Showing posts with label Army Soldier's Medal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Army Soldier's Medal. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Fort Bragg soldier received Soldier's Medal

Army soldier receives heroism medal for saving two lives after car accident

Army Times
By: Joshua Axelrod
April 2, 2019

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., presents Army Capt. Jacob Riffe with the Soldier's Medal at a ceremony March 22 at Fort Bragg, N.C. (Staff Sgt. Terrance Payton/Army) 

An Army captain was recently awarded the service’s highest non-combat heroism medal for helping two people after a nasty car accident.

Capt. Jacob Riffe — a 29-year-old current operations officer with the 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command — was given the Soldier’s Medal for heroism during a March 22 ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“I was pretty fortunate to be there in the right time and place to help all those people,” Riffe told Army Times.

In April 2018, Riffe and his then-5-year-old son were traveling from Fort Lee, Virginia, to Fort Bragg on I-95 when he noticed a car “kind of acting strange.”

His suspicion about that car was confirmed when it suddenly darted across the highway over an embankment on the side of the road and crashed into a farm fence. Riffe said he immediately pulled over and told his son to stay in the car while he went to assess the situation.
read more here

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Army Captain Chaplain Received Soldier's Medal

‘Warrior’ chaplain honored for taking down machete-wielding suicidal soldier 
Ledger Enquirer 
Chuck Williams 
March 14, 2017
“Here is where the truth comes in,” Christensen said. “Nothing but fear, and I believe the work of of the Holy Spirit, moved me into a position where I could physically control the soldier.”
The black cross patch on the right side of Capt. Matthew C. Christensen’s U.S. Army uniform tells a story.

It’s where Army meets religion.

Two years ago, during his previous assignment in Alaska, the chaplain was forced into a situation where he had to act quickly with the fight-or-die instincts of a soldier. It was another place where Army meets religion.

Christensen, a 43-year-old Montana native, defused a potential deadly situation by unarming a machete-wielding soldier during a suicide attempt that was on the verge of turning into multiple homicides. Tuesday morning at Fort Benning, Christensen, who served as a Lutheran pastor before becoming an active duty chaplain seven years ago, was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, the Army’s highest honor for valor in a non-combat situation.
read more here

Friday, September 9, 2016

PTSD Soldier Says "Only Way to Beat That Enemy Is Ask For Help"

Benning soldier says battling suicidal feelings is tougher than combat
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Tribune)
By Chuck Williams
Published: September 9, 2016

“You realize that you are truly facing an enemy that you cannot defeat by yourself — an enemy that knows every secret, every weak point and every ounce of guilt inside you. The only way to beat that enemy is to call for help.”
Staff Sgt. David Mensink
As an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team leader, Army Staff Sgt. David Mensink was trained to deal with volatile situations.
Staff Sgt. David Mensink is shown in this 2010 file photo. U.S. ARMY PHOTO
But the 28-year-old Missouri native assigned to Fort Benning wasn’t trained to deal with the demons that led him to take 57 sleeping pills nearly three months ago in an attempt to end his life.

Thursday, Mensink received the Soldier’s Medal, the highest honor a soldier can receive for an act of valor in a non-combat situation, for his actions at a Birmingham, Ala., hospital when he removed a live grenade from a man’s leg.

Instead of talking about those actions nearly two years ago, Mensink used what should have been his moment of glory to talk about his darkest hour and what has become an urgent military issue: suicide.

“I have personally been pinned down by enemy fire, blown up, have had buddies die in front of me, and I have never felt more embattled than those days I sat alone in my driveway, hours on end, wishing I could do better and wishing I could ask for help,” Mensink told about 75 soldiers at the Maneuver Center of Excellence’s Derby Hall. “At the same time, my pride and my shame and guilt kept me from doing so.”

