DAEGU, Republic of Korea — Representatives of the Busan Metropolitan Police and Nam-bu District Police recognized two 188th Military Police Company Soldiers for their decisive actions aiding a Korean motorist. The Soldiers were presented with certificates of appreciation during an Oct. 4 awards ceremony at Nam-bu Police Station.
On Sept. 14, 2022, Cpl. Oh Jae Yoon and Pfc. Dalton Alspaugh were traveling on the highway from Daegu to Busan when they witnessed a vehicle accident.
"They observed the vehicle rollover in traffic as they were conducting a security escort down to Busan. They halted their vehicle, cleared the area and took action to prevent further accidents by signaling oncoming motorists," said Cpt. Louis Phillips, commander of 188 MP Co.
Both Oh and Alspaugh worked quickly as a team to create a safe zone between oncoming traffic and the accident, determined to prevent possible vehicle collisions.
Oh immediately contacted Korean emergency responders and informed the Camp Walker Provost Marshal Office that their next course of action was to ensure all occupants of the rolled over vehicle were alive and responsive.
Oh and Alspaugh continued to work together as a team, with Oh providing translation as Alspaugh administered first aid to the driver of the vehicle. They remained on scene until the Korean National Police (KNP) arrived.
U.S. Army leaders have praised the Soldiers for their quick-thinking and actions under pressure.
"In the 94th MP Battalion we have a motto — it's 'When In Need'. These two lived up to that saying out there on the road. I am so very proud of each of them," said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian L. Watts, senior enlisted leader of 94th Military Police Battalion.
"It's really a proud moment to see these young Soldiers take the MP standards, live by them and set the example," said 2nd Lt. Trey Schreurs, platoon leader.
Despite the praise, both Oh and Alspaugh remain humble about their actions.
"I don't really think I did anything special - I think I did the right thing. And I know [my fellow Soldiers] would have done the same thing if they were in that situation, but I was very glad that I was able to help out where I could," said Alspaugh.
"We worked as a team. I'm just happy we were able to help," added Oh.
Described as a "quiet professional" by one supervisor, Oh serves as a Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) Soldier.
"KATUSAS are so important and integral to our success. If Oh had not been there, the situation would have been all the more chaotic. We would have had a non-native speaker at the scene of an accident trying to direct traffic," said Phillips.
In addition to Oh's communication skills, Alspaugh has been recognized for his leadership ability.
"When I first got to traffic we were trying to recruit and Alspaugh was the name that was coming out of everyone's mouth. He has always been high speed, always wants to learn and improve in any way possible. And when I got him that's exactly what I got — this really driven Soldier who is still like that to this day," said Traffic NCOIC Sgt. Bertha Alejo.
"I'm very proud of Alspaugh, but it wasn't a surprise. He is always helping others, whether it's teaching the other Soldiers or just giving a helping hand to anyone who needs it."
Although Oh and Alspaugh helping others was not a surprise to their leaders, Phillips found the manner in which they rendered assistance noteworthy.
"One thing that I thought stuck out the most was the discipline and initiative they exhibited as junior Soldiers. A private made a decision right there on the objective. It's very impressive that he was able to make a decision — the right decision — during a chaotic event."