Wisconsin NCO Awarded Silver Star Medal
June 3, 2013
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1st Sgt. Gregory A. Fulton, a combat engineer, earned the award — the nation’s third highest military decoration for valor, for his gallantry in action during an engagement Aug. 10, 2009, in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, the vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, presented Fulton with the award.
“I think on a personal level, like I said, I’m honored,” Fulton said. “I think what I feel most about the award … I’m far more proud of my unit and the courage and the bravery that they displayed on a daily basis.”
Fulton’s unit, the 951st “Sapper” Engineer Company, based in Tomahawk, Wis., was called to provide a dismounted security force to assist the Afghan National Army in clearing a building that held insurgents delivering small arms fire. According to the award citation, Fulton never hesitated as he took charge of an ad-hoc 12-man U.S.-Afghan assault team. The Silver Star recipient led the team into the building, where it cleared each floor while encountering an increasing barrage of gunfire and casualties as they closed in on the enemy combatants. In a dangerous spot, Fulton and his team engineered an improvised breaching device that allowed them to neutralize the remaining insurgents and clear the building.
For the first time since World War II, a Wisconsin Army National Guardsman has been awarded the Silver Star Medal. The Soldier, who is also an NCO, was awarded the medal during a ceremony May 31 at Volk Field in Camp Douglas, Wis.
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