With darkness descending over operations for then-First Sergeant Michael Clemens, sporadic fighting turned into chaos, which Clemens led his men through. continue the fight and help the wounded. Through his leadership, his company repelled two counter-attacks and killed 12 insurgents, with all but one of the wounded Americans surviving.
November 15, 2006, was day four of Operation Turki Bowl, a mission where Clemens and his fellow soldiers were tasked with clearing a volatile part of Iraq of insurgents and weapons. From his overwatch position, Clemens observed several insurgents in a village ahead and did not hesitate to launch a patrol of the area.
Under sporadic enemy fire, Clemens led three other American soldiers and four Iraqi Army soldiers towards the insurgent position. Peering around a corner, Clemens spotted a large truck – suspected of being packed with weapons – and heard the chatter of several insurgents. Clemens held his position and “lasered” the truck, bringing down pinpoint air support, ripping the truck apart and ending the insurgents' threat.
Over his radio, Clemens received word that his Captain, the ranking officer in the unit, was hit when his vehicle struck an IED and there were numerous other casualties. Quickly pulling back with his patrol, Clemens moved to secure the area of the attack and evaluate the situation.
Clemens boldly assumed leadership of the troops on the ground and coordinated with superiors, air support, and the medevac helicopters to
For his brilliant command under fire and tremendous operational success, Clemens was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor.