173rd Airborne Brigade Captain earns Silver Star for actions during Afghanistan ambush
July 15, 2008
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- A 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Soldier received a Silver Star for valor in a ceremony here July 12.
Capt. William G. Cromie's medal was presented by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Schloesser, commander of Combined Joint Task Force - 101.
Cromie earned the Silver Star for his actions during an ambush Nov. 16, 2007, while serving as platoon leader for the 3rd platoon of Alpha Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade Special Troops Battalion, during a route clearance operation along the Korengal Road in Konar province. The platoon was called on after receiving a tip that an improvised explosive device may have been placed there.
"While travelling down the road, our first vehicle struck an IED," said Cromie. "Immediately, we were ambushed on three sides by heavily armed militants."
Two Soldiers managed to advance to a position that allowed them to help cover the platoon, but they were soon pinned down and running low on ammunition. Cromie ran through small-arms crossfire to bring more ammunition to the pair.
With the aid of close-air support, the platoon was able to counterattack, and pushed the militants back to a house. The platoon then cleared the house, killing the militants.
"I really would like to thank the squad leaders -- they really acted professionally, even under a stressful situation like that -- and the guys in 3rd platoon, for their bravery," said Cromie.
The 173rd ABCT is a U.S. Army Europe unit based in Vicenza, Italy.