wounded comrades in the middle of the road as multiple rounds flew all around them. He continued firing his weapon at the insurgent forces until his own ammunition was exhausted. He then grabbed magazines from the wounded and managed to protect the position until another Bradley fighting vehicle arrived on the scene. He helped load the most seriously injured soldiers before finally being taken away himself. By his heroic actions he Sergeant Alicia saved the lives of three of his comrades.
Home Town: Attleboro, Massachusetts
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
If you can help us locate Sgt Alicea's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


ALLEN, FREDERICK
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Frederick Allen, Sergeant First Class [then Staff Sergeant], U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Operational Detachment Alpha 512 (ODA-512), 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, at An Najaf, Iraq, on 12 August 2004. Sergeant First Class Allen, the other members of Operational Detachment - Alpha 512, along with 51 Iraqi National Guardsmen, engaged approximately 15 - 20 Mahdi Militiamen embedded inside a school. The detachment, with the Iraqi National Guard in the lead, advanced toward their objective and came under immediate and intense enemy fire from inside the school. Sergeant First Class Allen, the gunner in the detachment's 2d vehicle, ordered his GMV forward, placing himself in the direct line of fire to allow the Iraqi National Guard elements to re-group and reorganize after sustaining several casualties. Multiple times in the fight, Sergeant First Class Allen selflessly stayed in the line of fire battling the enemy, so that others could make it back to cover. Sergeant First Class Allen's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
Born: at Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home Town: Ann Arbor, Michigan
If you can help us locate SFC Allen's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


ALVAREZ, JOSE
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jose Alvarez, Specialist, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On 13 March 2006, Specialist Alvarez distinguished himself at Ramadi, Iraq, as a member of Task Force CURRAHEE, risking his own life numerous times to come to the aid of his comrades. When a barrage of small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades wounded one of his comrades, leaving him incapacitated in the middle of the street, Specialist Alvarez left cover and ran into the kill zone. He covered his comrade's body with his own and returned fire on the enemy, before dragging the wounded man to safety. Specialist Alvarez' actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
Home Town: West Orange, New Jersey
If you can help us locate Spc Alvarez's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


ANDERSON, DAVID S.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to David S. Anderson, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Section Leader with 1st Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, at Ramadi, Iraq, on 24 September 2006. When a dismounted team was attacked during an operation and several men were wounded, Staff Sergeant Anderson's section leader, Staff Sergeant Jason P. Trumpower led his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in an attempt to evacuate the Soldiers after a tank accompanying him had trouble negotiating the narrow streets. The vehicle was hit by an IED, disabling it and critically wounding the driver and pinning Staff Sergeant Trumpower in the vehicle, whereupon he maintained security and notified higher headquarters of the situation. Staff Sergeant Anderson, who was also responding to the call for aid in his Bradley Fighting Vehicle, linked up with Staff Sergeant Trumpower and began evacuating the crew as another vehicle dealt with the dismounted casualties. He was directing his vehicle back to Camp Ramadi when it, too, was disabled by an IED, wounding five inside. The explosion knocked out communications and caused a fire in the rear compartment. Staff Sergeant Anderson, who had been outside checking his gunner and driver, attempted to let down the rear ramp and the troop door, but both were jammed. Staff Sergeant Trumpower, with severe wounds to his hands and face, tried to get the cargo hatch open. With Staff Sergeant Anderson's help, the two men were able to open it wide enough to evacuate the vehicle. Another soldier, although also wounded and disoriented by the flames, found the fire-suppression handle and doused the blaze long enough for everyone to escape. Once everyone was out, Staff Sergeant Anderson took a rifle from the vehicle and single- handedly made sure there were no insurgents within a nearby building, while Staff Sergeant Trumpower guarded the wounded and a medic evaluated and stabilized them. After they moved the wounded into the building, Staff Sergeant Anderson attempted to retrieve a radio and smoke grenade to signal their location, only to find both destroyed in the vehicle. Knowing the wounded driver was going into shock and could bleed to death without immediate evacuation, he ran about 400 meters to try and get the attention of a nearby tank crew. Unable to get the attention of the tank, he ran farther down the road to wave down a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, then led it back to the wounded Soldiers, and subsequently supervised the loading of his men.
Home Town: Batesville, Mississippi
If you can help us locate S/Sgt Anderson's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


ANDERSON, RODERICK C.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Roderick C. Anderson, Sergeant Major, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Operational Detachment Alpha 365 (ODA-365), 2d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 3 July 2004, in Afghanistan. On that date, Sergeant Major Anderson was leading a task force of Special Forces soldiers, Marines and Afghan soldiers out of the Korangal Valley in the Konar province of Afghanistan, when his convoy of 15 vehicles was ambushed while heading out of the valley after capturing nine suspected insurgent leaders. Guerrillas were dug in behind a stone wall and peppered the convoy from three sides with rocket-propelled grenades and machine-gun fire. Afghan security forces with the Special Forces team were in the lead vehicle and stopped to find cover, trapping the rest of the convoy in the kill zone. Sergeant Major Anderson jumped out of his truck and fired back with a machine gun. Caught in a crossfire, he continued to fire without losing command of the more than 80 soldiers under his command. He also directed strafing runs by A-10 attack fighter jets, the award citation said. After firing the anti-tank weapon at the guerrillas, Sergeant Major Anderson again exposed himself to machine-gun fire when he placed a wounded soldier in his seat as the convoy escaped the valley. He ran along with the truck for more than 300 meters, carrying a machine gun and ammunition. Before the soldiers could escape, enemy fighters disabled a truck containing sensitive communications equipment. Anderson covered a four-man team as it destroyed the truck so the equipment would not fall into enemy hands.
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Soldiers Medal
If you can help us locate Sgt Maj Anderson's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


ASHBY, RANDALL LEE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Randall Lee Ashby, First Lieutenant (Corps of Engineers), U.S. Army, for gallantry while serving as the Platoon Leader of Second Platoon, Company B, 317th Engineer Battalion, 2d Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized). First Lieutenant Ashby consistently demonstrated valor in executing his engineer missions as the lead sapper platoon leader for Task Force 2-69 Armor. Serving with Team ASSASSIN, he voluntarily executed dangerous missions in order to contribute to the engineer's success. First Lieutenant Ashby's personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Third Infantry Division "Rock of the Marne," and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
For gallantry in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the country of Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. First Lieutenant Ashby distinguished himself while serving as Platoon Leader with Second Platoon, Company B, 317th Engineer Battalion, and attached to 2d Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized). First Lieutenant Ashby exhibited extreme gallantry on multiple occasions in over 25 days of continuous combat operations. He spearheaded engineer movement for the Division for roughly 200 kilometers to OBJ CLAY, the Highway 1 Bridge across the Euphrates located to the west of An Nasiriyah. On the night of 21 March 2003, First Lieutenant Ashby led the engineer effort at OBJ CLAY under Team Assassin by providing the first reconnaissance of this key bridge as elements of the Iraqi 11th Infantry Division defended the area. First Lieutenant Ashby, while under fire, conducted a difficult classification mission and ensured the safe passage of an armored company onto OBJ CLAY NORTH. Moreover, after the Task Force had established a tactical assembly area to the west, First Lieutenant Ashby returned to OBJ CLAY to reconnoiter a construction bridge adjacent to the Highway 1 Bridge amid enemy artillery fire from the northern shore. Later, as Team Assassin conducted a dangerous linkup with elements of 3-7 Cavalry south of the city of Al Kifl, First Lieutenant Ashby directed his platoon's emplacement of vital blocking obstacles to prevent enemy penetration of the company's sector for more than seventy hours of continuous enemy contact. In addition, under his leadership 2nd Platoon destroyed 300 pounds of TNT intended by the enemy for use on the Al Kifl Bridge. In southern Al Kifl, his platoon gained entry using demolitions to a water-bottling factory with a water supply greatly needed by both the Task Force and the local populous. First Lieutenant Ashby again distinguished himself on 1 April 2003 by emplacing explosive obstacles along RTE VENEZUELA to the east of the key city of Karbala at OBJ LEE. He led the emplacement with Team Assassin under fire from Saddam Fedayeen RPG ambushes and T-62 tanks. On 6 April 2003 again with Team Assassin as the lead element of the Task Force's attack into the Taji region north of Baghdad against Republican Guard and Saddam Fedayeen units, First Lieutenant Ashby personally destroyed with, MK-19 fire, eight enemy RPG teams and dismounted enemy soldiers over a 55 kilometer attack to OBJ MONTY. He displayed calm leadership following a fatal enemy RPG strike on one of his M113 armored personnel carriers, providing stability for his men as they treated two other soldiers wounded in action. While escorting a D9 Dozer, a Division high value asset, to OBJ MONTY, First Lieutenant Ashby protected the dozer from an enemy vehicle intent on ramming them. First Lieutenant Ashby's personal bravery as the lead sapper platoon leader for Task Force 2-69 Armor are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Third Infantry Division "Rock of the Marne," and the United States Army.
Born: January 1, 1977 at Arlington Heights, Illinois
Home Town: Spartanburg, South Carolina

 

