Bronze Star Recipient
|Currently, one of the primary tasks for Army Sergeant First Class Ed Malone is mentoring young cadets who come from backgrounds where the military and its challenges are unfamiliar to them. Four years ago on June 25, 2005, he was mentoring as well – but under fire. |
Malone used his tactical prowess and aggression to keep his platoon and some Iraqi Security Forces members alive despite his own injuries.
The 3rd Platoon, Grim Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, was conducting a joint combat patrol with the Iraqi Army in the extremely hostile Surai district of Tal'Afar, Iraq, when Malone's dismounted patrol came under withering enemy machine gun fire, RPG fire and hand grenades.
According to Malone, the mission was “in support of an initiative to make the Iraqi Security Forces more visible to the local populace.”
Following an attack initiated by the enemy and without immediate direct fire support from his Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Malone ordered his men to establish a defensive posture and return fire. He directed his grenadier to take out several targets firing from a rooftop, resulting in the battle's first enemy casualties. During the firefight and without regard for his own safety, Malone repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire.
First, to retrieve a piece of equipment that was accidently dropped by one of his Soldiers in the enemy's kill zone, then to evacuate women and children caught in the crossfire between hostile and friendly forces, and then again to drag one of his severely wounded non-commissioned officers out of the line of fire and into cover.
According to the Bronze Star Medal with Valor narration, Malone's actions resulted in the speedy medical evacuation of the wounded Soldier, which ultimately saved his life.
“Our primary objective was to ensure the Iraqi Security Forces continued to develop into a well-trained and aggressive combat ready force who would adopt a more offensive rather than defensive posture.”
Refusing to give up ground until reinforcements arrived, he and his team successfully held the position for over an hour while pinned down by heavy machine gun and enemy sniper fire. They deployed hand grenades and laid down suppressive fire to counter the insurgents' assault.
Malone spotted automatic weapons fire coming from a house. When Iraqi Army Soldiers refused to assist, Malone led a three-man assault team toward the objective by clearing the courtyard with a grenade upon entry. The blast wounded an enemy insurgent, whom Malone immediately began administering first aid to, while his Soldiers uncovered large amounts of various explosives and munitions.
Once a foothold was established, Malone and two of his Soldiers moved to secure the rooftop to fend off enemy insurgents moving in on their location.
As Malone and his men were leaving the strike zone, Malone suffered a gunshot wound to the foot while trying to protect the wounded enemy combatant under his care.
Risking his life to save an enemy, Malone explained, “As per the laws of warfare outlined in the Geneva Conventions, once an enemy combatant is captured, it is our responsibility to provide care and protection as we would like the same treatment if the roles were reversed.”
Malone's unmatched example of courage and selfless service inspire every Trooper in the Regiment, according to the Bronze Star citation.
Malone concluded, “one of the Soldiers who helped save my life and provide initial treatment after I got hit was Specialist Hoby F. Bradfield Jr. I've known him since he was first assigned to my platoon as a private. He was killed on July 9, 2005, in another heavy firefight my platoon was involved in. In never saw him again after the day I was wounded. I never had the opportunity to personally thank him for helping to save my life.
Photo and information courtesy of US Army / Dept. of Defense
|Bronze Star Recipients | Other Heroes|