MINNEAPOLIS - Prior Lake, Minn. native Cpl. Ethan Nagel,
was awarded the Silver Star on December 17, 2013 for his
actions in Afghanistan.
Nagel was awarded the Silver
Star for bravery in actions against an opposing armed force
in Afghanistan in July, 2009.
Cpl. Ethan Nagel, a Prior Lake, Minn.
native, shakes hands with Brigadier General James S. Hartsell,
commanding general of the 4th Marine Division, after having received
the Silver Star on December 17, 2013 for his actions in Afghanistan.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Martin Egnash)
“It's an honor to be nominated for the Silver Star, and
even more so to receive it,” said Nagel. “Honestly, the men
who were there fighting with me deserve this just as much as
I do. They did an amazing job.”
At the time, Nagel
served as a military advisor to the Afghanistan National
Army, while in 3rd Battalion 3rd Marine Division. During a
humanitarian mission, he, U.S. Special Forces and trained
Afghani soldiers were ambushed by a superior enemy force.
During a prolonged firefight where Nagel was
wounded by shrapnel, Special Forces soldier Doug Vose was shot in
the chest. Nagel gave up his position to initially provide aid to
Vose and then defended him from Taliban fighters trying to capture
At one point in the fighting Nagel was witnessed
applying pressure to Vose's chest while simultaneously defending him
with his pistol.
When the medical evacuation came, Nagel
defended the helicopter during its decent and takeoff. Vose was
airlifted out of the battlefield, but later died of his wounds.
For his heroism on the battlefield, Nagel was awarded the Silver
“You don't strive to receive the Silver Star, because
it is due to such harsh circumstances,” said Nagel. “I would trade
it all in for the friends that I've lost.”
Brig. Gen. James
S. Hartsell, commanding general of the 4th Marine Division,
presented the award to Nagel.
“He (Nagel) was not going to
let the Taliban capture Vose,” said Hartsell. “And that's exactly
what they were trying to do.”
Nagel was discharged from the
Marine Corps in November 2009 and has since joined the Minnesota
By USMC Cpl. Martin Egnash
Comment on this article