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Navy SEAL Awarded Navy Cross for actions in Afghanistan
San Diego Union Tribune | November 1st, 2003 | Otto Kreisher

Posted on 11/03/2003 4:14:33 AM PST by A Simple Soldier

San Diego Union-Tribune

November 1, 2003

Coronado SEAL Wins Navy Cross

Award for heroism in Afghanistan

By Otto Kreisher, Copley News Service

WASHINGTON – A Navy SEAL assigned to the Special Warfare Center in Coronado received the Navy Cross, the nation's second-highest award, this week for heroism during a rescue mission in Afghanistan.

Chief Petty Officer Stephen Bass also was one of three special-operations personnel among six service members honored by a prominent national-security support group, underscoring the unprecedented role special-operations forces played in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

Bass was cited for "extraordinary heroism" during combat operations in northern Afghanistan as part of a U.S. and British special-operations mission to rescue two missing Americans. During the operation, he was "continuously engaged" by small-arms, mortar and rocket-propelled-grenade fire and had to walk through a minefield to reach the Americans, according to a citation honoring Bass.

The award statement said Bass advanced nearly one-quarter of a mile "under constant enemy fire" in an attempt to find one of the Americans. When he ran low on ammunition, the SEAL used weapons from dead enemy forces to continue his mission, which resulted in the recovery of the American.

The Navy Cross is second only to the Medal of Honor for bravery in combat.

Bass was among the first recipients of the "Grateful Nation" award from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

The organization also honored Maj. George Thiebes for his actions as an Army Special Forces company commander fighting in northern Iraq and Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Lamonica for two special-operations combat deployments to Afghanistan.

The "Grateful Nation" award also went to Army 1st Sgt. John R. Hawley for combat leadership in Afghanistan, Marine Reserve Cpl. Seth Wells for performance under fire in Iraq, and Coast Guard Reserve Chief Petty Officer Paula Jaklitsch for service in New York City during and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; anamericansoldier; goodnews; heroism; navy; navycross; oef; rescue; seals; specialops
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Sorry if this was posted, but it is important to recognize those who truly stand out and perform their duties above and beyond the normal call of duty.
1 posted on 11/03/2003 4:14:34 AM PST by A Simple Soldier
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; LindaSOG
Ping
2 posted on 11/03/2003 4:17:46 AM PST by A Simple Soldier
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To: A Simple Soldier; Kathy in Alaska; MoJo2001; LindaSOG; LaDivaLoca; bentfeather; Bethbg79; ...
Military Hero Ping

A Simple Soldier : Thank You for posting this.
3 posted on 11/03/2003 4:29:25 AM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a service man or woman today?)
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To: A Simple Soldier
"If you want to wear the name, you have to bear the pain"
-C905

Hoo-ya! for CPO Bass!
4 posted on 11/03/2003 5:11:14 AM PST by Dr. Marten (To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge)
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To: A Simple Soldier
If heroics like that only earn the Navy Cross, what does a guy have to do to earn the Medal of Honor?
5 posted on 11/03/2003 5:13:30 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
ping
6 posted on 11/03/2003 5:14:48 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Labyrinthos
This is my opinion only!!!!!

We will not again likely see a living Medal of Honor recipient.
7 posted on 11/03/2003 5:15:02 AM PST by A Simple Soldier
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To: A Simple Soldier
A salute to all.
8 posted on 11/03/2003 5:17:45 AM PST by jwalsh07
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To: A Simple Soldier
Congratulations to them all..........and may God richly bless them.
9 posted on 11/03/2003 5:19:39 AM PST by RightOnline
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To: A Simple Soldier
We will not again likely see a living Medal of Honor recipient.

We might, but it's probably going to have to involve rescuing his CO from certain death!

10 posted on 11/03/2003 5:22:59 AM PST by ErnBatavia (Santa Ana wind and fire season runs thru late November..we're just beginning)
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To: Labyrinthos
For starters, you have to do what you do and have an officer witness it.
11 posted on 11/03/2003 5:28:13 AM PST by Smokin' Joe
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To: A Simple Soldier
You gotta link for this one?
12 posted on 11/03/2003 5:43:08 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Labyrinthos
Generally you have to get killed.

Not bad for a swab jockey ;)

Semper Fi, Chief Bass!
13 posted on 11/03/2003 5:46:34 AM PST by IGOTMINE (He needed killin')
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To: Prodigal Son
I got it off of Early Bird this morning, but here is the original link

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/uniontrib/sat/metro/news_2m1seal.html
14 posted on 11/03/2003 5:50:30 AM PST by A Simple Soldier
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To: Labyrinthos
only earn the Navy Cross,

What a sorry-ass statement!

15 posted on 11/03/2003 5:51:41 AM PST by verity
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To: Prodigal Son
Believe it or not, nothing on the Navy's website, though.
16 posted on 11/03/2003 5:52:03 AM PST by A Simple Soldier
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To: A Simple Soldier
Thanks.
17 posted on 11/03/2003 5:52:33 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Labyrinthos
FYI, politics plays a role when conferring decorations for extraordinary heroism. Who witnesses the action and who recommends the award play very big roles. Surviving or dying plays a role, not a definitive role, but a role nonetheless.

Bill Carpenter's DSC was written up as a Medal of Honor by his battalion commander. If he would have died, as was expected, when he deliberately called the napalm strike on his own unit (the scene depicted in PLATOON is based on this incident, but Carpenter commanded in the 101st), he would have gotten it. The napalm splashed away from his unit and on to the NVA. He and the remnants of his unit survived and "held the field" at the end of the day.

Chesty Puller had 5 Navy Crosses over 3-4 wars. After the 2nd or 3rd NC, he would have likely gotten the Medal of Honor, if he had been killed, in any of the subsequent actions that he was decorated with the NC for.
18 posted on 11/03/2003 6:02:09 AM PST by A Simple Soldier
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To: Smokin' Joe
You forgot the part of the officer liking you enough to put in the paperwork.
19 posted on 11/03/2003 6:07:42 AM PST by taxcontrol (People are entitled to their opinion - no matter how wrong it is.)
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To: Jeff Head
Special Operations Force Ping!!!
I'll try to scare up his citation. Would be useful research material for your books.
20 posted on 11/03/2003 6:26:18 AM PST by A Simple Soldier
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To: Labyrinthos; A Simple Soldier
We will not again likely see a living Medal of Honor recipient.

Well said, and probably true. The Engineer NCO who saved his Bn TOC from being overrun at the Baghdad Airport, and died in the process, is currently being considered for award of the CMH. I beleive he is the only one so far from this conflict who has been nominated...

21 posted on 11/03/2003 6:41:16 AM PST by HiJinx (Go with Courage, go with Honor, go in God's good Grace. Come home when you're done. We'll be here.)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Praise God for our heroes!
22 posted on 11/03/2003 6:52:00 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: A Simple Soldier
Sorry if this was posted, but it is important to recognize those who truly stand out and perform their duties above and beyond the normal call of duty.

You got that right! Thank you for posting and many, many thanks to this TRUE AMERICAN HERO. Makes my heart sing to read about the bravery of one of ours! Also makes me...


23 posted on 11/03/2003 7:07:27 AM PST by StarCMC (God protect the 969th in Iraq and their Captain, my brother...God protect them all!)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Thanks for the ping Tonk - always happy to honor a hero!
24 posted on 11/03/2003 7:08:11 AM PST by StarCMC (God protect the 969th in Iraq and their Captain, my brother...God protect them all!)
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To: A Simple Soldier; Pan_Yans Wife; MJY1288; Calpernia; Grampa Dave; anniegetyourgun; ...
"it is important to recognize those who truly stand out and perform their duties above and beyond the normal call of duty."

Bump that. Thank you for the post and pings.

Bass advanced nearly one-quarter of a mile "under constant enemy fire" in an attempt to find one of the Americans. When he ran low on ammunition, the SEAL used weapons from dead enemy forces to continue his mission, which resulted in the recovery of the American.

~~~
Thank you, Chief Petty Officer Stephen Bass.
~~~

If you want on or off my Pro-Coalition ping list, please Freepmail me. Warning: it is a high volume ping list on good days. (Most days are good days).

