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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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June 27, 2008
From James...
Filed in: Current Affairs, War on Terror

This just in from James Pell:

I was awarded the Combat Medic of the year award this last March. It was a DOD wide award givin to one service member. I thought I would share the write up.... 

Petty Officer Pell served his first Iraq combat deployment as the Scout Sniper Platoon Corpsman, H&S Company, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines.  During this period Petty Officer Pell participated in 20 Scout Sniper Missions.  He excelled during this deployment becoming a valuable member of the platoon contributing to the tactical mission and prepared to provide the platoon life saving treatment if necessary.  His ability to provide quality care under fire resulted in the successful emergent treatment of active duty, enemy combatants and Iraqi civilians.  When Petty Office Pell returned from this first Iraq deployment he was tireless in developing his combat casualty care skills in preparation for future deployments.  As soon as the opportunity presented itself he volunteered for a second deployment.   

   While serving on his second Iraq deployment as the Surveillance and Target Acquisition Platoon Corpsman,(Scout Sniper), attached to Company I, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines on 15 November 2004 during combat operations in support of Operation Phantom Fury, Al Fallujah, Iraq.   Early in the morning, Petty Officer Pell assisted with capture of several suspected enemy insurgents. Upon inspection of the building, Petty Officer Pell realized that it contained not less than fifteen injured insurgents, and had been serving as an improvised “aid station.” Once the building was secure, Petty Officer Pell began providing medical assistance to the wounded, regardless of their status as enemy combatants. As a result, all of the fifteen were properly stabilized and later transported to higher headquarters. Ten of the fifteen wounded were considered expectent, due to Petty Officer Pell all survived.

Later in the day, India Company received contact from several hardened enemy positions. Unable to effectively engage the enemy with direct fires, Petty Officer Pell risked his life by braving withering small arms fire, (AK-47), and relocating to an adjacent rooftop in order to employ hand grenades, allowing India Company’s Marines to secure a foothold.

Petty Officer Pell then laid down suppressive fire on a second enemy position, freeing his sniper section to move. He then relocated to a higher position in order to provide suppressive fire in support of an assault that into an adjacent building. Another bout of intense small arms fire was directed at him while he moved. From his new position Petty Officer Pell was engaging hardened insurgents at distances of less than ten meters. As the assault progressed, Petty Officer Pell observed one of his Corporals suffer a severe gunshot wound to the head. Petty Officer Pell immediately moved into the enemy’s cone of fire in an attempt to reach the wounded Marine and provide first aid. Petty Officer Pell moved without hesitation or regard for his own safety. He was hit eleven times by enemy fire and seriously wounded. Petty Officer Pell maintained his composure and presence of mind, administering first aid to himself and continuing to provide suppressive fires as additional Marines arrived to evacuate the wounded Marine.  When the day’s fighting was over there were a total of 28 dead insurgents scattered through four mutually supporting buildings. None of the fighters had accepted when given the chance to surrender; they had fortified their positions and held on to the end. Petty Officer Pell’s actions were crucial to 1st Platoon’s seizing of an initial foothold and his subsequent fires surely prevented several more injuries. At the time when Petty Officer Pell was wounded, 1st Platoon and elements of the Company Headquarters had been fighting room to room and roof to roof for more than six hours. His composure and good spirits while being treated played a large part in keeping the Marines’ morale from suffering.

  He has distinguished himself during his third combat tour by demonstrating remarkable proficiency, skill, and leadership in stressful combat situations.   From 12 November 2005 to 11 November 2006 Petty Officer Pell performed his duties in the most exemplary manner as an advisor to 1st BN, 8th Bde, 2nd Iraqi National Police (INP), He was responsible for mentoring, and advising the INP in the execution of their duties, to include conducting combat operations and under these conditions.

On 28 February 2006, while the team was conducting training at the 1-4 Public Order Battalion (POB) compound, medium machine gun and small arms fire was heard near the location where 1-4 POB was conducting a siege operation with the rest of the 4th PO Brigade and the US Army’s 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment. A couple minutes after hearing the gunfire it was passed over the tactical control net that one of their units participating in the siege was engaged with enemy forces. As the closest coalition unit in the area, the team mounted up and moved to the location of the firefight. Upon arrival to the scene members of the 2/506th along with the Iraqi Special Police (ISP) from the 1st and 3rd Battalions 4th Public Order Bde were engaged in a firefight with the members of the 16th Strategic Infrastructure Battalion (SIB). While getting an update from the senior ISP on scene it was pointed out that one of the ISP had been shot near the SIB’s secondary gate and may still be alive. Petty Officer Pell immediately directed his team to move and use the M1114 as protection to reach the causality. He grabbed the patient and dragged him to a safe position to assess and treat the injuries, but unfortunately the patient died due to the extent of his injuries.