BALDWIN, BRENT R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Brent R. Baldwin, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces while serving as the Detachment Weapons Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 062 (ODA-062), Company C, 2d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), under Advanced Operational Base 060, in action at Baqubah, Iraq, on 9 April 2004, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Staff Sergeant Baldwin's outstanding leadership, personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Staff Sergeant Brent R. Baldwin distinguished himself through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces, in Baqubah, Iraq, on 9 April 2004, while serving as the Detachment Weapons Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 062 (ODA-062), Company C, 2d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), under Advanced Operational Base 060. Staff Sergeant Baldwin's heroism and bravery under intense enemy fire and in total disregard for personal safety, saved the life of a wounded American Soldier and led to the overwhelming success and survival of Operational Detachment Alpha 062 (ODA-062) in an engagement with Anti Iraqi Forces (AIF). While Staff Sergeant Baldwin and his detachment were patrolling to downtown Baqubah after receiving multiple reports that 500 AIF were staged to conduct attacks on Coalition and Iraqi government entities and structures, Staff Sergeant Baldwin and two other detachment members moved to the rooftop of the Diyala Police Station and emplaced hasty defensive fighting positions. As the attack began his hasty defensive position was destroyed by three direct hits from a volley of approximately a dozen rocket propelled grenades (RPG), fired from four separate positions. During the initial phases of the attack, Staff Sergeant Baldwin dug a trapped and wounded Soldier out of the rubble and revived him under intense hostile fire and continuous barrages of RPGs. Realizing that the massing of fires was the prelude to an all-out assault, Staff Sergeant Baldwin emerged from the destroyed fighting position firing his M-249 machine gun at the AIF attackers. The AIF continued to systematically target his rooftop position with a sustained attack of at least 25 RPGs supported by medium machine gun and various small arms fire. Without regard for his own personal safety, Staff Sergeant Baldwin engaged and killed several AIF attempting to breach the building's defensive perimeter by moving to multiple positions and engaging the enemy with withering fire in a close-pitched battle. Staff Sergeant Baldwin then repositioned himself to his initial exposed defensive position to counter another enemy flanking maneuver killing several more attackers at close range and destroying an enemy machine gun position with an AT-4. As the battle continued, Staff Sergeant Baldwin further exposed himself to enemy fire as he systematically moved around the rooftop perimeter coordinating and directing friendly fires in order to gain fire superiority over the enemy. Having repelled the enemy assault, Staff Sergeant Baldwin then moved from the rooftop to the first floor of the jail compound of the Diyala Police Station. He then organized U.S. Forces to retake the detention facility from approximately 350 inmates who were rioting and attempting to escape. The inmates had broken out of their cells to get away from a very large fire in the jail portion of the police station caused by the intense RPG fire. While leading the U.S. Forces to retake the detention facility, Staff Sergeant Baldwin was forced to engage a very large inmate, whose ultimate plan was to pull Staff Sergeant Baldwin into a sea of rioting prisoners, in hand-to-hand combat. While engaged with the inmate in unarmed combat, and risking his own safety, he instructed U.S. Forces to fire non-lethal ammunition at the prisoner. The inmate was shot three times with non-lethal rounds and continued to fight Staff Sergeant Baldwin with intense vigor until Staff Sergeant Baldwin subdued him using hand-to-hand techniques, quelling the riotous intentions of the rest of the prisoners. Staff Sergeant Baldwin demonstrated an extraordinary degree of heroism under fire, by rallying his Special Forces detachment in the successful repelling of an over-whelming superior battalion-sized enemy force, which maintained the integrity and authority of the Diyala Police Station and the Iraqi Interim Government Counsel. His heroic actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of gallantry and intrepidity, which reflect great credit upon himself, the Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.
Born: at Monroe, Michigan
Home Town: Jonesville, Michigan


BALLARD, THOMAS
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Thomas Ballard, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Military Transition Team 0810, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 28 and 29 January 2007. On that date, Iraqi soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, were killed in action against enemy insurgents and their brigade commander reported that he was taking fire and needed help. Believing that the enemy force was no larger than 15 or 20 militants, 12 paratroops of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) went to their aid. As the reinforcements reached the site of the ongoing battle, they witnessed an AH-64 Apache helicopter fall from the sky. Immediately their mission changed and they moved to the downed chopper to protect the wreckage and look for the pilots. As the paratroopers reached the crash site they drove on a road parallel to the downed helicopter with Maser Sergeant Ballard's vehicle in the lead. Master Sergeant Ballard was ordered to pull onto the far side while the rest of the convoy remained on the side opposite him. As the team commanders vehicle pulled into an open area, it began receiving heavy machine gun fire and an RPG was launched against it. It quickly became obvious that the enemy force was much larger than originally estimated, and a heavy fire fight ensued. After a three- hour battle more than 265 enemy bodies were found and more than 400 militants surrendered. Master Sergeant Ballard's actions on the day of the fight and the following day were phenomenal. His dedication to the mission, his disregard for the enemy threat, and his lead from the front attitude was an inspiration to all of his men.
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*BARBIERI, THOMAS JOSEPH, II (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Thomas Joseph Barbieri, II, Specialist, U.S. Army, for gallantry in action during combat operations against an armed enemy, while serving as a Gunner with the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division, as part of the Joint Task Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 23 August 2006. Specialist Barbieri assaulted heavily armed enemy combatants who were occupying a strong ambush position with dominating fields of fire. Utilizing his squad automatic weapon, he conducted a daring assault on the flank of the enemy force, exposing himself in full view of the enemy in order to bring his weapon to bear and prevent enemy fire on his Platoon Sergeant and the rest of his platoon located in the ambush kill zone. He killed one enemy combatant and made possible the destruction of the second, but only at the cost of his own life. Specialist Barbieri's distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Gaithersburg, Maryland
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Bronze Star, Purple Heart


BARRERA, MICHAEL L., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Michael L. Barrera, Jr., Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172d Stryker Brigade Combat team, at Mosul, Iraq, on 19 November 2005, during military operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM III. Staff Sergeant Barrera's courage and disregard for his own welfare resulted in saving the lives of his fellow comrades who were severely wounded. His bravery is in keeping with the highest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, his unit, the United States Army, and the United States of America.
Home Town: Green River, Wyoming
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


*BECKER, SHANE (KIA)
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Shane Becker, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 3 April 2007, near Baghdad, Iraq.
Born: October 12, 1971 at Denver, Colorado
Home Town: Greeley, Colorado
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
If you can help us locate S/Sgt Becker's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


BELLAVIA, DAVID
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to David Bellavia, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company A, Task Force 2-2, 1st Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM during the battle for Al Fallujah, Iraq, on 10 November 2004. Staff Sergeant Bellavia's personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, 1st Infantry Division and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Staff Sergeant David Bellavia distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company A, Task Force 2-2, 1st Infantry Division, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM during the battle for Al Fallujah, Iraq, on 10 November 2004. On that date Sergeant Bellavia's platoon was ordered to clear a block of 12 buildings from which Jihadists were firing on American forces. The first nine buildings were unoccupied, but were found to be filled with enemy rockets, grenade launchers and other kinds of weapons. When Bellavia and four others entered the tenth building, they came under fire from insurgents in the house. Other soldiers came to reinforce the squad and a fierce battle at close quarters ensued. Many American soldiers were injured from the gunfire and flying debris. At this point, Sergeant Bellavia, armed with a M249 SAW gun, entered the room where the insurgents were located and sprayed the room with gunfire, forcing the Jihadists to take cover and allowing the squad to move out into the street. Jihadists on the roof began firing at the squad, forcing them to take cover in a nearby building. Sergeant Bellavia then went back to the street and called in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle to shell the houses. After this was done, he decided to re-enter the building to determine whether the enemy fighters were still active. Seeing a Jihadist loading an RPG launcher, Sergeant Bellavia gunned him down. A second Jihadist began firing as the soldier ran toward the kitchen and Bellavia fired back, wounding him in the shoulder. A third Jihadist began yelling from the second floor. Sergeant Bellavia then entered the uncleared master bedroom and emptied gunfire into all the corners, at which point the wounded insurgent entered the room, yelling and firing his weapon. Sergeant Bellavia fired back, killing the man. Sergeant Bellavia then came under fire from the insurgent upstairs and the staff sergeant returned the fire, killing the man. At that point, a Jihadist hiding in a wardrobe in a bedroom jumped out, firing wildly around the room and knocking over the wardrobe. As the man leaped over the bed he tripped and Sergeant Bellavia shot him several times, wounding but not killing him. Another insurgent was yelling from upstairs, and the wounded Jihadist escaped the bedroom and ran upstairs. Sergeant Bellavia pursued, but slipped on the blood-soaked stairs. The wounded insurgent fired at him but missed. He followed the bloody tracks up the stairs to a room to the left. Hearing the wounded insurgent inside, he threw a fragmentary grenade into the room, sending the wounded Jihadist onto the roof. The insurgent fired his weapon in all directions until he ran out of ammunition. He then started back into the bedroom, which was rapidly filling with smoke. Hearing two other insurgents screaming from the third story of the building, Sergeant Bellavia put a choke hold on the wounded insurgent to keep him from giving away their position. The wounded Jihadist then bit Sergeant Bellavia on the arm and smacked him in the face with the butt of his AK-47. In the wild scuffle that followed, Sergeant Bellavia took out his knife and slit the Jihadist's throat. Two other insurgents who were trying to come to their comrade's rescue, fired at Bellavia, but he had slipped out of the room, which was now full of smoke and fire. Without warning, another insurgent dropped from the third story to the second-story roof. Sergeant Bellavia fired at him, hitting him in the back and the legs and causing him to fall off the roof, dead. At this point, five members of 3rd Platoon entered the house and took control of the first floor. Before they would finish off the remaining Jihadists, however, they were ordered to move out of the area because close air support had been called in by a nearby unit.
Home Town: Batavia, New York