Mensink, by his count, is no stranger to death. Over his 11-year career, he’s had 13 close friends or colleagues killed in combat — and 11 more who have taken their own lives, he said.
read more here

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Veteran MP Receives Soldier's Medal 42 Years After Heroic Act

Former staff sergeant receives Soldier’s Medal 
Fort Carson Mountanieer
By Staff Sgt. Diandra J. Harrell
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

DENVER — Family, friends, police officers and Service members gathered Sept. 22, 2015, in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1 to watch former Staff Sgt. Joseph Gilmore Jr. formally receive the Soldier’s Medal, the highest honor a Soldier can receive for an act of valor in a noncombat event.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette, 1st Congressional District of Colorado, presents former Staff Sgt. Joseph Gilmore Jr. the Soldier’s Medal at the Denver Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1 Sept. 22, 2015.
(Photo by Staff Sgt. Diandra J. Harrell)
Congresswoman Diana DeGette, 1st Congressional District of Colorado, and Retired Col. Aaron Tucker presented the former 4th Infantry Division military policeman with the medal for his actions during a fire on Fort Carson 42 years ago.

Gilmore, an Aurora native, now retired attorney, repeatedly entered a burning building Feb. 20, 1973, to save its contents.

“I knew what was in the building, which were artillery weapons,” Gilmore explained. “I did not know if they were loaded with ammunition, but I did know that they were loaded with fuel. If that fire would have torched off one of those weapons systems, it would have been catastrophic.”
read more here

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Train Hero Oregon National Guardsman to Receive Soldier's Medal

Oregon Guardsman Who Helped Stop Train Attack to Get Soldier's Medal 
Associated Press
Aug 26, 2015

WASHINGTON -- Aleksander Skarlatos, one of three Americans who subdued a heavily armed gunman on a Paris-bound train, will be awarded one of the U.S. Army's highest honors.
Senior Army leaders say Skarlatos, a member of the Oregon National Guard, will get the Soldier's Medal -- the Army's highest award for acts of heroism not involving actual conflict with the enemy.

Skarlatos was traveling from Amsterdam when the gunman emerged from a train lavatory carrying an AK-47 and a Lugar pistol.

After hearing the sound of gunfire, Skarlatos called on other passengers to act, then charged the gunman, helped wrestle his firearms away and helped knock him unconscious with his own rifle.

"Spc. Skarlatos' actions that day epitomize what we mean by a soldier of character -- one who lives by a personal code where dedication to duty and taking care of others is sacred," said Army Secretary John McHugh. read more here

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Iraq Veteran Massachusetts National Guardsman Receives Soldier's Medal

Iraq War vet receives honor for ‘selfless service’ during Marathon bombings
Boston Globe
By Astead W. Herndon
JULY 09, 2015
“You can never say you’re prepared for it, but in your head, you go through situations like that,” Welch said in an interview. “I knew what I needed to do to help.”

Governor Charlie Baker pinned the medal on Staff Sergeant Mark Welch on Wednesday at the State House.

After walking the length of the 2013 Boston Marathon with 40 pounds of military gear on his back, Staff Sergeant Mark Welch had earned the right to relax.

Painful blisters had left the Iraq War veteran in what he described as the worst pain he had felt in a long time. So, unable to move, he sat near the Marathon’s finish line.

That did not last.

Military officials said Welch exemplified “courage and selfless service” as bombs exploded in downtown Boston that day, providing support for emergency personnel and injured bombing victims.

On Wednesday, flanked by his visibly giddy wife and children at a State House ceremony, Welch received the Soldier’s Medal of the United States Army for his efforts.
The Soldier’s Medal is awarded for heroic actions in noncombat situations.

“[Welch] rushed to the area despite the risk that more explosives were imminent,” a military official said. “His actions, in the face of danger . . . have brought great credit upon himself . . . the Massachusetts Army National Guard, and the United States Army.”

Welch is a 13-year veteran of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. He said his military training helped him prepare for the intensity of that day.
read more here

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Decorated two tour Iraq veteran saved man from train

Decorated Army officer honored for saving fallen man from oncoming train
San Francisco Chronicle (MCT)
By Carl Nolte
Published: September 5, 2014

After two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, the morning commute on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system from Orinda, Calif., to San Francisco must have seemed pretty routine to Maj. Adam Czekanski one day last winter.

He got to the station just in time and could hear a train coming into the station. But then he saw something else. A man standing at the edge of the platform began slowly leaning forward and then toppled onto the tracks, directly in front of the oncoming train.

The commuters on the platform froze in horror, "as if they were paralyzed," Czekanski said later. But he knew exactly what to do. He ran from the top of the escalator to the edge of the platform and jumped onto the tracks to help the fallen man.

