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Stryker Soldier Awarded Distinguished Service Cross
ARMY.MIL/NEWS ^ | Dec 13, 2007 | Army Specialist Vincent Fusco

Posted on 12/13/2007 8:07:34 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4

Stryker Soldier Awarded Distinguished Service Cross

Dec 13, 2007
BY Spc. Vincent Fusco

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey pins the Distinguished Service Cross on Sgt. Gregory Williams for his actions during a firefight after an IED stopped his Stryker in Baghdad. Photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew MacRoberts

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (Army News Service, Dec. 13, 2007) - A 1st Stryker Brigade Soldier who saved the life of his platoon leader was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross Dec. 12 at Fort Wainwright for his actions during an ambush in Iraq.

Sgt. Gregory Williams received the Army's second-highest award for valor from Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. for what he did in a gun battle that ensued after an improved explosives device stopped his Stryker last year in Baghdad.

Although injured himself, Sgt. Williams pulled his lieutenant from a smoldering Stryker, provided suppressive fire with a 50-caliber weapon and enabled first aid to be given to Soldiers burned by the IED blast. He was a squad leader in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1/5th Infantry, 1st SBCT, 25th Infantry Division.

"When I want to talk about the quality of the force, I talk about Sgt. Williams," said Gen. George Casey, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, who presented him the award. "(Soldiers like Sgt. Williams) are the heart and soul of the Army."

During a mounted night patrol Oct. 30, 2006, in Baghdad's Huriyah neighborhood, Sgt. Williams' Stryker was struck by shaped charges that sent a stream of molten fire through the hull of the vehicle.

"It was like someone took a can opener and peeled it (the Stryker) open," Sgt. Williams said.

As the Stryker and its occupants caught fire, enemy forces unleashed an ambush of rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 rounds. While the vehicle was still in motion, the Soldiers dismounted from the back ramp, found cover and returned fire.

Sgt. Williams, a Valley Spring, Calif. native, was unconscious for a few seconds after the blast, recovered and put the flames out on himself and other Soldiers around him before grabbing a first aid bag to treat his comrades.

But Sgt. Williams realized that the Soldiers were in greater need of suppressive fire, so he expended 120 rounds - four magazines - of ammunition from his M4 carbine upon the enemy.

After helping provide suppressive fire, he saw his platoon leader, 1st. Lt. Aaron Willard, from York Springs, Penn., inside the smoldering Stryker. Lt. Willard's legs were burned and lacerated from shrapnel, and he had just finished his third magazine engaging the enemy when he began to pass out from blood loss.

"My ears started ringing and I started to see a white light in front of my eyes," Lt. Willard said. "Sgt. Williams grabbed me and threw me towards the back of the vehicle."

Lt. Willard then remembered waking up on the ramp and the medic treating his wounds.
Spc. Matthew Driscoll, a gunner in HHC, 1-5th, was one of the Soldiers trapped by enemy fire and recalls how Sgt. Williams established fire superiority.

"We didn't have any cover because we were taking fire from our 12 o'clock," Spc. Driscoll said. "So Sgt. Williams jumped into the (.50-caliber M2 machine gun) spot and started unloading."

A rifle round went past Sgt. Williams' head and hit the hatch before he expended 100 rounds into the enemy's position. He paused for a moment before two more rounds hit the hatch. Sgt. Williams then fired another 200 rounds before the weapon jammed and B Company, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 172nd SBCT, (now 1-5th, 1-25th SBCT) arrived to provide security.

"That (Sgt. Williams' suppressive fire) was the turning point of the firefight," Lt. Willard said. "If no one got on the 50 cal., there would've been more casualties."

When the medic pulled Sgt. Williams down to assess his injuries, Sgt. Williams found that he couldn't hear and everything felt like it was spinning. He had minor burns and two punctured eardrums that needed surgery.

Willard, who is now a captain in the Warrior Transition Unit, a unit that oversees the health and welfare of Soldiers receiving medical care, credits Sgt. Williams as the person who, in the heat of the moment, "recognized when to get on the 50 cal. and start shooting."

"I think it was a great honor to receive this award, I'm very proud to receive it," Sgt. Williams said. "But I was just doing my job and what I was trained to do."

Sgt. Williams believes that everyone in his squad would have done the same thing that day, and credits them as heroes in their own right.

(Spc. Vincent Fusco serves with the 20th PAD.)



TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; US: Alaska; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: sbct; stryker
SGT Williams is an Unsung Hero. Spread the word.
1 posted on 12/13/2007 8:07:35 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4
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To: af_vet_rr; ALOHA RONNIE; American in Israel; American Soldier; archy; armymarinemom; bad company; ..

Stryker Brigade Combat Team Tactical Studies Group (Chairborne)


2 posted on 12/13/2007 8:11:24 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Good man


3 posted on 12/13/2007 8:11:42 AM PST by wastedyears (Duncan Hunter is like a cheeseburger and fries. Simple presentation with no frills.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Bravo, Sgt Williams!


4 posted on 12/13/2007 8:13:28 AM PST by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3rd Bn. 5th Marines, RVN 1969. St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle!)
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To: intenseracer; 2ndDivisionVet; Lurker; roaddog727; MizSterious; Tainan; AliVeritas; Liberty Wins; ...

ping


5 posted on 12/13/2007 8:13:36 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Thanks for posting. And thanks, many many thanks to Sgt. Gregory Williams!


6 posted on 12/13/2007 8:30:45 AM PST by andyandval
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

“I think it was a great honor to receive this award, I’m very proud to receive it,” Sgt. Williams said. “But I was just doing my job and what I was trained to do.”

Well done!


7 posted on 12/13/2007 8:32:48 AM PST by SMARTY
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Why don’t we issue live Medals of Honor anymore? I’ve learned of this and a number of other actions that certainly deserve at least some serious consideration.


8 posted on 12/13/2007 8:43:20 AM PST by cll (Carthage must be destroyed)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Bumperoo!


9 posted on 12/13/2007 8:49:21 AM PST by roaddog727 (BS does not get bridges built)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Yes - he is. And it’s a disgrace that this wasn’t the lead story on the news, IMO.


10 posted on 12/13/2007 8:53:49 AM PST by StarCMC (http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com; http://starcmc.wordpress.com/ - The Enemedia is inside the gates.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4; acad1228; AliVeritas; aomagrat; beachn4fun; BIGLOOK; blackie; bluesagewoman; ...

Ping - an American Hero ignored by the Enemedia....


11 posted on 12/13/2007 8:54:57 AM PST by StarCMC (http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com; http://starcmc.wordpress.com/ - The Enemedia is inside the gates.)
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To: StarCMC

I have to agree!


12 posted on 12/13/2007 8:57:25 AM PST by Monkey Face (If we are what we eat, I'm cheap, fast and easy.)
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To: StarCMC; Cannoneer No. 4

“He found he couldn’t hear and everything was spinning..”

No doubt, he’d just been bounced around pretty good, run everywhere he’d been after that, hauled people forward, back, and had the adrenaline monster stomping him into activity.
Excellent that despite being out of it for one or two seconds, he still kept his wits about him.
I can’t say that I’d have been capable of active thought.


13 posted on 12/13/2007 9:06:01 AM PST by Darksheare (Cannibal Soup, a meal within yourself.)
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To: StarCMC

BTTT


14 posted on 12/13/2007 9:12:45 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: StarCMC

BTTT


15 posted on 12/13/2007 9:12:56 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: E.G.C.

bookmarked


16 posted on 12/13/2007 9:17:26 AM PST by maica (Leftists have faith in government; conservatives believe in people as individuals.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Thanks for the ping. A hero, indeed.


17 posted on 12/13/2007 9:21:52 AM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
"improved explosives device "

I assume that they improve the more they build them but aren't they "improvised" explosive devices?

Awesome story nonetheless.

18 posted on 12/13/2007 9:31:58 AM PST by FishTale
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To: cll

As brave and canny as this hero’s actions were, you should read some of the citations for MOH winners.

The one I’m most recently familiar with was the background of the real ‘GI Joe’.

Bottom line: One marine and four machine guns held off 90 Japanese infantry.

There was one that I presented to a Boy Scout troop about the Private that killed a bunch of Germans on a bridge, had his legs blown off at the knees, but gave himself tourniquets and then armed himself with two hand grenades and stood rear guard on a bridge, warning as to the approach of German reinforcements. Not only did he warn of the advancing Germans, he managed to kill six more with his grenades before he was finally shot.

SGT Williams actions were indeed brave, but the MOH is something else all together.


19 posted on 12/13/2007 9:39:35 AM PST by RinaseaofDs
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Thank you Sgt. Gregory Williams for your service.


20 posted on 12/13/2007 9:58:12 AM PST by MNJohnnie (Hillary Clinton has never done one thing right. She thinks that qualifies her to be President?)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

This is a good article, but its also confusing. I don’t know why Army journalists can’t get this straight, but they can’t and their leadership is not correcting them.

SGT Williams served in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry, part of the 172d Infantry Brigade from Alaska. When this unit returned from Iraq they were redesignated (commonly called reflagging) as the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. The battalions were also reflagged, and the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry became the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry, the unit to which SGT Williams now belongs.

This is the second DSC awarded to a member of the 172d Infantry Brigade. The first was awarded to Private Stephen Sanford of C Company, 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry. Like Williams, he lived to have the decoration pinned on him. Unlike Williams, he is no longer on active duty.

To make matters more complicated, all of the battalions that comprised the 172d Infantry Brigade are currently part of a new Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Ft. Lewis, the 5th Brigade, 2d Infantry Division which will soon be redesignated the 2d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division (Stryker). The current 2d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division is a light brigade stationed at Ft. Carson and serving in Iraq. All of these complications are a part of the larger Transformation of the U.S. Army. Got it?


21 posted on 12/13/2007 10:06:01 AM PST by centurion316 (Democrats - Supporting Al Qaida Worldwide)
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To: centurion316

No, I’m still confused. Are my unit patches in post #2 still good? Haven’t really paid much attention to Stryker stuff in a while. The newness wore off.


22 posted on 12/13/2007 12:30:18 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com)
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To: holdonnow; sono; Just Lori; armymarinemom; Tennessee Nana; Clint N. Suhks; StoneWall Brigade; ...

Sgt. Williams, OUTSTANDING!


23 posted on 12/13/2007 1:00:52 PM PST by AliVeritas (You spineless GOP SOBs, un-ass and get our troops money or shut down the floor.)
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To: RinaseaofDs
The one I’m most recently familiar with was the background of the real ‘GI Joe’. Bottom line: One marine and four machine guns held off 90 Japanese infantry

Oh no. Marine Mitch Paige and his MG section held off in excess of 2,200 Japanese troops, at a cost of 90 American dead. Read his story for yourself.

The Medal of Honor citation for Mitchell Paige reads as follows:

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the

Medal of Honor




to

PAIGE, MITCHELL

Rank and organization:
Platoon Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.

Place and date:
Solomon Islands, 26 October 1942.

Entered service at
:
Pennsylvania.

Born:
31 August 1918, Charleroi, Pa.


Citation:
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with a company of marines in combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 26 October 1942. When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, P/Sgt. Paige, commanding a machinegun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he fought with his gun and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire against the advancing hordes until reinforcements finally arrived. Then, forming a new line, he dauntlessly and aggressively led a bayonet charge, driving the enemy back and preventing a breakthrough in our lines. His great personal valor and unyielding devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

 

 

24 posted on 12/13/2007 1:18:57 PM PST by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: RinaseaofDs
The one I’m most recently familiar with was the background of the real ‘GI Joe’

This is a more recent one from Iraq of which you should be aware.

So is this one, from Vietnam.