BENNETT, SEAN
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Sean Bennett, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 2d Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, on 20 January 2007, at Karbala, Iraq. Sergeant First Class Bennett was assigned to a civil affairs group training police and other provincial personnel in the Karbala area and occupied a room that functioned as a communications center and bunkhouse for four or five soldiers when the militants, dressed in American uniforms, burst into the provincial building. The militants arrived in SUVs like the ones used by private military contractors and either bluffed their way past Iraqi-manned checkpoints or had inside help from supposed coalition allies. They attempted to force their way through the door of the communications room, but Sergeant First Class Bennett pressed back. When one of the militants poked the muzzle of an AK-47 assault rifle through the small opening in the door, he grabbed it and attempted to direct its fire away from the other soldiers. A militant tossed a grenade into the room and Private First Class Johnathon Millican, either jumped or fell on the grenade, absorbing the brunt of its force. Sergeant First Class Bennett lost a chunk of his left biceps, either from rifle fire or the grenade, and suffered severe burns from the hot rifle muzzle. Yet he continued to hold back the door until the militants detonated a charge in the hallway as they fled, then he communicated what had happened to his commanders back on base and helped organize the medical evacuation of the wounded.
Home Town: Elgin, Oklahoma
If you can help us locate SFC Bennett's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


*BERNSTEIN, DAVID R. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to David R. Bernstein, First Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army, for exceptionally valorous achievement while serving with Company C, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, attached to the 4th Infantry Division, on 18 October 2003, while on patrol in Qutash, Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. First Lieutenant Bernstein, under extreme enemy fire, risked his life in an effort to rescue one of his soldiers. Although suffering from a mortar wound, First Lieutenant Bernstein extracted the driver to safety, directed the security of his objective, and repulsed the enemy forces before succumbing to his wounds. First Lieutenant Bernstein's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the 4th Infantry Division, Combined Joint Task Force SEVEN, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


BETTEN, JOSHUA D.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Joshua D. Betten, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company A, 3d Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, during Operation Anaconda on 5 March 2003. On that date Sergeant First Class Betten, together with Sergeant First Class Andrew Lewis, departed their fire base on the border of Afghanistan for a planned six-day, two-man sniper/observer mission, intended to provide early warning to their base and to interdict enemy infiltration. The two men prepared a night position about 1,600 meters from the base. Soon they were engaged by a large force of the enemy, moving on their position. Sergeant Lewis fired a claymore mine and set to cover their position, eliminating on attacker and then shot a second one with his pistol. Simultaneously, Sergeant Betten opened fire on other enemy soldiers, killing three of them. The team was quickly under fire from two sides and they were forced to cover each other as one reloaded and the other fired. At one point enemy soldiers were so close that Sergeant Lewis threw three grenades, finally breaking up the direct attack, though they remained under constant fire, while Sergeant Lewis was in constant communication with their base, which advised the two men that it would be 10 minutes before a relief force could arrive. When the two soldiers tried to move to a less exposed position, they came under machine gun fire from two directions. After expending all their rifle ammunition and with only their pistols, the two men slid 500 meters down a canyon cliff where they found cover while waiting for the relief force composed of other Special Forces members and Afghanistan soldiers. Once rescued, their report made it obvious that a large force was massing to attack the base. The quick and determined actions of these two soldiers gave enough advanced warning that the base was spared an attack. Both men defended not only each other, but all of the men in the base by their quick and effective actions by their bravery and quick response in the face of an overwhelming enemy assault. Sergeant First Class Betten's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
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BIEGER, MARK
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Mark Bieger, Major (Infantry), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Operations Officer of the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 29 December, 2004, while Commanding a convoy of six Strykers near Combat Outpost Tampa, in Iraq. Following a massive truck bomb attack that left one American dying and many others wounded, Major Bieger's Stryker was ambushed while racing to reinforce Combat Outpost Tampa when it too was attacked from ambush about a half mile from the Outpost. When several men were wounded, Major Bieger loaded up those who were critical and raced back onto the highway through the patch of still-unstable roadside bombs, traveling unescorted for four miles to a combat support hospital. The prompt and daring actions of Major Bieger saved the lives of two of his soldiers and his actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
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BINNEY, MATTHEW
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Matthew Binney, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as the Medical Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 765 (ODA-765), Company A, 2d Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, at Pashmul, Kandahar, Afghanistan, on 24 June 2006. Sergeant Binney’s heroic actions, despite two serious wounds, defeated a Taliban attack, saved the lives of his comrades, and prevented the destruction of his team. His actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Combined Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD
Staff Sergeant Matthew S. Binney, United States Army, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry in action as the Medical Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 765, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. On 24 June 2006, while conducting a cordon and search mission to capture or kill Taliban leadership in Panjawi District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Sergeant Binney was assigned to lead a support by fire element as part of an effort to seize a compound located on key terrain adjacent to the detachment’s perimeter. His element consisted of one US Army Embedded Tactical Trainer (ETT), an interpreter, and nine Afghan Soldiers. As they moved to a position approximately 75 meters south of the objective, they came under heavy Taliban fire. Sergeant Binney maneuvered his element through enemy fire to his designated position and prepared his weapons to support the assault. The compound was quickly cleared and secured by the assault team. Immediately following the assault, an unexpectedly large Taliban Force counter-attacked with automatic fires. From his support by fire position, Sergeant Binney initiated lethal direct fires on the enemy, who were attempting to close on the target compound. Sergeant Binney’s action blunted the enemy envelopment of the element in the compound. Sergeant Binney’s small group immediately began receiving a heavy volume of accurate machinegun, rocket-propelled grenade, and small arms fires from all directions. Sergeant Binney maneuvered his element to close with and destroy an enemy automatic weapon that was placing effective fire on the beleaguered element within the compound. Continuing to maneuver his element, Sergeant Binney moved through an opening in a low mud wall and unknowingly into the midst of group of Taliban fighters. Sergeant Binney, the ETT, and the interpreter reacted with furious fire in several directions and employed hand grenades at extremely close ranges, killing many of the enemy. Groups of enemy fighters continued to approach to within 15 meters and fire directly into Sergeant Binney’s position while shouting insults and threats at the Afghan National Army Soldiers, indicating their intent to capture the group. As Sergeant Binney exposed himself to employ a grenade at a nearby group of enemy fighters, a bullet struck him in the back of the head, knocking him down, resulting in his temporary loss of vision and hearing. As he groped for his weapon and attempted to regain his bearings, two Afghan Soldiers were forced to withdraw from their support by fire position, leaving Sergeant Binney’s small element further isolated. When Sergeant Binney regained his vision, he returned to cover, refused medical attention, and rejoined the battle. In a valiant attempt to inspire the remaining defenders, he shouted words of encouragement at them and directed their fires against the determined and advancing Taliban. He then led them in an assault upon Taliban fighters who now seemed more determined to capture the isolated element. While attempting to maneuver on the flank of the approaching Taliban fighters, now as close as ten meters, the ETT was seriously injured by a rocket-propelled grenade. Sergeant Binney, ignoring his own bleeding head wound, selflessly risked his own life while immediately moving to retrieve the injured ETT. Caught in the open and completely exposed to enemy fire, he was brought down a second time by a burst of machine gun fire that destroyed his M4 carbine and shattered his left shoulder and upper arm. As he lay wounded, he continued encouraging the members of his element, and directed their fire as they became the target of an even heavier fusillade of machinegun and rocket-propelled grenade fires. Ignoring his wounds, Sergeant Binney maintained his composure, passed his radio to his interpreter, and assisted in directing a relief force to his position. When the relief force arrived to provide assistance, Sergeant Binney, despite both of his serious wounds, again refused medical assistance and resolved to walk out on his own so that all assistance could be afforded the more seriously wounded ETT. Sergeant Binney’s courageous actions and determined spirit not only prevented his small element from being overrun, captured, or destroyed, but decisively engaged and eliminated enemy forces who would have joined the assault on the beleaguered element defending the compound. His gallantry, dedication to duty, and selfless sacrifice exemplified the warrior ethos and directly contributed to the detachment seizing the initiative, denying the enemy the use of key terrain, and forcing the Taliban retreat. The heroic accomplishments of Sergeant Binney reflect great credit upon himself, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.
Born: at Payson, Arizona
Home Town: Payson, Arizona
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart


BITTINGER, RAYMOND
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Raymond Bittinger, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team (Attached to the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery), 1st Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM at Baqubah, Iraq, on 9 April 2004, as his troops approached the small town of Behriz, Iraq. Military intelligence and a recent attack suggested insurgents were planning actions against U.S. forces in the area. Staff Sergeant Bittinger and his team found themselves in what appeared to be a ghost town: not an Iraqi in sight and no security visible. Suddenly, the men spotted movement in the palm groves; insurgents unleashed a torrent of RPG and small-arms fire. During the battle, as enemies directed their fire toward specific targets, Staff Sergeant Bittinger weaved in and out of the line of fire, protecting his comrades by drawing gunfire to his own vehicle. As they fought, Bittinger's gunner took a hit, and fell from his seat. Staff Sergeant Bittinger quickly removed his flak jacket, used it to pressure the wound, and then jumped behind the gun and kept firing. In the heat of battle, Staff Sergeant Bittinger knew that if his men stayed where they were, they'd be sitting ducks for the better-positioned insurgents. He had his driver move their Bradley between the enemy fire and the other soldiers, allowing them to move to a better tactical location. Eventually, Staff Sergeant Bittinger and his men subdued the enemies as they left the area. Later that night, 20 to 30 insurgents attacked Coalition forces in the heart of Baqubah. Staff Sergeant Bittinger rounded up a crew of volunteers and headed out to help. En route, his vehicle took out insurgents who were firing RPGs and using small arms. Before arriving at the scene, his vehicle was hit by an IED, but they continued forward. Before he reached Baqubah, Staff Sergeant Bittinger received orders to instead secure a bridge over the Diyala River. So his team took a turn and headed toward the river. On April 9th Staff Sergeant Bittinger and his soldiers killed at least 10 insurgents and wounded several others at Behriz; on their route to Baqubah, they killed five and wounded an additional four. Staff Sergeant Bittinger's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
Born: at Chicago, Illinois
Home Town: Chicago, Illinois
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BLASKOWSKI, MATT
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Matt Blaskowski, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as 3d Platoon Weapon Squad Leader for Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry, 173d Infantry Brigade, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 3 May 2005, in Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Blaskowski displayed undaunted gallantry and valor without regard for his own safety under heavy enemy machine gun and RPG fire for over four hours while wounded near Bulac Kalay, Afghanistan in the Arghandab Valley. Numerous times, Staff Sergeant Blaskowski placed himself at great risk while engaging the enemy positions and relaying directions to his machine gun crews. Staff Sergeant Blaskowski's unwavering valor and understanding of his mission fixed a determined enemy and prevented them from maneuvering in any direction, thereby allowing 1st Platoon to destroy 17 enemy in the orchard, breaking all resistance in the valley. Staff Sergeant Blaskowski fought with dogged determination even after he was wounded in the leg pulling a wounded solider to safety, maintaining his position for another hour until he was able to help other wounded soldiers to safety. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, CJF 76 and the United States Army.
Home Town: Cheboygan, Michigan
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
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*BORBONUS, JOHN G. (KIA)
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to John G. Borbonus, Private First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 12 April 2007, in Iraq. On that date, an insurgent suicide truck bomber attempted to drive his explosive-laden vehicle into Private First Class Borbonus' control base. There were 20 soldiers within the base and the truck bomb was made with 500 to 600 pounds of homemade explosives. Manning his machine gun and without regard for his own personal safety, Private First Class Borbonus' steady stream of fire diverted the vehicle before it detonated in an explosion that destroyed three buildings and killed him instantly. Although the truck bomb breached the perimeter, Private First Class Borbonus' self-sacrificing actions averted a much large loss of life.
Home Town: Boise, Idaho
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
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BRANDON, JOSHUA
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Joshua Brandon, Captain, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as the Military Transition Team Intelligence Officer for the 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 20 and 21 August 2006, in Adhamiyah, Iraq. On that date, the radio operator received a call from one of the Iraqi army company commanders who said, "I have 15 soldiers on the ground and I need you here or I'm dead." The MiTT team mounted up with 18 U.S. Soldiers and additional Iraqi army troops and moved to the location. When they arrived, the small group of Iraqi army soldiers with armored vehicles, together with a few Iraqi policemen and several uniformed members of Jaish Al-Mahdi, the military wing of Muqtada al-Sadr's militia, were hunkered down on a bridge near the Army canal under intense small-arms and machine-gun fire. With small-arms fire crackling around them and explosions from rocket-propelled grenades at about 100 meters away, Captain Brandon crossed the danger zone twice to rally Iraqi army soldiers who had little ammunition left. The MiTT turned the marchers back to a safer route; Captain Brandon led a flanking maneuver with Major Rick Ullian, 4-320th FAR executive officer, by crossing to suppress the machine-gun fire, while Captain Ben Shaha, commander of the MiTT, led a group who stepped in front of the marchers to shield them on the bridge. The next day, Captain Brandon and the MiTT platoon linked up with Iraqi army forces at Antar Square, which surrounds the Abu Hanifa Mosque, a revered Sunni place of worship. Iraqi army checkpoints had come under attack by numerous Sunni fighters. An Iraqi army platoon was pinned down under heavy fire and lost contact with six of their soldiers near the courthouse on the square. Captain Brandon and the MiTT chief planned to lead an Iraqi army assault element up the street to relieve the platoon and find the separated Iraqi soldiers. As the combined assault element moved north, he exited the safety of his vehicle and, under sustained small-arms fire from several roof tops, attempted without success to halt a retreating group of friendly fighters. Captain Brandon then split the Iraqi army and MiTT element on either side of the road, and pushed the element forward. Under heavy enemy fire, he led his first section north of the initial intersection by the courthouse and into the square where they could place effective fires upon the enemy. He maneuvered a vehicle from the second section into the intersection in order to suppress the enemy from the west. While he and Shaha attempted to rally an Iraqi assault element, his MiTT section was caught in a crossfire. Captain Brandon positioned a third Iraqi truck in a supporting fire position and assembled his second section for the assault. He and the assault element proceeded south where they encountered a five-man enemy reinforcement element. The assault element opened fire, killing two and wounding one Sunni fighter. The enemy fighters in the battle position, flanked by the assault force, withdrew. Captain Brandon led his Soldiers through the door into three suspected enemy houses. They cleared the houses, and then the assault element followed a blood trail but lost the wounded fighter when he crossed a sewer. Iraqi army elements entered Abu Hanifa Square and recovered their six soldiers.
Born: at Cleveland, Ohio
Home Town: Cleveland, Ohio
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War On Terrorism), Bronze Star w/V, Army Commendation Medal
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BRANNON, PATRICK
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Patrick Brannon, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173d Infantry Brigade, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan on 3 May 2005. A group of scouts from the battalion's Headquarters and Headquarters Company came across a man while on a morning patrol who told them he had just been beaten up by a group of insurgents near Baluc Kalay. Led by Staff Sergeant Brannan, the scouts investigated and came into contact with an enemy force many times their own numbers. His forces engaged the enemy and called in reinforcements. Staff Sergeant Brannon's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Jacksonville, Illinois
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BRANSON, CHARLES E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Charles E. Branson, Captain, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against a hostile force in Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Captain Branson distinguished himself while serving as the Commander of Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 3d Air Defense Artillery, in direct support of the First Brigade Combat Team of the 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) during the Battle for Objective JENKINS from 24 to 29 March 2003. The First Brigade commander issued Captain Branson a tactical mission order to secure a bridge in the vicinity of the village of Al Kifal to enable the brigade to continue its attack in Karbala. For this mission, in addition to his two Bradley Linebacker platoons, Captain Branson received a tank platoon from 3-69 Armor as a reserve, a Combat Observation Lasing Team (COLT), and a Long-Range Acquisition System (LRAS) team. An air defense battery commander leading a Bradley and tank company team in an attack was unprecedented. Just after midnight on 25 March 2003, Captain Branson's company team reached the service road leading to the bridge and immediately began receiving heavy rocket-propelled grenades and small arms and mortar fire from a hostile force well established in prepared defensive positions on the near side of the bridge. Captain Branson pulled his forces back to a rally point and called in artillery fire to suppress the enemy fire. He rallied his forces and continued the attack, only to receive additional heavy fire. For the next eight hours, Captain Branson maintained the momentum of the attack, calling for artillery fires on three separate occasions and requesting he commitment of the reserve tank platoon, which arrived at 0800 on the morning of 25 March 2003. In a last ditch effort to halt Captain Branson's unrelenting assault, the Iraqis attempted to blow the bridge. A portion of the bridge collapsed, but that did not stop the attack as Captain Branson aggressively ordered his tanks to cross the weakened structure. This action turned the tide of the battle. Following additional fire and maneuver, Captain Branson's force secured the bridgehead, but fierce fighting continued for the next 36 hours. Later that day, the remainder of Task Force 3-69 Armor was committed to the fight. On 26 March 2003, Task Force 2-69 Armor relieved Task Force 3-69 Armor to continue the lodgment expansion on the far side of the bridgehead. Captain Branson and his company team were ultimately relieved on 29 March 2003. The enemy battle damage assessment for this operation included more than 200 enemy killed in action, 20 "technical" vehicles destroyed, and the capture of numerous weapons caches. Captain Branson's personal bravery, expert coordination of artillery fire and ground attack, and exemplary devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflected greet credit upon himself, the "Rock of the Marne" Division and the United States Army.
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BRAXTON, KENNETH
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Kenneth Braxton, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 3d Infantry Division during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, in Iraq.
Home Town: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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BROWN, JASON D.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jason D. Brown, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company C, 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM at Debecka Pass, Iraq, on 6 April 2003. Under fire from artillery, tank shells, mortars and antiaircraft artillery bursts fired in a low arc toward him, Sergeant Brown squatted and fired shoulder-launched Javelin antitank missiles to take out two armored personnel carriers and ignite a troop truck full of Iraqi infantrymen. An hour before, Sergeant Brown had fired his very first Javelin at an Iraqi troop truck in the distance. Staff Sergeant Brown's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
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BROWN, MONICA
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Specialist Brown, Specialist [the Private First Class], U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism while serving with as a Combat Medic with the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, during combat actions in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 25 April 2007, in Afghanistan. While on patrol, the trail vehicle struck an IED which ignited the fuel, engulfing the vehicle in an intense fireball. The patrol began to take small arms and mortar fire. As the element retired fire, Specialist Brown immediately dismounted her vehicle, and without regard for her personal safety, moved to the burning vehicle amid intense enemy fire. After arriving at the vehicle, Specialist Brown began to treat two casualties. As she treated the wounded soldiers, intense enemy fire continued to impact her immediate vicinity. On several occasions, Specialist Brown used her body to shield the casualties from enemy fire, as well as the explosions of ammunition. Specialist Brown moved to the more protected position with her patients, and continued treatment as enemy small arms fire continued to impact around her. Once again, Specialist Brown shielded the wounded with her body. Specialist Brown's heroism and selfless devotion to duty reflect great credit upon herself, Task Force Fury, the Combined Joint Task Force-82, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Lake Jackson, Texas


