View Full Version : Medic receives Soldier's Medal

04-17-2007, 19:54
Medic receives Soldier's Medal
USASOC News Service

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Apr. 17, 2007) — A Special Forces medic from the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) received the Soldier’s Medal Tuesday for saving the lives of two International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers after the ISAF vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Jason Smith observed an explosion along his detachment’s route of travel on Nov. 14, 2005 while his detachment moved through the city of Kabul. As the convoy approached the site of the explosion, he observed damaged ISAF vehicles moving rapidly in the opposite direction. The scene was chaotic and the enemy was hidden.

“After an IED explodes, we expect that the enemy is watching and waiting for coalition forces to respond so they can detonate a larger explosion,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tate Reid, the detachment’s weapons sergeant. “Jason reacted without any regard to his personal safety. His focus was solely on saving the lives of the ISAF soldiers.”

Reid recalled that local Afghans helped by bringing one of the severely wounded soldiers to the detachment’s convoy. He pointed them in the direction of Smith’s vehicle, saying, “Doctor, doctor,” as Smith came sprinting out of his vehicle with his aid bag in hand.

According to the narrative description of the events that led to this award, Smith calmly rendered aid to the first wounded soldier who had suffered significant wounds to his lower extremities. Smith stopped the bleeding, stabilized the soldier and instructed another team member about what further treatment was necessary before continuing his sweep of the IED site.

“He received word that another soldier was severely wounded, but would not make it,” said Reid, “but ignored the assessment and sprinted about 200 meters to the aid of the second wounded soldier.”

The second soldier was suffering from a life-threatening amputation of one of his legs. According to the award narrative, Smith applied a tourniquet and treated the other wounds before again handing the wounded soldier off to other team members so he could complete the area sweep.

After ensuring there were no more casualties requiring assistance in the area, Smith coordinated the medical evacuation and directed arriving ISAF soldiers to provide additional security and medical assistance.

The narrative continued, stating that Smith’s overall leadership and courage quickly brought order and direction to a chaotic scene and denied an enemy, who sought a high payoff from attacking Coalition forces, by saving the lives of two ISAF soldiers and limiting the possibility of further attacks.

Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and Brig. Gen. Christoph Ammon, Commander of the German ISAF Contingent personally recognized Smith’s actions with letters to his residence.

Maj. Gen. Thomas Csrnko, the commanding general of U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) hosted the ceremony and quoted Adm. Bull Halsey by saying, “There are no great men, just great challenges which ordinary men, out of necessity, are forced by circumstance to meet.” He challenged Halsey’s remark, however, by stating that, “Jason Smith clearly is a great man.”

Csrnko added that Smith did exactly what he was trained to do, but did it in a manner that was truly heroic.

The Soldier’s Medal is the Army’s highest award for heroic actions not involving direct conflict with an armed enemy and is awarded to those who have distinguished themselves by directly placing their lives at risk to save the lives of others.