Individual Awards

Legion of Merit

Stapleton, Wesley G.

Sergeant First Class WESLEY G. STAPLETON, RA________, United States Army, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as a member of the Engineer Fire Fighting Company, 8075th Army Unit, in Korea, from 27 January 1953 to 4 May 1954. Serving as Fire Chief of the city of Pusan, Sergeant STAPLETON demonstrated exceptional technical proficiency and outstanding initiative in establishing adequate military fire-protection measures in highly strategic and extremely vulnerable areas in the United Nations' logistical chain of supply, successfully reducing the acute danger of their destruction by fire through possible enemy action. He skillfully organized, trained and operated the fire-fighting services under his control, proffered sound recommendations and technical guidance to the 3001st. Republic of Korea Army Engineer Firefighting Platoon, trained and utilized indigenous personnel in this important field of public safety and conducted a relentless campaign to establish high standards of fire prevention and protection throughout the teeming port city of Pusan. Despite obstacles imposed by extremely congested areas, lack of fire breaks, an inadequate water supply system and numerous routes in assessable to fire fighting equipment, his actions in directing fire-fighting operations during the Great Pusan Fire of 27 November 1953 and the devastating fires of 29 January 1954 and 3 April 1954 reach heroic portions and resulted in the saving of hundreds of lives and millions of dollars worth of military and civilian property. Sargent STAPLETON's forceful leadership, selfless devotion to duty and demonstrated courage were significant contributions to the United Nations' first armed bid for world peace. His exemplary accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.

 

Soldier's Medal

Bailey, Louis

SPC Bailey was awarded the Soldier’s Medal on 1 February 1961

 

Burgess, Anthony J.

Pfc Anthony J. Burgess, 31309672, 2026 Engineer Aviation Fire Fighting Platoon, Corps of Engineers, for heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy on the 15th of June 1944.  Sgt Watts and Pfc Burgess rescued a pilot wounded from a burning P-47, which had belly tanks full of gas.  With utter disregard for their personal safety, Sgt Watts and Pfc Burgess rescued the pilot from the burning plane at A-3 France after the pilot had crashed upon landing his plane and was unable to help himself out of the plane due to wounds suffered by the explosion of a fragmentation bomb on landing. Private First Class Burgess and Sgt Watts demonstrated constant diligence, high standards of heroism and exemplified actin, plus devotion to duty which reflects favorably upon himself, his unit and the Armed Forces of the United States of America. General Orders #3, Hq., XIX Tactical Air Command, Awarded 14 January 1945.

 

Clark, Lonnie W.

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved 2 July 1926, a Soldier’s Medal for heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy is awarded to Specialist Five Lonnie W. Clark, Jr., United States Army, for heroism on 20 November 1981, while a member of 12th Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade, Fort Rucker, Alabama. (General Orders No. 13, Department of the Army, 28 June 1982).

 

Dunaway, David A.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Soldier's Medal to Specialist Fourth Class David A. Dunaway, United States Army, for heroism at the risk of life not involving conflict with an armed enemy at Fort Wainwright, Alaska on 27 April 1971. On that date, Specialist Dunaway, while assigned to the Fort Wainwright Fire Department, responded to a fire alarm in an eight family apartment building. When Specialist Dunaway arrived at the scene of the fire, he was informed that a child was trapped in the burning apartment. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Specialist Dunaway donned his protective breathing apparatus and, without waiting for hoses to be laid, dashed through the back door of the smoke-filled, extremely low apartment to attempt rescue of the child. Specialist Dunaway proceeded upstairs and searched two-bedrooms before the intense heat and smoke almost overpowered him. He was unable to locate the child. Seeking to escape, he returned to the first floor of the apartment. By this time his breathing apparatus had malfunctioned due to extreme heat. Specialist Dunaway was then caught in an unexpected back flash, and his protective clothing ignited. He escaped through the back door when another firefighter entered with a hose. Specialist Dunaway was taken to Bassett Army Hospital, where it was announced he was in critical condition and he was treated for first, second, and third degree burns on the face and hands. His courageous action and humanitarian regard for his fellow man reflected great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