BRYANT, CHRISTIAN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Christian Bryant, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company C, 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 22 April 2007, near Shudergay Village, Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Bryant's personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 10th Mountain Division, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Staff Sergeant Christian Bryant distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Combat Company, 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 22 April 2007, near Shudergay Village, Afghanistan. On the morning of 22 April 2007, 2nd Platoon, Combat Company was conducting a cordon and search of Shudergay Village when the platoon became engaged by 30-40 enemy personnel from 15-20 enemy positions using AK-47s, sniper rifles, PKMs, RPKs, and RPGs, lasting approximately 17 hours. Upon the initial contact Staff Sergeant Bryant personally maneuvered his machine guns under fire into a support by fire position allowing the ANA to clear the village. When the platoon became pinned down inside the village Staff Sergeant Bryant led a gun team and fire team up a ridgeline, low-crawling most of the way under intense enemy fire in order to establish an OP that could identify and fix the enemy positions. He then low-crawled back to the Platoon CP with complete disregard for his own safety, and under enemy sniper and small arms fire in order to give his report to the Platoon Leader. Upon arrival at the CP, Staff Sergeant Bryant discovered the Platoon Sergeant had suffered an injury to his leg as he was evacuating a wounded ANA Soldier. Staff Sergeant Bryant immediately took over as the Platoon Sergeant and continued to assist the Platoon Leader controlling the fight. Staff Sergeant Bryant then noticed that one of his M-240Bs was running low on ammunition. He immediately moved ammunition to that gun, low crawling the entire way due to the accurate sniper fire and intense small arms and RPG. Throughout the engagement Staff sergeant Bryant continually moved between positions to account for his soldiers regardless of the heavy fire. He displayed great courage as he continued to move supplies to those soldiers who were running low on ammo and water while under heavy and accurate enemy fire. Throughout the contact, Staff Sergeant Bryant assisted the Platoon Leader in controlling the numerous CAS platforms to include Apache Gunships, A-10's, a B-l Bomber and an AC-130. His guidance and experience in directing these assets onto enemy targets was vital to the success of the platoon. He personally guided the Apaches onto three enemy positions on the eastern ridgeline that were suppressing his men, and effectively destroyed them. While under intense sniper fire (rounds were accurately being fired inside the room he was occupying), Staff Sergeant Bryant continued to directed the AH-64's onto multiple enemy positions maintaining a calm, cool, and collected attitude which effectively instilled confidence among all those around him. When a member of 3d Platoon was wounded by enemy fire Staff Sergeant Bryant helped coordinate his CASEVAC and he assisted moving the Soldier to the LZ. As the machine gunners began to run low on ammunition, Staff Sergeant Bryant calmly encouraged his machine gunners to engage enemy personnel only after they had positively identified them. Throughout the contact one enemy sniper had continued to plague the platoon. After roughly 10 hours of fighting, one of the machine gunners identified his position as the sun was going down and muzzle flashes became more distinguishable. Staff Sergeant Bryant immediately assisted the Javelin gunner in retrieving, loading and then engaging and destroying the enemy sniper, all the while under intense enemy fire. Throughout the fight Staff Sergeant Bryant not only commanded his squad but he also performed duties well above his level of responsibility. Staff Sergeant Bryant's actions exemplify what it means to be a true leader and a combat Soldier. His valorous actions under intense enemy fire showcased his personal courage and dedication to duty and to his men. Staff Sergeant Bryant's actions were directly responsible for killing a key ACM Sub commander Habib Jan, whom Coalition Forces had been targeting for three years and who had been responsible for multiple Coalition Force casualties. His actions also led to the destruction of Habib Jan's ACM cell killing over 20 ACM fighters.


BUELOW, NATHAN J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Nathan J. Buelow, Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW2), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces of the United States as Assistant Detachment Commander assigned to Operational Detachment Alpha 065 (ODA-065), Company C, 2d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Baghdad, Iraq, on 9 July 2006, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow's outstanding leadership, personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Chief Warrant Officer Two Nathan J. Buelow heroically distinguished himself through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces of the United States as Assistant Detachment Commander assigned to Operational Detachment Alpha 065 (ODA-065), Company C, 2d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Baghdad, Iraq, on 9 July 2006. During Operation CAELUM in the heart of the As-Shulla neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow displayed unparalleled poise and confidence under intense direct small arms and rocket propelled grenade (RPG) fire from a maneuvering enemy. As the assault force leader on this raid, he led three Special Forces officers, nine Special Forces NCOs, and 44 senior Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) officers and NCOs (Commandos) into three buildings which were tenaciously defended by numerous insurgents. Upon entering the objective area, the entire convoy came under severe enemy fire from all directions. Without hesitation, Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow took critical initiative and directed his assault force to establish a foothold in a heavily fortified building which they then secured in a matter of minutes. At one point during the movement to the next enemy stronghold, three combatants armed with AK-47s assaulted the western side of the friendly occupied objective. With weapons raised, the insurgents advanced toward Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow's Communications NCO and acquired the SF Soldier in their sights. With complete disregard of his own life and safety, Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow assaulted toward the advancing enemy and engaged them, killing the first man and wounding a second insurgent. The battle reached its climax as numerous enemy foot soldiers unleashed nearly overwhelming firepower against the perimeter security elements. Fearlessly exposing himself to enemy fire, Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow personally directed the mounted .50 caliber machine gunners to volley their fire in order to maintain fire superiority and kill or neutralize dozens of insurgents thus insuring that the friendly perimeter remained intact. After coordinating his movement and fires with the Ground Force Commander, Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow then organized additional commandos and led a charge into the final structure in pursuit of numerous wounded enemy. In a brief but violent assault, Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow and his men secured the house, captured the remaining insurgents, and exploited the objective for intelligence. While withdrawing from the objective area, the convoy was caught in a well-coordinated ambush in which the enemy fired numerous RPGs, and AK-47s. In what amounted to a 360 degree ambush, the insurgents unleashed an arsenal of munitions with unmatched ferocity, establishing interlocking fields of fire. Maintaining absolute composure, Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow maneuvered the entire convoy out of harm's way and then oversaw the evacuation of an ISOF Soldier who has just lost his leg and fingers from a direct RPG hit. Chief Warrant Officer Two Buelow's competence, professionalism, and courage under intense, direct small arms fire were critical to the successful prosecution of the target and preservation of the coalition force. His heroic acts saved the life of a brother-in-arms and brought the men of his detachment home safely. His heroic actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of gallantry and intrepidity, and reflect great credit upon himself, the Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Dubuque, Iowa


BURNS, KYLE
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Kyle Burns, First Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 2d Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on June 20, 2006. Lieutenant Burns distinguished himself while serving as a Platoon Leader in Team Destroyer TF Catamount in Helmand Province, as part of Operation MOUNTAIN THRUST. While conducting a route reconnaissance, Lieutenant Burns' and another vehicle came under enemy ambush with small arms, machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire. Burns directed the vehicles to move forward, but his vehicle was disabled by enemy fire and he sustained a back injury from the impact. He was forced to abandon the vehicles and then directed his nine-man element to occupy a rooftop of a nearby compound. He quickly organized a defensive posture on the rooftop, where his element repelled 75 to 100 fighters who made repeated attempts at overrunning their position. Despite being injured, he calmly directed his element and leveraged air assets against the enemy force until reinforcements were able to breach the enemy positions to gain link-up. Over five hours, Lieutenant Burns' element destroyed an estimated 35 enemy fighters. His leadership enabled his men to inflict significant casualties against the enemy and sustained only one friendly casualty.
Born: at Syracuse, New York
Home Town: Syracuse, New York
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
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*BUTLER, JACOB LEE (KIA)
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Jacob Lee Butler, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 1 April 2003, in Iraq.
Home Town: Wellsville, Kansas
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Bronze Star, Purple Heart
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CAMACHO, EDDIE
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Eddie Camacho, Specialist, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 3d Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 25 April 2003, in Afghanistan. Specialist Camacho was part of a quick reaction force trying to help American soldiers under attack along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He climbed into the back of a civilian pickup with two comrades to continue to ferry wounded soldiers to a casualty collection point. The truck was ambushed by anti-coalition forces, which bombarded him and the other soldiers with rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire. Specialist Camacho provided the suppressive fire that allowed his comrades to escape to safety while single-handedly stopping the enemy's threat.
Home Town: Bronx, New York
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CAMACHO, JAVIER
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Javier Camacho, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for heroism and valor under intense enemy fire while serving with Troop B, 3d Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, in action from 20 March 2003 to 6 April 2003, in Iraq. Sergeant First Class Camacho's courage, tactical competence, and exemplary combat leadership in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in Iraq resulted in the destruction countless enemy dismounts and equipment ensuring the success of the Troop and Squadron, culminating in the collapse of the Iraqi Regime. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, 3d Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry, 3d Infantry Division (M), and the United Sates Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force in Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Sergeant First Class Camacho distinguished himself while serving as the Platoon Sergeant for 4th Platoon, Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry, 3d Infantry Division (M). On 25 March 2003, at approximately 1400Z, Sergeant First Class Camacho's troop traveled into an enemy ambush southeast of the city of An Najaf. The entire troop was surrounded by enemy small arms fire, RPG attacks and artillery from all directions. As two tanks from 2d platoon were hit and began to burn, B44 became mired and Sergeant First Class Camacho directed his crew on B44 and the crew of his wingman, B43, to recover B44. While B43 and the remainder of B44's crew recovered the tank, Sergeant First Class Camacho and Sergeant Gallegos went to offer aid to the crews that had been hit and were not out of their vehicles seeking cover on the North side of the road. Keeping a vigilant eye on his surroundings and laying suppressive fire in the direction of the heaviest enemy fire, Sergeant First class Camacho noticed that the driver of B23 was not able to get out of his tank because of burning debris on the front slope of the tank. Sergeant First Class Camacho then directed his gunner and the Platoon Sergeant from 3d platoon to cover him, as he made his way to the burning tank. Giving no regard for the enemy mortar rounds that were falling directly on his position or the ground around him being peppered with AK-47 rounds, Sergeant First Class Camacho extinguished the fire on the front slope of the burning tank and pulled the driver out before he succumbed to deadly fumes from within the hull. After Sergeant First Class Camacho had accountability of all members from the two destroyed tanks he and his crew treated them to the best of their ability and immediately evacuated them to medics in the rear utilizing his sister platoon's Bradleys. On 3 April 2003 at approximately 1430Z, while traveling north toward Baghdad, Sergeant First Class Camacho and his crew observed a brigade scout vehicle take direct fire and begin to burn. As the crew scrambled from the vehicle, Sergeant First Class Camacho cold see they were pinned down with no way to escape the unrelenting small arms and RPG fire the enemy was unleashing on them. Sergeant First Class Camacho maneuvered his tank between the brigade scout vehicle and the enemy fire from the north while B24 covered the south of the scouts so Sergeant First Class Newby and himself could go to ground and administer aid to two litter urgent victims of the attack, with reckless abandonment of personal safety of their own. Gaining security on the area and establishing an evacuation route, Sergeant First Class Camacho then loaded the two casualties onto B34 and sped them to medical attention. Once the wounded were out of harms way and B21 arrived, Sergeant First Class Camacho then guided this section in a tactically proficient and expedient manner that caught the enemy forces by complete surprise and enabled him to annihilate all the enemy forces in the immediate area that allowed his troop to secure passage through a very canalized area. Sergeant First Class Camacho's personal bravery, tactical expertise and exemplary devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, 3d Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry, Third Infantry Division (M) "Rock of the Marne" and the United States Army.
Home Town: New Port Richey, Florida


