U.S. Army South Soldier Receives Bronze Star
March 1, 2010
Fort Sam Houston, Texas (March 1, 2010) - Warrant Officer Abelardo Villarreal, currently assigned to U.S. Army South, was awarded the Bronze Star recently in front of the U.S. Army South Headquarters.
Maj. Gen. Simeon Trombitas, Commander of U.S. Army South, presented the award to Villarreal for outstanding service while assigned as an intelligence noncommissioned officer for the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Mosul, Iraq. Villarreal was assigned there from Oct. 31, 2007 to Jan. 28, 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"His efforts led to the capture and retention of the insurgents ultimately saving the lives of Soldiers," said Trombitas. "Those efforts also provided security and stability to the city of Mosul."
Villarreal single-handedly developed all the intelligence products for the battalion, making it possible for 25th Infantry Division Soldiers to plan and execute their missions efficiently.
Despite working in a small intelligence cell responsible for a growing battle space which incorporated all of Mosul, Villarreal was able to track large numbers of insurgents who were operating in the area. He created a program that tracked all insurgent cells and their affiliations. The program also tracked enemy activity and threat patterns which translated to fewer friendly casualties and higher mission success.
"I feel tremendous pride in what our battalion was able to accomplish a few years ago," said Villarreal. "The local Iraqi population was able to enjoy some days of peace, which further aided us because they alerted us to insurgent activity."
Villarreal kept his leadership updated on the changing enemy situation, the structure of the insurgent groups, and enemy tactics. Many of his products were incorporated by the battalion and were distributed to all the units in the area. As a result, 19 enemy caches were discovered and over 400 insurgents were captured including 42 key individuals.
Villarreal's family was in attendance at the ceremony. His wife of more than 12 years Ramona, 11 year old daughter Jordan, and one-year old daughter Maya stood by his side as he received the award. His parents, Abelardo Villarreal Sr. and Melba Villarreal were also in attendance. They drove five hours from Villarreal's home town of McAllen, TX in order to attend the ceremony.
"I'm very proud of him" said Melba. "I always knew he was capable of great things."