25 posted on 11/03/2003 8:00:04 AM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("Never take counsel of your fears." ~* George Patton)
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To: A Simple Soldier
I had the same thought...for a variety of reasons...probably only a posthumous award of the CMH is now possible...unless of course, the soldier in question is a minority, and we have a Dem president in the WH?...seriously, the reviewing authorities all seem to justify their existence by a need to "diminish" the narrative of the original citation...if you look back at the last two awards, in Somalia...had the two troopers survived, they'd probably have been "lucky" ( for want of a better word) to get the Silver Star....the argument being that they made a very heroic, braave, yet conscious decision to put themselves in harm's way to protect their downed comrades..,,they did have some hope/expectation of being relieved/rescued....
26 posted on 11/03/2003 8:06:18 AM PST by ken5050
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Praise God for our heroes! Bump!
27 posted on 11/03/2003 8:07:35 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: A Simple Soldier
Thank you ,Chief Bass,for performing such an heroic deed.I am humbled by your service.Go Navy!
28 posted on 11/03/2003 8:40:02 AM PST by MEG33
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To: MEG33
Thanks for the ping Tonk.

Ping for a REAL American Hero. God bless and keep the troops safe.

This book is about living Medal of Honor Recepients from previous wars. The best and most inspirational book I have ever read.

29 posted on 11/03/2003 9:24:02 AM PST by Hondo1952 ("Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society." Samuel Clemens)
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To: harpseal; Travis McGee; Squantos
Ping
30 posted on 11/03/2003 9:26:06 AM PST by knighthawk (And we all cry for freedom with your fists in the sky)
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To: knighthawk
Thanks Knighthawk.......stories like these are just the ones we get to read about.

Stay Safe !

31 posted on 11/03/2003 9:38:13 AM PST by Squantos ("Ubi non accusator, ibi non judex.")
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To: A Simple Soldier
When he ran low on ammunition, the SEAL used weapons from dead enemy forces to continue his mission, which resulted in the recovery of the American.

American spirit defined.
32 posted on 11/03/2003 9:41:07 AM PST by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: Labyrinthos
>> If heroics like that only earn the Navy Cross, what does a guy have to do to earn the Medal of Honor?

I recall during the Vietnam war several Navy Hospital Corpsmen threw themselves onto grenades to prevent injury or death to their fellow Marines. In at least one case the grenade failed to explode. They were awarded Medals of Honor.
33 posted on 11/03/2003 9:48:32 AM PST by PhilipFreneau
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To: PhilipFreneau
Greater love hath no man than this,that he lay down his life for his friends.
34 posted on 11/03/2003 10:32:12 AM PST by MEG33
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To: Labyrinthos
My question too!!!! WOW!!!
35 posted on 11/03/2003 11:18:32 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump!
36 posted on 11/03/2003 12:10:17 PM PST by windchime
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
We will never hear the details of the mission, but...

I say any SEAL is worthy of praise!

God Bless the United States Navy and all who serve in her!!

37 posted on 11/03/2003 3:10:58 PM PST by Nitro (W)
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To: Hondo1952
This book is about living Medal of Honor Recepients from previous wars. The best and most inspirational book I have ever read.

I love to brag here that I'm aquainted with Mitchell Paige (USMC Guadalcanal)...he's just about the last of the living Marine recipients from World War II - I think he's eighty six now, but still in reasonable health, and enjoying life right here in La Quinta.

I have an autographed copy of his book ("A Marine Named Mitch", as well as an autographed copy of his GI Joe.

38 posted on 11/03/2003 3:19:44 PM PST by ErnBatavia (Santa Ana wind and fire season runs thru late November..we're just beginning)
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To: ErnBatavia
Hero bump for your uncle. God bless him.
39 posted on 11/03/2003 4:52:52 PM PST by Hondo1952 ("Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society." Samuel Clemens)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; A Simple Soldier
CPO Stephen Bass


40 posted on 11/03/2003 5:46:00 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: Labyrinthos
There was an Air Force forward air controller in Afghanistan who called in numerous air strikes under heavy fire when the chopper got shot down trying to rescue the SEAL-Neil Roberts (?)-who fell (or was knocked out of-can't remember exactly) another chopper. I read the guys testimony about the events of that day on Hackworth's site and he seemed deserving of a CMH to me. As far as I know he hasn't been awarded a lesser award, so maybe they are working on getting the medal of honor for him.

The whole decorations issue stinks IMHO, I recently read about a Marine tanker in Iraq who pulled his CO to safety under heavy fire and was given a Bronze Star (which seems like less than he deserved). Why have these awards of they aren't going to be given to anyone?

This troop and the SF officer who helped put down the POW insurrection in Afghanistan are the only men I've heard of to win a service cross in the WOT.

