Project Hero: SFC Frederick Allen, Silver Star Posted by: McQ
on Saturday, June 16, 2007
Today we honor a member of the US Army's 5th Special Forces, SFC Frederick Allen, awarded the Silver Star for action in An Najaf, Iraq while working with a detachment of the Iraqi National Guard:
Sgt. 1st Class Frederick Allen, a native of Ann Arbor, Mich., was awarded the Silver Star for his actions Aug. 12, 2004, in An Najaf, Iraq.
Allen, the other members of Operational Detachment - Alpha 512, along with 51 Iraqi National Guardsmen, engaged approximately 15-20 Mahdi Militiamen embedded inside a school.
The detachment, with the Iraqi National Guard in the lead, advanced toward their objective and came under immediate and intense enemy fire from inside the school. Allen, the gunner in the detachment's 2nd vehicle, and a staff sergeant at the time, ordered his GMV forward, placing himself in the direct line of fire to allow the Iraqi National Guard elements to re-group and reorganize after sustaining several casualties.
His courage did not end there. Multiple times in the fight, Allen selflessly stayed in the line of fire battling the enemy, so that others could make it back to cover.
Allen acknowledged the personal significance of his Silver Star, but said he feels that the award symbolizes the heroism of his team and the Iraqi National Guard during their battle with Mahdi Milita.
"This medal honors those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and also serves as a tribute to Soldiers who serve today, and will serve tomorrow," Allen said.
After the fight, Allen's valorous actions continued as he secured his fallen commander and rendered first aid to Iraqi National Guard members, who had been reduced from 51 to 14 soldiers.
"At least 10 different times Sgt. Allen made a conscious decision for valor," said Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, USASOC commanding general. "He chose to expose himself to risk ... he is a wonderful example of what it means to be an American patriot."
Such displays of courage and valor aren't at all unexpected from our Special Forces soldiers, and they serve as an example to those they are training and mentoring. One of the primary jobs of Special Forces is training and advising indigenous forces like the Iraqi National Guard. SFC Allen's valor that day in which he placed the safety of the Iraqi troops above his own is in keeping with the highest traditions of special operations troops and it led, ultimately, to a successful mission. As with most heroes, he felt his award symbolic of the heroism displayed by all that day.
PROJECT HERO is an ongoing attempt to highlight the valor of our military as they fight in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We constantly hear the negative and far to little of the positive and inspiring stories coming out of those countries. This is one small attempt to rectify that. If you know of a story of valor you'd like to see highlighted here (published on Saturday), please contact us. And we'd appreciate your link so we can spread the word.