"He was lying there flat on his back," Czekanski said. "I pulled him away from the tracks and got him under the lip of the platform. I know it sounds like a cliche," he said, "But I did what I had to do."

It was much more than he had to do. On Thursday, Czekanski, a major in the Army Corps of Engineers, received the Soldier's Medal, the Army's highest award for valor in a noncombat setting.

The incident occurred just after 7 a.m. Jan. 24. The victim, later identified as Adrian Malagon, had what BART police later thought was a seizure.
read more here

Monday, April 28, 2014

Quiet Boston Marathon Hero Receives Soldier's Medal

Boston Marathon hero awarded Soldier's Medal
US Army Corps of Engineers
By Bernard Tate
Posted 4/28/2014

BOSTON-- Many Americans have seen the shaky photos and videos taken when the bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Among the many people who went to the aid of the injured, there are glimpses of runners who stripped off their shirts to tie tourniquets around the shattered limbs of bomb victims.

One of those unknown runners was Col. Everett Spain, an Army engineer who is earning a doctorate in management at the Harvard Business School. On April 18, in a ceremony on the school's Baker Lawn, Spain received the Soldier's Medal, the Army's highest award for valor in a non-combat situation.

But Spain has shunned any publicity, avoided interviews with the civilian news media.

"First and foremost, I was brought up to believe that military officers should never seek praise for themselves," Spain said. "Our purpose is to serve others through character and leadership."

Despite Spain's modesty, his actions are a matter of public record in images taken during the Boston Marathon attack. He was only about 100 yards from the finish line when the bombs exploded.
read more here

Soldier's Medal for Training Day Heroic Deed

Soldier presented medal for heroic act
When Staff Sgt. Issac Diaz threw a Soldier out of a live-grenade-training bay and protected him with his body from the blast, he said he was just doing what any of his training range cadre would do — put the Soldier's welfare before their own.
Waynesville Daily
By Mike Bowers
Special to the Daily Guide
Posted Apr. 28, 2014

When Staff Sgt. Issac Diaz threw a Soldier out of a live-grenade-training bay and protected him with his body from the blast, he said he was just doing what any of his training range cadre would do — put the Soldier's welfare before their own.

Little did Diaz know that his heroic deed would earn him the Soldier's Medal, and that he would receive it from the sergeant major of the Army.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler presented Diaz with the medal during his visit to Fort Leonard Wood's Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, today.

"I'll bet it was a little bit of a surprise when you saw that grenade. Well done," said Chandler, as he pinned on the medal and shook hands with Diaz.

Diaz, assigned to the Combat Training Company, 43rd Adjutant General Battalion, recalled what began as a normal training day on Nov. 12, 2013.
read more here

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Soldier honored for aiding victims of Boston Marathon bombings

JBLM soldier honored for aiding victims of Boston Marathon bombings
The Olympian
Staff writer
December 20, 2013

Paul Cusack had certain expectations about running his first Boston Marathon just a short drive from his hometown of Westwood, Mass.

Then the unexpected happened.

Cusack, a 42-year-old Army sergeant, was part of a group representing the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He finished the 26-mile race under sunny skies just as the Red Sox sealed a victory at nearby Fenway Park, culminating in what appeared to be a perfect spring day.

The euphoria was shattered by two explosions near the finish line on Boylston Street. The blasts, 13 seconds and 200 yards apart, created an atmosphere of chaos. Brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were responsible for the attack, which killed three people and injured more than 200.

“You take certain expectations with you overseas, and you take other ones when you’re in your hometown,” Cusack told The News Tribune shortly before a ceremony Friday to honor his swift actions to help victims in the April 15 attack. “The wounds suffered by the people were definitely like what you see overseas, unfortunately.”

Cusack, who was given the Soldier’s Medal, was one of 14 medal recipients at the ceremony at Lewis-McChord. The Soldier’s Medal is awarded for acts of heroism not involving conflict with an enemy.
read more here

Saturday, October 13, 2012

10th Mountain Division Soldier awarded Soldier's Medal

Sgt. Jacob Perkins Named 'Soldier Of The Year' For Saving Passengers From Burning Bus
Huffington Post Posted: 10/12/2012

Though he served on the frontlines in Iraq, Sgt. Jacob Perkins was named “Soldier of the Year” for a valiant act he offered up far away from the battlefield. He saved a number of passengers from a burning bus on the New York State Thruway last summer.

