By Mrs. Martha Yoshida (Leonard Wood)June 4, 2015
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (June 4, 2015) -- A Fort Leonard Wood Soldier was presented with the Soldier's Medal May 27 for her actions during a random shooting incident April 2, 2014, on Fort Hood, Texas.
The shooting incident, which was the second to occur at Fort Hood in a five-year period, claimed four lives, including the shooter, and left 16 wounded.
Sgt. Lori Singer-Bare, then a noncommissioned officer with the 178th Military Police Detachment, 89th Military Police Brigade, was working in the Traffic Management and Collision Investigation section, when Fort Hood went to heightened security measures.
A Soldier was roaming two city blocks and erratically shooting a weapon, when she got the call to respond at the scene, she said.
"I started questioning two Soldiers in the area and was prepping to get them to a safer location, and saw someone out of the corner of my eye," Singer-Bare said. "So, I confronted him by saying 'Hey, Soldier, you can't go in there. We have a situation going on.'"
He lifted his Army Combat Uniform jacket to show that he had a weapon and identified that he was the shooter, she said.
"I got my weapon ready to go and then we engaged," she said.
Singer-Bare said training, including Special Reaction Team training as an entry team member at Fort Hood, along with lessons learned and instinct, helped to prepare her to respond in a calm manner.
"It's important to take active-shooter training serious," she said. "It's key to train and practice -- it makes things all the better in the end. If you actually take things serious, people are going to know where to go when things happen."
At just under 5-feet tall, Singer-Bare said she had no idea how tall the active shooter was, just that he was "too close for comfort" and her instinct kicked in to prevent further loss of life.
"I am 4 feet 11 and 3/4 inches tall, but in my mind I'm 6-foot-6," the Salem, Ohio, native, said. "That's always been my mentality. I think big, and I act big. I don't look it, but I act it."
Brig. Gen. Kent Savre, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, who presented the Soldier's Medal to Singer-Bare during the Appreciation of Excellence awards ceremony at Abrams Theater, said, "This is one of our own -- a real hero who is getting a Soldier's Medal from the Secretary of the Army, which is a very rare medal, especially given her remarkable heroism in this situation."
The Soldier's Medal, awarded when a member of the U.S. armed forces risks their life in conditions not involving direct encounter with an enemy, ranks just above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals in order of precedence.
"Sgt. Singer-Bare immediately did what she was trained to do," Savre, who was commander of the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood during the mass tragedy on Nov. 5, 2009, when several of the Soldiers in his brigade were killed or wounded, said.
"She questioned him and quickly realized that he had a gun," Savre said. "She pulled her pistol. He pulled his pistol, and pretty much simultaneously, she fired a shot to wound and take him down, and he took his life."
Capt. Michael McQueeney, who was the 178th MP Det. and 226th Military Police Detachment commander at the time of the incident, said, "I was monitoring the radio and heard Sgt. Singer-Bare report shots fired. It was the scariest moment I had in command -- waiting for confirmation that my Soldiers were safe.
"I can say without a doubt, the actions of Sgt. Singer-Bare saved lives that day," McQueeney said. "Her ability to respond without hesitation is what stopped this threat. She knew the risk when she responded, but that didn't stop her."
"I have never been more proud of the training and long hours we dedicate as military police Soldiers," McQueeney added. "I have never been more proud of a unit. Sgt. Singer-Bare and all of the Soldiers of the 178th and 226th Military Police detachments performed their duty exceptionally that day."
Singer-Bare's husband, Sgt. Travis Bare Sr., of Pleasantville, Iowa, who is also an MP, said, "I am proud of her. She did everything that she was supposed to do. I'm honored to be her husband."
Earning the Soldier's Medal is rather humbling, because you don't go into any situation looking for personal recognition, Singer-Bare said.
"It's also saddening to receive such an award because of the NCOs who were murdered that day and the others who were injured," she added, recalling the names of the fallen: Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Michael Ferguson, Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez and Sgt. Timothy Wayne Owens.
"Between them, they had 50 years of collective service, and two were just months from retirement. It should have never happened," she said.
Singer-Bare is scheduled to graduate from the Noncommissioned Officers Academy Advanced Leader Course today.
She will then return to Company E, 1-48th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Chemical Brigade, Saturday, where she will serve as a drill sergeant for the unit's next cycle of Basic Combat Training Soldiers.