1st Cav. Soldiers receive awards for valor
October 6, 2008
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - One of the first thoughts that came to Sgt. Steven Robinson during a rocket attack at Forward Operating Base Garry Owen was to ensure that his Soldiers were alright.
After ensuring that his troops were geared up and accounted for, the artillery forward observer from Barre, Massachusetts, continued to assist his fellow Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Robinson, a non-commissioned officer in the Long Knife Brigade's Protective Security Detachment, was one of four recipients to receive the Army Commendation Medal with "V" device for valor at the 4th BCT Combat Action Awards Ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Adder Sept. 19.
"I wasn't thinking about being rewarded," said Robinson. "It was all about acting on what you've been trained to do for years."
The recipients of this honor received the medals for acts of bravery while under imminent enemy threat during combat operations. Lt. Col. Scott Gerber, the executive officer of the Long Knife Brigade, and three junior non-commissioned officers sacrificed their own safety to assist their fellow Soldiers during the attack, which killed one U.S. Soldier and injured two others Aug. 19.
"When there is a guy's life on the line you do what needs to be done," said Gerber, who alerted the combat medics and field surgeon team that there was a casualty in need of assistance.
"This is not the first significant engagement I've been in," said Gerber as he recalled a previous deployment. "I remember all half-a-dozen or so of them, and I also remember when I got engaged to my wife; which was another significant event," the executive officer jokingly explained.
The three non-commissioned officers who also received awards expressed similar ideas concerning their involvement that day.
Staff Sergeant Javier Reyes, also a member of the brigade's protective security detachment, from Phoenix, explained that he acted on instinct and wanted to do as much as possible to aid the victims.
"I was glad I was able to be there to help them out," said the recently promoted combat veteran. "It means a lot to be there and that's what means the most to me, helping Soldiers."
"It feels good to be recognized," said Sgt. Nicolas King, the combat medic from North Richland Hills, Texas. "All I really expected was a thank you, but it's nice that we received an award like this."
However modest the recipients of the ARCOM's are, they are responsible for saving the lives of their fellow Soldiers.
"There's no doubt in my mind that those three NCO's saved lives that day," said Gerber.