CANON, ARIN K.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Arin K. Canon, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Weapons Squad Leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, during the period 3 to 4 March 2002, during Operation ANACONDA in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Canon's valorous actions while in direct contact with enemy forces and in the face of extensive duress during the successful rescue of Special Operators contributed immeasurably to the success of the mission and to the saving of additional lives. Staff Sergeant Canon led the support element during the initial assault on an enemy fortified position. His leadership was instrumental in suppressing the objective and protecting the assault forces. Immediately following this action, he coordinated the defense of the entire objective, placing personnel and key weapon systems that enabled the platoon to defeat two enemy counterattacks. The gallantry displayed by Staff Sergeant Canon during 18 hours of combat is in keeping with the highest standards of valor, Through his distinctive accomplishments, Staff Sergeant Canon reflected great credit upon himself, the United States Army, and the Department of Defense.
Home Town: Seminole, Florida


CARTER, CHRIS
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Chris Carter, Captain (Infantry), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while commanding Company A, 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 31 March 2003, in Iraq. On that date, Captain Carter's mission was to draw Iraqi forces south in Hindiyah, a town of 80,000 some 80 kilometers south of Baghdad, by taking a bridge and searching the police station. When his Company rolled into town Iraqi fighters in civilian clothes opened fire while cars thought to be laden with explosives encircled the Bradley armored vehicles. Having been shot through the rear, an elderly Iraqi woman signaled Attack Company for help and then went limp. The woman later told an interpreter she had been shot by an Iraqi. Captain Carter and a couple of soldiers moved onto the bridge, calling a medic for help. Iraqi gunfire intensified as medics came and placed the woman on a stretcher while Captain Carter provided cover with his M16A4 rifle.
Home Town: Watkinsville, Georgia
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*CASHE, ALWYN C. (KIA)
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Alwyn C. Cashe, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 17 October 2005, in Iraq. Sergeant First Class Cashe was drenched in fuel after an IED blast ignited the Bradley Fighting Vehicle's fuel cell, during a patrol in Samarra, Iraq. After the vehicle came to a stop and erupted in flames, he helped the driver out of the hatch and extinguished his flames. In the back of the Bradley were six more soldiers and a translator. As flames engulfed the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, without regard for his personal safety, Sergeant First Class Cashe rushed to the back of the vehicle, reached into the hot flames and started pullout out his Soldiers. The flames spread to his fuel-soaked uniform and spread quickly over his body. Despite terrible pain, Sergeant First Class Cashe placed one injured soldier on the ground and returned to the burning vehicle to retrieve another burning soldiers, all the while, he was himself still on fire. Sergeant First Class Cashe is credited with saving the lives of six soldiers, evacuating them despite his own injuries and severe burns. He died of his wounds on November 8, 2006.
Born: at Thompson, Georgia
Home Town: Oviedo, Florida
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
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CAYLOR, DENNIS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Dennis Caylor, First Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM near As Samawah, Iraq, on 30 March 2003. First Sergeant Caylor's personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, 82d Airborne Division and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
First Sergeant Dennis Caylor distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity during combat operations while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, near As Samawah, Iraq. On the morning of 30 March 2003, Company B, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment was ordered to move to and seize a blocking position to establish a base of operations in As Samawah. While the company was moving into position, several enemy soldiers were identified with weapons. After engaging the enemy, Company B, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment began to take effective mortar, RPG, and machine gun fire. The enemy force soon grew to approximately sixty personnel. During the enemy engagement, First Sergeant Dennis Caylor was with Company B, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment when Private First Class Light, a SAW gunner with the third platoon was shot in the face and began choking on his own blood. Without regard for his safety, First Sergeant Caylor left his covered position, receiving a near hit as a mortar round threw dirt and mud on his position. He moved a gator over 100 meters of open ground through enemy indirect and direct fire to reach Private First Class Light. Organizing a CASEVAC with no medic at the time, First Sergeant Caylor proceeded to assess Private First Class Light's wounds while receiving effective mortar, RPG, machine gun, and small arms fire. Once First Sergeant Caylor stabilized the casualty, he moved him back to a covered position, employing hand held smoke to conceal his movement back to the gator. Once again, exposing himself to hostile fire, he supervised Private First Class Light's evacuation to an ambulance exchange point. First Sergeant Caylor's actions greatly contributed in saving the life of a fellow paratrooper and significantly contributed to B Company's success. His actions bring great credit upon himself, the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.
Born: at Tonawanda, New York
Home Town: Jacksonville, Florida


