Leadership in Action Story #2: Team Leader Under Fire


Submitted by the Company Commander, HHC/2–502 IN, 101st Infantry Division (AASLT)

Leadership in Action!

SGT K was a very good young leader, but he had not quite put himself “over the edge” yet. He had the confidence of his leaders, but his soldiers had not been fully convinced of his combat-leadership ability. That all changed on 29 Dec 03. Intelligence directed C/2–502 to a suspected terrorist safe house in Mosul, Iraq and instead of the believed “dry hole,” the squad ran into a hail of enemy fire. The squad entered a building full of terrorists eager to kill Americans. SGT K’s fire team was the foothold team in the house. As the squad entered the first room, the enemy let loose with a withering wall of fire. This fire hit the squad leader and pinned the rest of the squad in the hall. SGT K immediately took charge of the situation. He called for medical aid for his squad leader and then turned his attention back to the room where the enemy was still firing. SGT K reentered the room and gained fire superiority and killed both of the enemy with a grenade. SGT K then led the squad into the next room where he was attacked from behind by a man with a knife. Too close to shoot, SGT K engaged in hand-to-hand combat for several moments before he was able to throw the attacker far enough away for the next man to shoot him. SGT K then took control of the squad and secured the rest the house for the platoon.

The Impact

The impact of this was huge on the younger soldiers of the squad and platoon. Not only did SGT K demonstrate courage and leadership under fire, he became an instant role model for the young guys and an inspiration to many of his peers and seniors. SGT K was awarded a bronze star with “V” and is pending a Silver Star. This is the incident that we all talk about from ROTC to Ranger School to training cycle at home station. Your leader went down, What would you do? Who will step up? SGT K passed the test.

Have you witnessed leadership? Share your story with the CC/PL by replying to this post, e-mailing us, or in the forums on the Leadership in Action page.

The CC/PL Team

Company Command Forum: http://cc.army.mil/

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