Once back to safety the team leader and Petty Officer Pell were gathering information from the 3-4 POB OIC who was the senior man on scene he received a gunshot wound to the leg. Petty Officer grabbed a tourniquet from his med bag and applied it. It was clear that the round had severed his Femoral Artery Petty Officer Pell worked to control the hemorrhage and prevent shock. If not for Petty Officer Pell’s quick actions the causality would have bled out. Upon completion of the MedEvac the team devised a plan to get the SIB personnel to lay down their weapons. The team leader was able to accomplish this and directed them to bring out their wounded to Petty Officer Pell. He worked on two casualties that had received head wounds. Petty Officer Pell worked feverishly to stabilize the casualties. Upon stabilization of the men he called for and directed the movement of all injured for MedEvac operations. Throughout the event Petty Officer Pell kept calm and reacted as trained. His mastery of battlefield first aid saved the lives of three people that day, and his ability to make quick decisions under fire helped the team to get the insurgents to lay their arms down preventing further blood shed.

On 13 June 2006, Petty Officer Pell was designated as the National Police Transition Team Patrol Leader for a combined patrol that included a platoon of Iraqi National Police from 1st Battalion, 8th Brigade, and a squad from Alpha Company, 2-506th, and a squad of Iraqi Policemen. While conducting –the patrol in Muhalla 822, in Al Doura, the combined patrol was engaged by Anti-Iraqi forces at extremely close range. Three insurgent gunmen came around a corner approximately 40 yards away and opened fire at the patrol with AK-47 assault rifles and one PKC medium machinegun. Petty Officer Pell acted immediately, directing the Iraqi element to drop, seek cover, and return fire. He intentionally exposed himself while moving from each position to position ensuring the Iraqi element maintained proper cover and fire discipline. At the same time he was directing the actions of the Iraqi forces, Petty Officer Pell passed via radio a situational report to the Army squad who had not yet turned the corner. This action alone prevented soldiers from unnecessary exposing themselves to injury from Anti-Iraqi forces. He quickly devised a plan that the Iraqis would pursue as able and try and pin the Anti-Iraqi forces in place while the Army squad 3 would try and flank around to the west of the Anti-Iraqi forces. His plan was immediately effective and started pushing the Anti-Iraqi forces out of their position.

Petty Officer Pell also called the 1st Iraqi National Police Battalion’s Quick Reaction Force out. This Quick Reaction Force also included the remainder of the National Police Transition Team. Being the man in charge on the ground, he ensured that as the Quick Reaction Forces came into the firefight that he deconflicted their arrival with actions of the Iraqi patrol members and the US Army squad. This prevented the potential of friendly fire incidents. HM2 Pell was able to send a SPOT Report up to the Local Coalition Battle Space Owner, 2-506th. They responded by sending all available patrols in the area to the firefight. As the situation developed the Anti-Iraqi forces started to retreat. HM2 Pell quickly redirected the Quick Reaction force to impede their retreat. Unfortunately they were able to flee the scene.

Throughout this event Petty Officer maintained and displayed the finest discipline and leadership. If not for his quick actions and thinking, the Iraqi forces would have not reacted as a cohesive unit. His ability to focus their fire and actions took great tactical knowledge and exposed him to dangers greater than those experienced had he been with a U.S. pure unit.

Petty Officer Pell’s administrative and organizational have also been highlighted during this deployment. Due to the relative detached nature of the National Police Transition Team (NPTT) and its mission, He almost single-handedly developed the Iraqi battalion medical program. Far before deploying to Iraq, Petty Officer Pell anticipated the needs of the Iraqi battalion to include all medical supplies, training aids and manuals. He was instrumental in the acquisition of a site for the BAS, the associated construction and cleansing, storage of supplies, and the day-to-day

operations. He supervised and treated approximately (25) Iraqi personnel on daily basis to include medical issues ranging from E-Coli to shrapnel and bullet wounds. He researched and acquired the necessary allocations to send Iraqi National Police to a national level medical class in Baghdad.

  Over his three Iraq combat deployments Petty Officer Pell has been combat meritoriously promoted twice and has earned the Bronze Star with Combat ‘V’,  Purple Heart Medal , Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat ‘V’, Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat ‘V’, Combat Action and numerous other campaign awards.   

   Time and time again Petty Officer Pell has proven himself to be the very best Combat Corpsmen.   He possesses all the finest qualities of the Combat Corpsmen and truly understands the sacred duty of caring for his Marines and Sailors under the most extreme combat conditions and at any personal cost to himself.  Petty Officer Pell epitomizes the spirit of our sacred mission and his selection for this award will be a great honor in memory of HM2 Luke Milam and the bond they share as Combat Corpsmen who will and have given all.

James, there is no one more deserving than you of this honor. Continued Godspeed dear brother. We cannot thank you enough for your courage, sacrifice, and service.

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People Pulling

A truly extraordinary story, James. Congratulations and thank you.

Posted by: Diana at Jul 3, 2008 7:29:45 PM

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