(General Orders No. 9, Department of the Army, January 27, 1972)

 

Elliott, Charles

The Soldiers Medal is presented to SSG Charles Elliott for exceptionally meritorious achievement, exemplary service, and heroism while serving in the Longknife Squadron as a fire fighter in the 323rd Engineer Detachment (Fire Fighting).  On 2 November 2003, SSG Elliott placed himself in extreme danger in order to secure, rescue and evacuate seriously injured soldiers after the lead helicopter was downed by a surface to air missile in the vicinity of Al Fallujah, Iraq.  As a first responder, SSG Elliott's actions and obvious willingness to risk his own life to save comrades confirm his dedication to the regiment of mounted riflemen, Combined Joint Task Force Seven, and the United States Army.

 

Grant, Bobby

SPC Grant was awarded the Soldier’s Medal on 1 February, 1961

 

Jones, William N.

Technician Fifth Grade William N. Jones, United States Army, a member of the 2133d Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon (Aviation), 1st Transport Group (Provisional). distinguished himself by heroism on 21 February 1945.  The Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon was summoned to extinguish a fire on a truck just off the air strip near the unit operating site.  When the fire fighting equipment arrived at the scene of the fire, the truck had been burning for approximately five minutes, and contained 155-mm projectiles which were in imminent danger of exploding because of the intense heat.  Technician Jones, realizing the immediate danger of the situation, without orders and on his own initiative, took a fire hose, climbed on the bed of the truck and prevented the shells from exploding by keeping them cool with a spray of water, while other members of the unit extinguished the blaze.  His prompt actions and unselfish concern for his own personal safety precluded the loss of considerable life and property in the area.  The courageous heroism displayed by Technician Jones in this sudden emergency is in the most cherished traditions of the United States Army, and reflects great credit upon himself and the military service. (General Orders No. 20, Headquarters, Department of the Army, 16 June 1961).

 

Miller, Kenneth

The Soldiers Medal is presented to SGT Kenneth Miller for exceptionally meritorious achievement, exemplary service, and heroism while serving in the Longknife Squadron as a fire fighter in the 323rd Engineer Detachment (Fire Fighting).  On 2 November 2003, SGT Miller placed himself in extreme danger in order to secure, rescue and evacuate seriously injured soldiers after the lead helicopter was downed by a surface to air missile in the vicinity of Al Fallujah, Iraq.  As a first responder, SGT Miller's actions and obvious willingness to risk his own life to save comrades confirm his dedication to the regiment of mounted riflemen, Combined Joint Task Force Seven, and the United States Army.

 

Mozenier, Gerald W.

Corporal Gerald W. Mozenier, Corps of Engineers, United States Army, a member of the Engineer Fire Fighting Company, 8075th Army Unit, distinguished himself by heroism in Pusan, Korea, on 18 August 1954.  Corporal Mozenier was inspecting fire fighting equipment near the pier at Pusan Harbor when he and a comrade observed unusual actions of a young Korean girl on the sea wall and, realizing she contemplated suicide, they immediately approached her in an attempt to prevent her from leaping into the sea.  Unheeding their efforts to dissuade her she broke away from them and threw herself into the water, at that time whipped into lashing waves and treacherous currents by the high winds of "Typhoon Grace."  Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Mozenier plunged into the turbulent waters fully clothed, swam to the stricken girl, and pulled her to safety.  His prompt and courageous action in the face of danger undoubtedly saved the life of the Korean national and elicited deep respect and high commendation from his comrades and the people of Korea.  Corporal Mozenier's courageous action reflects great credit on himself and upholds the esteemed traditions of the military service. (General Orders No. 61, Department of the Army, 17 October 1955)

 