While driving home to Missouri from his Fort Drum, NY base in July 2011, Perkins stopped short when he saw a New York-bound tour bus engulfed in flames, according to ABC. As soon as he heard the words, “they’re still in there,” the 29-year-old raced into the inferno and pulled off as many people as he could, the Fort Drum Public Affairs Office reports.

read more about Sgt. Jacob Perkins here

Thursday, October 4, 2012

3 Minnesota National Guardsmen receive Soldier's Medal

3 guardsmen lauded for Iraq vehicle rescue
Army times
By Joe Gould
Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Oct 4, 2012 7:37:22 EDT

Three Minnesota National Guardsmen who pulled Iraqi civilians from the burning wreckage of a two-van collision and helped them get care have received the Army’s highest award for noncombat valor.

The trio — Staff Sgt. Nicholas Purkat, 27; Sgt. Shawn Schmidt, 29; and Spc. Christopher Edwards, 20 — received the Soldier’s Medal on Sept. 22 for their heroic actions in 2011 in southern Iraq.

“To me, I was just doing my job, what anyone would do during the whole Iraq and Afghanistan [wars],” Schmidt said. “There have been a lot of great things that a lot of soldiers, airmen and Marines have done. That was just the situation we were in.”

On Nov. 11, the three guardsmen from the “Minnesota Red Bulls,” the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, were providing convoy security with their unit during the withdrawal of forces from Iraq.

Their convoy that day was stopped on a highway about 20 miles west of Basra when a smoke plume rose above it, said Schmidt, who was behind the lead truck. He and the others rushed to the scene to find the two vehicles in the collision. The vans were not yet in flames.

In one of the vans, the driver appeared dead, and his passenger was drifting in and out of consciousness and was trapped.

Schmidt soon realized the vehicle was on fire, with more people inside — three toward the front and six in the rear.

“That’s when we started prying the doors, ripping out the glass and pulling them out,” he said.
read more here

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Soldier who halted bank robbery in Florida gets heroism medal

Soldier who halted robbery gets heroism medal
By Joe Gould - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Mar 20, 2012

Staff Sgt. Eddie Peoples, who recently received the Soldier’s Medal for catching a bank robber while on leave in Florida, has had a lot of time to ponder how others define heroism.

Some people consider his actions courageous, and others think he was foolhardy, he said.

“I would never, ever recommend anyone put their life in danger. I believe life is a precious thing,” said Peoples, of the 386th Movement Control Battalion. “I made that decision on my own person.”

Now the Army has officially recognized him as a hero.

Nearly a year after Peoples used his Army combatives training to subdue an armed bank robber in Pensacola, Fla., Brig. Gen. Aundre Piggee presented him with the Soldier’s Medal — the peacetime award for heroism — at a ceremony in Vicenza, Italy.

“He is an example for the United States Army,” said Piggee, commander of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, at the Feb. 28 ceremony. “This is what this medal is about — true personal courage in the face of danger or adversity. It is living the warrior ethos, in or out of uniform.”
read more here

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

10th Mountain Div. Soldier Awarded Soldier's Medal

10th Mountain Div. Soldier Awarded Soldier's Medal for Acts of Heroism

Special to
Published December 13, 2011

FORT DRUM, N.Y. — A 10th Mountain Division Soldier who pulled passengers to safety from a burning tour bus July 22 on Interstate 90 was awarded the prestigious Soldier's Medal at the Multipurpose Auditorium on post Tuesday.

Sgt. Jacob J. Perkins, 28, a forward observer with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, stood tall before the loud cheers and applause of his fellow Soldiers, his squadron, brigade and division command groups, New York State Police officials and a Canadian family he helped save from the fire.

"This is a momentous occasion," said Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander. "If there were bullets flying and it was the Taliban, Sgt. Perkins would be getting the Medal of Honor.

