AWARD CITATION: Sgt. Felipe Pereira - Distinguished Service Cross

By U.S. ArmyApril 4, 2012

"The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Sgt. Felipe Pereira, United States Army, for distinguished service and heroism with Combined Task Force Strike on Nov. 1, 2010. Spc. Felipe Pereira's actions in the face of adversity and a determined enemy are keeping with the finest traditions of military valor. His dedication and commitment to duty undoubtedly saved the lives of two of his fellow Soldiers, while his leadership and distinguished service were instrumental to his unit's successful response to a lethal attack. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, the "Strike" Brigade Combat Team, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the United States Army.

Spc. Felipe Pereira distinguished himself with heroism and exceptionally meritorious service on Nov. 1, 2010, while under heavy enemy fire as a team leader with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division Air Assault while service in Senjaray, Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

Spc. Pereira and his squad were returning from a dismounted patrol in Senjaray, when a suicide motorcycle borne explosive device detonated in the middle of his squad as they attempted to enter their combat outpost. Two Soldiers were killed instantly, while four others were severely wounded including his squad leader and fellow team leader. Spc. Pereira sustained shrapnel wounds to his spleen, liver, and left lung.

While Soldiers struggled to gain situational awareness, the enemy initiated a complex ambush, firing on the patrol from an estimated seven fighting positions with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. His lung beginning to collapse, he struggled to breathe. With little regard for his own safety or care, Spc. Pereira refused medical treatment and instead commandeered an all-terrain vehicle and moved back into heavy enemy fire to provide an evacuation platform for his wounded comrades. Spc. Pereira was able to move the vehicle within 20 meters of his fellow Soldiers; who were pinned down by enemy fire, but was unable to gain effective cover.

Spc. Pereira immediately provided suppressive fires from the vehicle, allowing two of his fellow Soldiers to move two casualties to the vehicle. As bullets ricocheted off the vehicle and narrowly missed Spc. Pereira, he continued to provide fire direction for the remaining Soldiers on the ground. Spc. Pereira then quickly pulled the vehicle back into the entrance of the outpost, where medics were standing by to receive the casualties.

Spc. Pereira helped move the casualties to care then moved back into enemy fire a second time to continue evacuating and directing his fellow Soldiers. Spc. Pereira is credited with saving the lives of two of his fellow Soldiers, while risking his own multiple occasions. Only after all of the wounded Soldiers had been evacuated and were receiving medical care, did he accept treatment himself.

Spc. Pereira's actions during the suicide attack in Senjaray, Zhari District, Afghanistan on Nov. 1, 2010, are what define heroes. He is truly a professional who understands his commitment to duty and his fellow Soldiers despite great odds and risk of life."