CEBREROS, GILDARDO
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Gildardo Cebreros, Specialist, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 24 March 2007, in Iraq. On that date, Specialist Cebreros' Stryker was stuck by an improvised explosives device which resulted in seven wounded Soldiers. Without regard for his personal safety, Specialist Cebreros evacuated casualties three separate times under intense enemy small arms fire.
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*CHAO, CORNELL C. (KIA)
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Cornell C. Chao, Chief Warrant Officer 3, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Pilot of an AH-64D Longbow Apache Helicopter with the 4th Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 28 January 2007, near An Najaf, Iraq. On that date, Chief Warrant Officer Three Chao was dispatched to the city of An Najaf to assist and support coalition troops who had come in contact with enemy forces. Arriving support aircraft was attacked with heavy machine gun fire and rocket propelled grenades and Chief Warrant Officer Three Chao placed his helicopter in the direct line of enemy fire so that another air crew that was under attack could maneuver out of danger. Over the next fifteen minutes he bravely flew in the face of intense enemy fire to support the coalition ground forces until his aircraft was struck and crashed, killing Chief Warrant Officer Three Chao.
Home Town: Fullerton, California
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
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CHOAY, CHRISTOPHER
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Christopher Choay, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company C, 2rd Battalion (Airborne) 503rd Infantry, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 3 May 2005, in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Choay displayed undaunted gallantry and valor without regard for his own safety under heavy enemy machine gun and RPG fire for over four hours near Bulac Kalay, Afghanistan in the Arghandab Valley. While elements of his battalion were engaged with enemy forces, additional enemy forces were found to be centered along a stone wall and bunker. Apache helicopters circled overhead, but were largely thwarted from attacking many positions by the tree cover the orchard provided. Staff Sergeant Choay's squad was ordered to take the position, and was able to approach the wall from a flanking position because of the efforts of other friendly elements who were largely holding the enemy's attention. He found three enemy combatants on machine guns and another with an RPG launcher. He killed three and wounded another, who was then shot by another soldier. Approaching the bunker, Staff Sergeant Choay exchanged shots with one enemy, then threw a grenade into the bunker. Five enemy bodies were later found inside.
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CHURCH, JEREMIAH
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jeremiah Church, Specialist, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a reconnaissance platoon machine gunner with Troop B, 5th Squadron, 73d Cavalry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, during combat operations in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, on 8 August 2006, in Iraq. Specialist Church was manning the .50-caliber machine gun in the turret of a Humvee during a mounted reconnaissance mission north of Baqubah, Iraq, when the patrol came under fire from a large-caliber machine gun and several insurgents in dug-in positions. Because of the terrain and placement of the other vehicles on a canal road, Specialist Church was the only gunner who could respond. During an intense firefight with more than 30 enemy, Specialist Church was shot through the left wrist but continued to fire, reloading and shooting repeatedly with one hand while another soldier applied a pressure dressing to his wrist. Ignoring the pain and bleeding, Specialist Church engaged and destroyed the enemy gunner, giving the rest of the platoon time to organize a resistance. After applying a tourniquet to his arm, he then dismounted to get more ammunition for his .50-caliber machine gun, firing his M4 to suppress continuous enemy fire. Although he subsequently passed out from loss of blood, upon regaining consciousness he resumed fighting, supplying ammunition to the soldier who had taken over the gun in the turret. The gallant actions of Specialist Church, without thought for his own safety, was in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Specialist Jeremiah Church distinguished himself by exceptional valorous conduct as a reconnaissance platoon machine gunner with Troop B, 5th Squadron, 73d Cavalry (Airborne Reconnaissance), 82d Airborne Division, FOR Caldwell, Iraq, on 8 August 2007 during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Specialist Church's platoon was conducting an intelligence gathering operation approximately 22 kilometers north of Baquba, Iraq, near the village of Naqeeb and reconnoitering support by fire positions for another troop in support of an upcoming squadron operation. As the convoy of 11 gun trucks moved out, Specialist church, serving as an M2 .50 caliber gunner, was on the gun of the second truck, following an Iraqi Police pickup with the village mayor and his armed escort. As they maneuvered down a restrictive canal road, the IP pickup and Specialist Church's vehicle were engaged by intense, accurate fire from a DSHKA 14.7-mm machine gun mounted in a technical vehicle 200 meters north of his position. Rounds impacted on and around his vehicle, destroyed the pickup and killed one IP instantly. Specialist church immediately engaged, killing two insurgents. Simultaneously, large volumes of fire erupted from the trenches that surrounded his platoon's position. Because of terrain, none of the other vehicles could engage with accurate fires so Specialist Church was now in an intense firefight with over 30 well-entrenched insurgents that controlled the dominant terrain and were heavily armed and well supplied. Specialist Church identified three more insurgents in a nearby canal and killed them with a short burst of fire. While engaging, he was shot through his left wrist by a 7.62 mm. round but ignored the pain and continued his stalwart defense. Although suffering from arterial bleeding and intense pain, he continued to load and fire at the enemy. While reloading with one hand, he put his wounded hand into the turret so that the forward observer could apply a pressure dressing to cover the hole in his wrist. Now reloaded, with rounds bouncing inside of his turret, Specialist Church began again engaging the DSKHA that now had his platoon pinned down. This allowed them valuable time to turn around on the canalized road, kill three more insurgents and take the gun out of action. His wrist still bleeding profusely, Specialist Church applied a tourniquet to himself and then, completely disregarding his own safety, exited the truck under intense fire and gathered more ammunition to reload his machine gun, firing his M4 as he dismounted. Specialist Church continued engaging and destroying enemy forces, now firing from trenches, bunkers, tree tops and buildings, for another few minutes until he passed out from pain and blood loss. The forward observer manned his machine gun and while continuing the engagement, Specialist Church regained consciousness and started gathering and passing ammunition to the new gunner. Twice he dismounted his vehicle under a murderous hail of gunfire to gather more ammunition. Specialist Church's heroic actions were directly responsible for destroying a DSHKA, 11 insurgents and covering other Paratroopers displacement under heavy fire even though he was severely wounded. His courage under fire is in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects distinct credit upon himself, Task Force Headhunter, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.
Born: January 14 1986 at Jamestown, New York
Home Town: Gerry, New York
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


CHURCH, JEREMY
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jeremy Church, Private First Class, U.S. Army (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 724th Transportation Company during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, in Iraq, on 9 April 2004. While on an emergency fuel mission to Baghdad International Airport, Private First Class Church's convoy was ambushed by 200 members of Muqtada al Sadr's militia. The Humvee that he was driving contained platoon leader First Lieutenant Matthew Brown, who was severely wounded. After saving Brown, he went back to the raging firefight to rescue those still pinned down. Under heavy fire, Church rendered aid to other wounded. Remaining behind, he killed several insurgents and had to be pulled out of the gun battle. Later helped the wounded civilian truck drivers to safety. Private First Class Church is credited with saving five soldiers' lives and four civilians.
Home Town: Bartonville, Illinois
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CLEMMER, BRENT
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Brent Clemmer, Major (Infantry), [then Captain), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while Commanding Company C, 2d Battalion, 3d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 28 January 2007, near Najaf, Iraq. On that date, Major Clemmer was notified of a downed AH-64 helicopter, and that coalition forces were receiving significant small arms and mortar fire in the area. He moved his unit approximately 100 kilometers to the site, linked up with the Special Forces team near the crash site, which had suffered casualties, and established a defensive perimeter between the wreckage and enemy forces. He put in place rules of engagement to identify and destroy enemy forces while directing the recovery of the aircraft and pilot's remains. Major Clemmer directed his unit in repulsing several enemy counter attacks during the night. At daylight, Major Clemmer and his unit deployed forward to support his sister company's assault of an enemy trench to the east. Major Clemmer and his men also accepted the surrender of several hundred personnel, many combatant and others non-combatant. He identified wounded and established a landing zone for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and for bringing in additional medical supplies, water, and humanitarian rations. His actions and those of his soldiers resulted in approximately 250 enemy killed, 81 enemy wounded and 410 enemy captured. They also recovered several hundred weapons to include small arms, machine guns, mortars and RPGs, plus stockpiles of enemy ammunition, medical supplies and food.
Home Town: Monterey, California
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*COLLIER, RUSSELL L. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Russell L. Collier, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for gallantry in actions against an enemy of the United States during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 3 October 2004, in the vicinity of Taji, Iraq. With his Squad Leader seriously wounded, Sergeant Collier, the Battery Medic for Battery A, 1st Battalion, 103d Field Artillery Brigade, attached to the 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment, 39th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, advanced under enemy fire in order to render first aid. His unselfish actions under direct enemy fire led to his own mortal wounds. By his outstanding bravery and courage Sergeant Collier served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Sergeant Collier brings great credit upon himself, the 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Corps Iraq, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Sergeant Russell Collier distinguished himself by gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while serving as a Medical Aidman attached to Battery A, 1st Battalion, 103d Field Artillery Brigade, attached to the 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment, 39th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in the vicinity of Taji, Iraq, on 3 October 2004. On that date Sergeant Collier was traveling with the four howitzer section for the day along with another howitzer section from Battery A, 1st Battalion, 103d Field Artillery Brigade, and an Iraqi National Guard Platoon. They were conducting traffic control points, route security and area reconnaissance along the Tigris River near the village of Al Mazurka, Taji, Iraq. While traveling on a road south of Camp Taji, the patrol came under small arms fire from the West. The Iraqi National Guard soldiers pursued the potential shooter as he ran east into a local housing area. The howitzer section established over-watching crew-served weapons positions with their gun trucks, while five Iraqi National Guard soldiers and for U.S. soldiers maneuvered to find the shooter. Sergeant Collier accompanied the fire team when the section came under significant direct fire contact. They continued fire and maneuver towards the enemy crew-served weapon position and Sergeant Collier waited his turn as the soldiers conducted buddy team ,maneuvers around the berm that was providing cover and concealment for the team. During this fire and maneuver, the section chief was mortally wounded and Sergeant Collier gave his M-4 to another soldier, instructed him to get his aid bag and left the protection provided by the berm to provide immediate first aid. Sergeant Russell Collier made the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow soldier and for his country by exposing himself to hostile direct fire in an attempt to render first aid and to save the life of one of his comrades in arms. His unselfish actions under direct enemy fire served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Sergeant Collier brings great credit upon himself, the 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Corps Iraq, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Harrison, Arkansas
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