"This medal is a big deal," he said. "It is only the second one in the last five years given out in the 10th Mountain Division and (the second in the history) of the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry (Regiment).
read more here

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Retired Vietnam veteran receives Soldier's Medal at Ft. Eustis

Retired Vietnam veteran receives Soldier's Medal at Ft. Eustis
September 26, 2011

Today, retired Lt. Colonel Harold Campbell received the Soldier’s Medal for Bravery for saving about 50 civilian refugees in Vietnam after their camp caught fire.

"I feel good about what we did and the fact so many people took so much time to make this day happen,” says Campbell.

Retired Lt. Colonel says receiving the Soldier’s medal for bravery means more to him today than it would have in 1968.
read more here

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shreveport soldier Sgt. Derrick Smith to get Soldier's Medal for Fort Hood action

Local soldier tapped for heroic actions

One year ago, Shreveport soldier Sgt. Derrick Smith waited to get paperwork done in the Soldier Readiness Processing Center on the sprawling Army city of Fort Hood, Texas, when hell broke loose.

An officer whose motivations are the subject of Army court hearings started firing rounds from two guns at fellow soldiers and civilians, killing 13 people and wounding 32 others. Smith and his commanding officer rendered aid to the wounded and advanced on the officer accused of the rampage, Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Halik Hasan.

Hasan was finally felled by shots fired by civilian police officers Kimberly Munley, who was wounded several times, and Mark Todd.

One of the four heroic actions Smith performed was to save Munley's life.

For that and other actions, the now-retired Louisiana Army National Guard soldier will be among 70 soldiers and civilians honored in a ceremony today at Fort Hood, with Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Army Secretary John McHugh presiding.

Smith will receive the Soldier's Medal, the highest award given for heroism not involving combat with an armed enemy.
read more here
Local soldier tapped for heroic actions

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fort Campbell Soldier to receive Medal for Heroism

Fort Campbell Soldier to receive Medal for Heroism

Fort Campbell, KY – The Soldier’s Medal, the highest award a Soldier can receive for an act of valor in a non-combat situation, will be awarded to a Fort Campbell Soldier, October 29th. Specialist Jose A. Ortiz-Fernandez, 63rd Chemical Company, will receive the medal at Fort Campbell for his heroic actions on June 19th, 2010, when he rescued a woman from a submerged vehicle in the Cumberland River near Clarksville, Tennessee.
According to the award citation, Ortiz-Fernandez was at a park, adjacent to the river, when he witnessed a female drive her vehicle onto a boat ramp and into the water. With complete disregard for his own safety, he dove into the water and battled stiff currents to reach the vehicle.
read more here
Fort Campbell Soldier to receive Medal for Heroism

Friday, August 20, 2010

Maj. Nathlon Jackson awarded Soldier's Medal after she rushed into burning house

National Guard Soldier Receives Soldier’s Medal

by Petty Officer Second Class William Selby

U.S. Army Maj. Nathlon Jackson was faced with a situation that required her to go above and beyond her duties in the Army National Guard.

It was a situation in which the average person may not have reacted the way she did.

Jackson, a section chief for the Army Guard’s enlisted policy branch, was walking from the readiness center to her car when she saw smoke coming from a house.

“As I walked over to the house, I could smell that something was burning, rather than just it being smoke from a pot burning in the kitchen,” she said.

“I opened the mail slot with my hand and started to yell inside ‘hello, hello’ to see if anyone was home.”

One of the neighbors quickly ran over to Jackson and provided her a key to the house and told her that someone was in the house.

Jackson immediately reacted and went in the burning house, proceeding up to the bedroom where she found and rescued Shirley Rollins.
read more here
National Guard Soldier Receives Soldiers Medal

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Virginia Army National Guardsman awarded Soldier's Medal

Guardsman earns medal for saving lives

Staff and wire reports
Posted : Saturday Aug 7, 2010 10:50:30 EDT

A member of the Virginia Army National Guard has received the Soldier’s Medal for heroism after a boating accident on the Chesapeake Bay off Virginia.

Chief Warrant Officer Clifford Bauman received the Soldier’s Medal on July 24 for saving the lives of three men during the October 2009 incident.

The award is the Army’s highest for noncombat-related actions.

Bauman is serving an active-duty tour with the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va.
read more here
Guardsman earns medal for saving lives