Soldier credited with saving squad leader's life
August 13, 2013
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - When Spc. Benjamin Rubino checked his phone June 29, 2013, he never expected to see what appeared on the screen: his former squad leader-nearly 2,700 miles away at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii- holding a loaded gun to his head.
"I didn't know if he was joking or if he was serious," Rubino, of Olympia, Wash., said. "But this wasn't something to ignore."
Acting quickly, not knowing what his former leader intended to do, the 24-year old soldier alerted the 25th Infantry Division Staff Duty at the post.
"Due to his immediate phone call, the Field Officer of the Day (the officer on duty) was able to locate that soldier within minutes. He was, then, rushed to Tripler Army Medical Center for immediate treatment and observation," said Command Sgt. Maj. Delbert Byers, 7th Infantry Division command sergeant major, during a ceremony Aug. 2, outside of the division headquarters, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
The ceremony, which happened to be on Rubino's 24th birthday, was to recognize him as the 7th Infantry Division Bayonet Soldier of the Month. Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, the division's commanding general, presented Rubino with a plaque and commanders coin.
"It was due to your mental dexterity that you prevented your former squad leader from harming himself," the certificate read.
Rubino, with the 201st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, said he was doing his job as a soldier and a friend.
"I didn't do anything that I wouldn't want someone to do for me - or any other soldier - if that situation happened," he said. "I'm glad that people were able to get to him and help him."
Lanza and Byers praised the soldier's actions in front of his fellow Soldiers, peers, and brigade leadership.
"In an organization, it's not about the equipment. It's not about the resources. It's about the people," Lanza said. "And I am proud to be standing in front of this formation to congratulate (Rubino) for saving a life."