COLLINS, ROBERT
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Robert Collins, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces while serving with Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 041 (ODA-041), 2d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 4 April 2005, near Tawhilla, Iraq. Master Sergeant Collins' heroism and bravery under intense enemy fire was directly responsible for the safety and well being of a combined 140-man US-Iraqi force and the death of 3 Anti Iraqi Forces (AIF) members. While searching for an AIF training camp/cache site in the vicinity of Balad Ruz, the combined force was caught in a 150 meter long L-Shaped ambush by a platoon-sized force simultaneously firing Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), mortars, PKMs, AK-47s and throwing hand grenades. The combined force broke contact and called for air support. After an initial air strike by F-16 aircraft armed with 500-pound GBUs, the Iraqi Army (IA) element attacked across the objective, immediately receiving enemy fire. The enemy's withering fire wounded numerous soldiers, and restricted the ability to of the Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) to call further Close Air Support. Quickly recognizing the need for action and in an attempt to maintain order and discipline among the Iraqi forces facing overwhelming firepower, Master Sergeant Collins led his element to engage the enemy, personally eliminating at least three enemy fighters. Throughout the engagement, Master Sergeant Collins' decisiveness, calm demeanor and aggressive spirit allowed the ODA to close with and destroy the enemy elements, to include 17 AIF Killed in Action, 5 destroyed vehicles and numerous weapons. Master Sergeant Collins' actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of heroic military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.
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COLUCCI, DAVID G.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to David G. Colucci, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Senior Engineer Sergeant with the 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, during an ambush in Afghanistan, on 25 June 2004. While conducting a recovery operation of an improvised explosive device, Staff Sergeant Colucci's convoy came under attack. Although he suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen, Sergeant Colucci maneuvered his vehicle into a protective position and pulled security for his fellow Soldiers until reinforcements arrived. He then manned the door gunner machinegun while his element moved into a secure area to wait for medical evacuation.
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CONROY, JASON
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jason Conroy, Captain (Armor), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company C, 64th Armor, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 3d Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
Home Town: Appalachian, New York
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COOMER, JOHN
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to John Coomer, First Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Troop C, 5th Squadron, 73d Cavalry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 16 November 2006, near Turki Village in the Diyala Province, Iraq. During a trench-and-canal clearing operation as part of Operation TURKI BOWL, First Sergeant Coomer exposed himself to enemy fire to cover for his fatally wounded officer. He threw a grenade directly onto the enemy so that a medic could get to the wounded officer. He then returned fire after being ambushed a second time, yet was able to establish a casualty collection point (CCP) and call in close-air support. He saw a wounded Iraqi soldier 15 feet away and again moved under enemy fire to provide initial medical treatment and carry him to the CCP. After First Sergeant Coomer cleared the remaining enemy trench with the rest of his platoon, he motivated his troops through four more days of fighting in which 48 enemy fighters were confirmed killed. The gallant leadership of First Sergeant Coomer, without thought for his own safety, was in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Logan, Ohio
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CORNFORD, STEVEN J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Steven J. Cornford, Specialist, U.S. Army, for exceptionally valorous conduct while serving with Company A, 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, while in close combat with Al Qaeda attack cell members during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 06-08, on 8 April 2007, in Iraq. Private First Class Cornford's outstanding dedication to duty while wounded and under enemy fire contributed to the overwhelming success of the command's mission. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect great credit upon himself, the Warhorse Battalion, Task Force PANTHER, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the United States Army.
NARRATIVE FOR AWARD:
Private First Class Steven J. Cornford, Rifleman, 1st Squad, 2d Platoon, Alpha "Assassin" Company, 3d "Warhorse" Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 3d Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, demonstrated exceptional courage under fire during Operation SAMURAI on 8 April 2007. Insurgent forces engaged his squad from a prepared defensive position, wounding him and two other Soldiers in his element. Private First Class Cornford demonstrated courage and loyalty by continuing to defend his mortally wounded platoon leader with small arms and grenades in spite of his own gunshot wound. Alpha "Assassin" Company conducted Operation SAMURAI, an Air Assault operation into a town known to contain insurgent safe houses shortly after midnight on 8 April 2007. As the rotary wing aircraft approached the HLZ, the supporting Air Weapons Team identified individuals fleeing the objective area to the south. After securing an initial foothold building on the objective, Private First Class Cornford's squad, accompanied by his platoon leader, moved to interdict the enemy as they were attempting to evade through a copse of trees 800 meters to the south of the foothold building. The Platoon Leader ordered Private First Class Cornford's Squad Leader to set a base of fire overwatching the stand of trees, and then moved with Private First Class Cornford's team toward the last known location of the enemy. As his fire team approached, AIF engaged Private First Class Cornford's team from a different position with automatic weapons fire and hand grenades at a range of 15 meters. The Platoon Leader was mortally wounded in the initial contact, though he remained conscious until he was evacuated. Grenade shrapnel struck Private First Class Cornford's team leader, and Private First Class Cornford was struck in the arm by AK-47 fire. Private First Class Cornford and his fire team were pinned down. On his own initiative and without regard for his personal safety, a wounded Private First Class Cornford high crawled under fire to his Lieutenant's position to defend him and render buddy aid. With only one arm fully functional, Private First Class Cornford used his SKEDCO litter to prop up his weapon to continue to engage the enemy one-handed. During this time, the enemy was continuing to place heavy and effective fire on their position, making it difficult for additional members of the squad to move to their aid. Private First Class Cornford stubbornly defended his position for several minutes, refusing to leave his stricken comrade. He continued to engage the enemy with small arms fire and apply pressure to his Platoon Leader's wound until his Squad Leader arrived at his position. On his Platoon Leader's final order, Private First Class Cornford and the Squad Leader engaged the enemy position with hand grenades, knocking it out of action. Private First Class Cornford and other squad members then rendered first aid to the Platoon Leader until additional forces and the MEDEVAC aircraft arrived. Private First Class Cornford's bravery under fire in close contact was instrumental in his squad's destruction of the enemy. His actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Infantry and of military valor.
Home Town: Mountain Home, Idaho
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


COWART, DANIEL
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Daniel Cowart, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Team Leader in the 1st Platoon, Company D, 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 13 May 2007, near Samarra, Iraq. On that date, while on a combat patrol, a vehicle fitting the description of one used by insurgents placing roadside bombs approached the patrol. After a series of warnings, the passengers refused to get out and Sergeant Cowart, with his lieutenant and a comrade, exited their vehicle. Two of the insurgents dismounted and fired at the officer, and the driver of the insurgent vehicle then exited and also attempted to attack the officer, but was tackled by Sergeant Cowart. As Sergeant Cowart engaged in a vicious hand-to-hand struggle with the insurgent driver, the lieutenant began firing. Unknown to Sergeant Cowart the enemy driver was wearing a vest laden with explosives, which subsequently detonated, killing his lieutenant and wounding him in the leg. Due to his ability to process tactical situations instantaneously and his utter disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Cowart was able to correctly maneuver himself and his men into a position of advantage and, through his tactical know-how, use of terrain, and personal courage, he was able to save the lives of two of his comrades at the cost of his own leg.
Home Town: Orange, Texas
If you can help us locate Sgt Cowart's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


CREMIN, COLIN
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Colin Cremin, First Lieutenant (Armor), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Executive Officer of Company A, 2d Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 17 April 2004, near Diwaniyah, Iraq.
NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD
First Lieutenant Cremin conspicuously distinguished himself with great gallantry and fearless leadership on 17 April 2004. First Lieutenant Cremin assumed command of the Heavy Equipment Transport convoy of the majority of the battalion’s tracked vehicles when it suffered an ambush in the city of Ad-Diwaniyah. The convoy was using an alternate route when the lead elements of the HET convoy began to encounter a barrage of small arms and RPG fire over a four-kilometer stretch of urban terrain. The company hasty defense, counter-attack and recovery of all the vehicles lasted over three hours and was fought through 4 kilometers of dense urban terrain which offered stiff enemy resistance with both small arms and RPG fire. At the onset of the attack, First Lieutenant Cremin monitored the convoy commander’s frequency and quickly determined that the HET drivers were confused and did not understand how to respond to such a heavy onslaught. While attempting to gain contact with the lead HETs to urge them to continue their move, First Lieutenant Cremin’s tank began to receive heavy small arms and RPG fire from both sides of the street. First Lieutenant Cremin fought out of his hatch the entire time in order to prevent enemy dismounts from approaching the vehicle and to maintain situational awareness of the entire convoy. An RPG round impacted on the right rear of his tank and after identifying the attacker 300m down an alley, destroyed the RPG team with .50 cal fire. He and his gunner fought the tank as a three-man crew and engaged dismounted attackers from both the rooftops and alleyways throughout the kill zone. First Lieutenant Cremin continued to maintain situational awareness and was able to identify portions of the convoy had made wrong turns and were becoming vulnerable due to their limited mobility. He ordered all vehicles to a rally point on the other side of the river allowing the tank platoon leaders in the convoy to direct their HETs to a common point to reconsolidate. First Lieutenant Cremin then ordered tanks in the kill zone to break the retaining chains and continue the fight off of the HETs in order to increase mobility and survivability. At this point, he received the report that Aggressor White 2’s HET was disabled and still in the kill zone. At this point, First Lieutenant Cremin organized a counter-attack into the city to retrieve the HET before it fell into enemy hands. Originally, he organized a four-tank platoon to conduct the action, but while maneuvering in the tight terrain on the other side of the river, Aggressor Red 2 found soft ground and became mired. First Lieutenant Cremin then ordered Aggressor Red 3 to provide security for Red 2 while recovery assets arrived to assist the vehicle. At this point, First Lieutenant Cremin in his vehicle and Aggressor Red 4, SSG Costa, were the only two tanks available for the counter-attack. First Lieutenant Cremin led the section over the bridge and back into the kill zone where they immediately began to take more small arms and RPG fire. The section destroyed numerous enemy combatants on the street and on the rooftops as well as in vehicles that were being used to transport RPG teams into and out of the battle. First Lieutenant Cremin fought here for well over an hour and it was his use of the main gun on RPG teams that broke the attacker’s will and the enemy began to flee the area. He then organized control points along the route with Aggressor Red 4 and tanks from other companies to secure the route for the lost and disabled HETs. First Lieutenant Cremin remained near the disabled HET awaiting instructions on what actions to take while continuing to receive enemy small arms and RPG fire. While waiting for the order to either recover or destroy the HET, an RPG round slammed into the side of the HET causing it to burst into flames. First Lieutenant Cremin immediately engaged the RPG team with .50 cal destroying the enemy troops. Once all the remaining HETs were accounted for and safely across the bridge, First Lieutenant Cremin ensured that all tanks were operational and recovered. He then broke down his control points and crossed the river away from the kill zone. First Lieutenant Cremin’s tank accounted for the most enemy killed during the entire engagement. His calm demeanor under extreme danger and ability to lead elements of a transportation company, three tank companies, a Headquarters company, and a scout section through a counter-attack to retrieve lost and endangered army equipment is a credit to his leadership and bravery in the face of heavy enemy fire. His strong leadership was a major factor in motivating the members of the convoy to fight fiercely in the face of such an organized attack. Had First Lieutenant Cremin not taken control of the situation once the convoy entered the ambush, there would most likely have been many more friendly casualties and destroyed or captured vehicles. First Lieutenant Cremin’s exceptional bravery while under intense fire during a three-hour attack is in the highest traditions of the 2d Cavalry Regiment, the 1st Armored Division and the United States Army.
Home Town: Hunt, Texas
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Bronze Star

 

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