41 posted on 11/03/2003 5:57:41 PM PST by 91B (Golly it's hot.)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
THESE are our TRUE heroes...not football, baseball, or basketball players. Our military people make them look like pampered poodles.
42 posted on 11/03/2003 6:09:37 PM PST by cowgirlcutie (wor)
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To: All
Army awards for Enduring Freedom https://www.perscomonline.army.mil/tagd/awards/OEF_Statistics.doc

Army awards for Iraqi Freedom https://www.perscomonline.army.mil/tagd/awards/OIF_Statistics_Iraq_Freedom.doc

Not comprehensive.

43 posted on 11/03/2003 6:11:18 PM PST by 91B (Golly it's hot.)
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To: 91B
A USAF PJ and a CCT were decorated with the Air Force Cross posthumously for actions in Afghanistan last year. The guys you are thinking of were recognized.
44 posted on 11/03/2003 7:22:13 PM PST by A Simple Soldier
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To: A Simple Soldier
Not the same guy. This guy lived and his testimony about the events in question were on Hack's website. I will try and find the link. His actions were extraordinary.
45 posted on 11/03/2003 7:47:01 PM PST by 91B (Golly it's hot.)
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To: 91B
His testimony can be found here: http://www.sftt.org/dw05222002.html#2

Read what happened and tell me whether or not you agree that he deserves the CMH.

46 posted on 11/03/2003 7:58:01 PM PST by 91B (Golly it's hot.)
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To: 91B
A very solid Silver Star, especially when compared to the other valor awards presented for the same action.

SrA Cunningham was one of the two AFCs from OEF I mentioned earlier.

Nate Self and 8 of his Rangers got the Silver Star. He was the Army CPT seated near the First Ladyt at the State of the Union address last January.

I am sure you know the politics of awards in the military. An EM or NCO getting a Silver Star today is a big, big deal.

In Vietnam or before he may have gotten a higher award, but due to valor awards inflation over time, the military has tightened up the criterion, probably too much.
47 posted on 11/03/2003 8:26:59 PM PST by A Simple Soldier
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To: A Simple Soldier
I've read a lot of CMH citations and what Sgt. Vance did that day is very comparable (I have no idea what he has been awarded, but in Hack's column at the time he said that those who survived the engagement pointed to Sgt. Vance's actions as critical to their survival). I think it sucks that it is nigh on to impossible for brave men to be awarded appropriate decorations for their heroism (I also think it is bad for morale).
48 posted on 11/03/2003 8:35:54 PM PST by 91B (Golly it's hot.)
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To: A Simple Soldier
Here's a story to illustrate what I'm talking about. You remember Mike Durant? He was the chopper pilot taken prisoner by the Somalis during the "Blackhawk Down" action. Of course two SF troops try to rescue him, are killed and eventually earn the CMH. Well, I read Durant's book and he talks about going to Gary Gordon's hometown to give a speech and, because he was going to honor the CMH winner who tried to save him, he decided to go to the library to check out a book on the Medal of Honor. He found that the book hadn't been checked out for 20 years. But when he looked at who had checked it out do you know who he found was the last person to check out the book? Gary Gordon.

I read that and it gave me chills. Here he was, not even in the military yet and he was looking for inspiration in this book. Stuff like that is important.

49 posted on 11/03/2003 8:51:15 PM PST by 91B (Golly it's hot.)
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To: 91B
Doc,
I got your point awhile ago. I just disagree that the level of heroism was MOH worthy. Personally, I think more than a few MOHs were overawarded in years past, i.e., some should have probably been DSCs, but politics and other issues played a role.

I have not yet read Durant's book. Interesting story. I bet I know what book it is. FWIW, I served with a fellow LT when I was an LT who was Randy Shugart's best friend from the Ranger Battalions and Special Forces. We were in the same unit when Bakara Market happened. He was Stephanie Shugart's escort at the MOH ceremony at the White House.

When I was a rifle company commander, I would read Medal of Honor citations of similarly aged, ranked, and MOSed soldiers to the soldiers who were standing before me for Article 15s. My point was to force them to confront what they had done and think about how they had disgraced the memory and honor of this brave man. Did not work with everyone (you always get a knucklehead or two) but most got the point. A few even cried.
50 posted on 11/03/2003 9:11:35 PM PST by A Simple Soldier
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