Ocasio-Gonzales, Antonio

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Soldier's Medal to Sergeant Antonio Ocasio-Gonzales, United States Army, for heroism at the risk of life not involving conflict with an armed enemy on 31 October 1962 at Liberty Army Airfield while serving as a member of the United States Army Garrison, Fort Stewart, Georgia. When an Army helicopter, with a crew of three aboard, crashed in a wooded area and burst into flames, Sergeant Ocasio immediately led a crash and firefighting party to the scene of the accident. After dismounting from the crash truck and guiding it through the wooded area to a distance of 20 yards from the blaze, he noticed a movement within the burning wreckage. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, and despite the danger of an imminent gasoline explosion, he unhesitatingly dashed into the inferno, pulled the injured pilot from the flames, and placed him in a safe area. He then repeated his act of bravery by reentering the flaming wreckage to rescue the other crew members, and, with perseverance and fortitude continued his courageous efforts until repelled by the intensity of the flames. With untiring effort and dedicated devotion to duty, he remained at the crash site, fighting the fire and clearing away the debris. Sergeant Ocasio's heroic actions in this emergency are in the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service. (General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 23 (May 20, 1963)
 

Watts, Austin L.

Sgt Austin L. Watts, 34723148, 2026 Engineer Aviation Fire Fighting Platoon, Corps of Engineers, for heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy on the 15th of June 1944.  Sgt Watts and Pfc Burgess rescued a pilot wounded from a burning P-47, which had belly tanks full of gas.  With utter disregard for their personal safety, Sgt Watts and Pfc Burgess rescued the pilot from the burning plane at A-3 France after the pilot had crashed upon landing his plane and was unable to help himself out of the plane due to wounds suffered by the explosion of a fragmentation bomb on landing. Private First Class Burgess and Sgt Watts demonstrated constant diligence, high standards of heroism and exemplified actin, plus devotion to duty which reflects favorably upon himself, his unit and the Armed Forces of the United States of America. General Orders #3, Hq., XIX Tactical Air Command, Awarded 14 January 1945.

 

Williams, Murphy

Master Sergeant Murphy Williams, United States Army, distinguished himself by heroism in Pusan Harbor Korea, on 19 April 1955.  While serving as Fire Chief, Station 1, 8075th Engineer Firefighting Company, Sergeant Williams and his company responded within minutes after a report of fire aboard the SS Audrey II, loaded with HE bombs, incendiary clusters and heat sensitive explosives, berthed in Pusan Harbor.  Firefighting operations were hampered by intense clouds of billowing smoke.  Fully aware of the danger involved, Sergeant Williams entered the smoke-logged, ammunition-laden hatch to ascertain the location and extent of the blaze.  He immediately saw an ignited parachute flare wedged between the hull and the dunnage, out of reach of the fire hose and imminently threatening to detonate the lethal cargo.  Quickly seizing the burning flare with his bare hands, he carried it to the center of the hold where the water hose could extinguish it.  Sergeant Williams' quick thinking and intrepid actions averted a major catastrophe with potential loss of lives and property, reflecting utmost credit on himself and upholding the esteemed traditions of the military service. (General Orders No. 61, Department of the Army, 17 October 1955)

2012 GEICO Military Service Award

United States Army

Sgt. Aaron M. Morris, assigned to the 557th Engineer Detachment of the 68th Engineer Company, Fort Hood, Texas, when nominated, was honored for his contributions to fire safety and fire prevention.

Sgt. Morris has been an Army Fire Department member for more than five years, responding to numerous wildfires, alarms, medical emergencies, traffic accidents and other emergency situations both for the Fort Hood Fire Department and while serving in Afghanistan. In addition to his exemplary job performance as a firefighter and his dedication to the Fort Hood Fire Department, Sgt.Morris spent his personal time conducting on-post fire inspections and assisted in the creation of standardized and comprehensive escape plans to ensure the safety of Fort Hood’s soldiers and their families. He has assisted his fellow soldiers in achieving their International Fire Service Accreditation Congress certifications and has educated thousands of soldiers about the dangers of drinking and driving, fire prevention and other safety related threats.

Dedicated to all Army soldier/firefighters, past, present and future.  Above all it belongs to those soldier/firefighters who have given the ultimate sacrifice.


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