By Karla ByrdJanuary 23, 2007
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Army News Service, Jan. 23, 2007) - A Special Forces Soldier, formerly of the 5th Special Forces Group based at Fort Campbell, Ky., was recognized for valorous actions in Iraq during a ceremony at the Heritage Auditorium here, Jan. 19.
Sgt. 1st Class Frederick Allen, a native of Ann Arbor, Mich., was awarded the Silver Star for his actions Aug. 12, 2004, in An Najaf, Iraq.
Allen, the other members of Operational Detachment - Alpha 512, along with 51 Iraqi National Guardsmen, engaged approximately 15-20 Mahdi Militiamen embedded inside a school.
The detachment, with the Iraqi National Guard in the lead, advanced toward their objective and came under immediate and intense enemy fire from inside the school. Allen, the gunner in the detachment's 2nd vehicle, and a staff sergeant at the time, ordered his GMV forward, placing himself in the direct line of fire to allow the Iraqi National Guard elements to re-group and reorganize after sustaining several casualties.
His courage did not end there. Multiple times in the fight, Allen selflessly stayed in the line of fire battling the enemy, so that others could make it back to cover.
Allen acknowledged the personal significance of his Silver Star, but said he feels that the award symbolizes the heroism of his team and the Iraqi National Guard during their battle with Mahdi Milita.
"This medal honors those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and also serves as a tribute to Soldiers who serve today, and will serve tomorrow," Allen said.
After the fight, Allen's valorous actions continued as he secured his fallen commander and rendered first aid to Iraqi National Guard members, who had been reduced from 51 to 14 soldiers.
"At least 10 different times Sgt. Allen made a conscious decision for valor," said Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, USASOC commanding general. "He chose to expose himself to risk ... he is a wonderful example of what it means to be an American patriot."
The Silver Star is the Army's third highest award for combat valor and is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States during military operations.