EAST FORT BLISS, Texas (1/16/2013) – Valor comes in different
forms, and not every service member sees combat, but those who do
must make the tough calls and perform their duty often in harms-way,
and under fire.
Staff Sgt. Robert Brenizer receives his Bronze Star for Valor
from 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment Commander Lt. Col.
William Kinsey at an awards ceremony on Jan. 11, 2013. (U.S. Army
photo by Sgt. Patrick Doran)
Such is the case with Staff Sgt Robert Brenizer, a member
of the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, also known as
the ‘Straight and Stalwart Battalion' who was recently
awarded the Bronze Star with Valor device during an award
ceremony 11 January for the actions he took while his unit
was conducting combat missions in support of Operation
Enduring Freedom last spring.
The Bronze Star Medal,
which is the Army's fourth highest combat medal, is awarded
for heroic or meritorious service achievement, while engaged
in action against an enemy of the United States, and the
Valor device identifies the award from an act of combat
The incident for which Brenizer, a native of Tuscaloosa,
Ala., was awarded the medal, occurred during the spring of
2011 when Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry
Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division were
returning from a joint operation with the Afghan National
Army to Combat Outpost Charkh from the village of Sheykan
During their movement back to the COP, two
grenades were launched directly at the command element, the
first of which resulted in injuries to three personnel
including the company commander, who suffered significant
shrapnel injuries making him an urgent litter casualty.
Orders were issued that Staff Sgt. Brenizer was to take a
squad and begin a ground casualty evacuation, to link up
with a quick reaction force that was enroute.
knew what he had to do,” said Brenizers platoon leader, 1st
Lt. Stephen Connell. “That was secure with a forward
screening element and make sure that the route was clear to
the link up point.”
Connell, who is from Raeford,
N.C., also said that he had complete confidence in staff
sergeant Brenizer and knew he, would lead the squad to the
link up point, which was over one kilometer away through
enemy held terrain.
Brenizer, lead the squad and
cleared the route under enemy fire allowing for the
expedient evacuation of the critically wounded company
commander. But Brenizer wasn't done yet; he quickly
reorganized his section and set up security waiting for link
up from another platoon.
Within minutes that platoon
was ambushed three hundred meters from his sections
position. Again he maneuvered his section under enemy fire
through an orchard into a support by fire position over the
attacking enemy element. His bold maneuver immediately
suppressed the enemy and began to draw the majority of the
enemy fire on his position.
During the fire-fight
one of his Soldiers M249 machine gun malfunctioned and again
he snapped into action. Brenizer ran over fifty meters
through open terrain to the guns location, cleared the
weapon and began suppressing the enemy himself.
the awards ceremony Brenizer thanked his fellow Soldiers and
said that the award was as much theirs as it was his.
When asked about his actions that day, he said, “I was
doing my job and it's something that anybody else would do
in that position, so I am very honored but at the same time
By Army Sgt. Patrick Doran
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