25 posted on 12/13/2007 1:22:55 PM PST by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: cll
Why don’t we issue live Medals of Honor anymore? I’ve learned of this and a number of other actions that certainly deserve at least some serious consideration.

One excellent sugfgestion I've heard is that those who've received the MOH should have more of a role in the nomination and selection process of those who should receive it.

Interestingly, I've also been informed that there've been fewer than a dozen awards of the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest decoration for valourous conduct, for service during the Iraqi fighting; and I also wonder why that is.

26 posted on 12/13/2007 1:28:40 PM PST by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: archy
I got to know Mitchell Paige a bit, before he died a few years ago...his wife and my mother were good DAR buddies.

What a thrill for this USMC former corporal to be welcomed into his study full of memorabilia -- and of course have him autograph my Mitch Paige GI Joe.

27 posted on 12/13/2007 1:44:55 PM PST by ErnBatavia (...forward this to your 10 very best friends....)
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To: AliVeritas

Thanks for the ping a true hero indeed


28 posted on 12/13/2007 1:50:41 PM PST by StoneWall Brigade ('A nation which dose not remember what it was yesterday does not know where it is today... R.E. Lee)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

OK, here’s the rundown

1st Stryker Brigade: 3d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, WA (no change)

2d Stryker Brigade: 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, WA - redesignated as 2d Cavalry Regiment, transferred to Vilseck, Germany and now in Iraq

3d Stryker Brigade: 172d Infantry Brigade, Ft. Wainwright Alaska - redesignated as 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division

4th Stryker Brigade: 2d Cavalry Regiment. Redesignated 4th Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, WA and currently in Iraq

5th Stryker Brigade: 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, HI currently deploying to Iraq

6th Stryker Brigade: 5th Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, WA. To be redesignated as 2d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division upon return of that brigade to Ft. Carson, CO from Iraq. The battalions comprising this brigade were previously assigned to the 172d Infantry Brigade. Their flags, and not their personnel, were transferred to Ft. Lewis when the 172d reflagged as 1st Bde, 25th ID.

7th Stryker Brigade: 56th Brigade, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania NG. This brigade has been alerted for deployment.

Congress has further directed that the Army consider activating an 8th Stryker Brigade in lieu of one of the five new light infantry brigades being activated in the coming few years.

Your patches are still good for now, just some people wearing different patches. My nephew, for example is a sniper team leader in the 1st Sqdn, 2d Cav Regiment in Iraq. During his first tour in Iraq, he was in the 1st Bn, 5th Inf, 1st Bde, 25th ID. He has stayed in the same unit - they just changed flag, patch, unit designation, and shipped to Vilseck before heading back to Iraq for the 2d time.


29 posted on 12/13/2007 2:14:53 PM PST by centurion316 (Democrats - Supporting Al Qaida Worldwide)
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To: ErnBatavia
I got to know Mitchell Paige a bit, before he died a few years ago...his wife and my mother were good DAR buddies.

What a thrill for this USMC former corporal to be welcomed into his study full of memorabilia -- and of course have him autograph my Mitch Paige GI Joe.

What are the odds that a guy who lived 15 miles from my hometown and with whom I likely ran across in our high school days would be presented with the MOH by LBJ in the same ceremony as a guy I'd gone through Armor training with?

I've had the very special privilige of knowing four individuals who've earned the MOH in three different wars, and each was just as common and ordinary as can be....and, at the same time, more special than can be imagined.

30 posted on 12/13/2007 2:15:24 PM PST by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: archy

Marine Corps hijack of Army thread alert.

Archy, Your information on the Silver Star is not correct, 200+ is more like it. check out War on Terror Awards on Home of Heroes website.

http://www.homeofheroes.com/valor/02_wot/index.html

Doug Sterner has collected all of the GWOT citations for MH, DSC, NC, and AFC. He has started working on the Silver Star citations, but is having a tough time since some numbnuts on the Army Staff has decided not to release these citations to the public. I’d like to take this moron on a patrol and watch him wet his pants.


31 posted on 12/13/2007 2:22:19 PM PST by centurion316 (Democrats - Supporting Al Qaida Worldwide)
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To: ErnBatavia
I got to know Mitchell Paige a bit, before he died a few years ago...his wife and my mother were good DAR buddies.

Do you have any take on what his thoughts about the idea in the post here might have been, or what sort of reaction he'd have had to it?

I know he continued to care deeply for his Marine Corps:

When the Hasbro Toy Co. called some years back, asking permission to put the retired colonel's face on some kid's doll, Mitchell Paige thought they must be joking.

But they weren't. That's his mug, on the little Marine they call "G.I. Joe." At least, it has been up till now.

Mitchell Paige's only condition? That G.I. Joe must always remain a United States Marine.


32 posted on 12/13/2007 2:22:38 PM PST by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: archy
Do you have any take on what his thoughts about the idea in the post here might have been, or what sort of reaction he'd have had to it?

That link doesn't go anywhere, so I can't address the question.

I remember referring to GI Joe as "doll", and he chuckled and said, "Please!....action figure!"

33 posted on 12/13/2007 2:26:53 PM PST by ErnBatavia (...forward this to your 10 very best friends....)
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To: archy
I just went digging and found these pics from '99, as he was autographing GI Joe for me; think I'll add 'em to my FReep homepage....


34 posted on 12/13/2007 2:44:27 PM PST by ErnBatavia (...forward this to your 10 very best friends....)
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To: centurion316
Archy, Your information on the Silver Star is not correct, 200+ is more like it. check out War on Terror Awards on Home of Heroes website.

http://www.homeofheroes.com/valor/02_wot/index.html

Doug Sterner has collected all of the GWOT citations for MH, DSC, NC, and AFC. He has started working on the Silver Star citations, but is having a tough time since some numbnuts on the Army Staff has decided not to release these citations to the public. I’d like to take this moron on a patrol and watch him wet his pants.

I'm really glad to hear that. I was so informed by a fairly high-up Pentagon PAO who should have known better.

The failure to release the info on the SS recipients may be a matter of OpSec, considering recent attempts to harass or taunt some service member families with spiteful or fraudulent telephone calls and other harassment. But those who've received them know, and so do those with them when they were earned.

35 posted on 12/13/2007 3:01:04 PM PST by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: ErnBatavia
Do you have any take on what his thoughts about the idea in the post here might have been, or what sort of reaction he'd have had to it?

That link doesn't go anywhere, so I can't address the question.

Sorry 'bout that! It's from my post #26 above, which I tried to simply post as a link. The thought referenced is as follows:

One excellent sugfgestion I've heard is that those who've received the MOH should have more of a role in the nomination and selection process of those who should receive it.

36 posted on 12/13/2007 3:03:36 PM PST by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Will indeed.

“just doing what I was trained for”.

I am humbled.


37 posted on 12/13/2007 3:04:14 PM PST by HonestConservative (Hillary, the undocumented president.)
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To: archy

I don’t buy the OPSEC excuse. Almost every garrison PAO releases the names and photos from awards ceremonies, including the SOF community. Name and unit are all that is required. The Brits publish their gallantry awards in the London Gazette, the legal notices newspaper. Thus the term: “Gazetted”. On rare occasions when the name can’t be released (SAS for example), the name is redacted, but the citation is still published.

The American public needs to know about these deeds, and some Pissant in the Pentagon who has never heard a shot fired in anger shouldn’t be allowed to prevent it.


38 posted on 12/13/2007 3:16:27 PM PST by centurion316 (Democrats - Supporting Al Qaida Worldwide)
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To: centurion316
Thanks.

5th Brigade, 2d Infantry Division blows my ROAD First Tank mind.

39 posted on 12/13/2007 3:21:57 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Thanks for ping.

I have hope that our internal enemies will individually come to see that shirking duty carries too high a cost. Honor once lost is rarely recovered. Once men decide to follow the road of lying to themselves few turn back.


40 posted on 12/13/2007 9:05:23 PM PST by Iris7 ("Do not live lies!" ...Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
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