August 28, 2005

Col. Coffman Jr., We Salute You.

Colonel awarded Distinguished Service Cross for rallying Iraqi troops during Mosul fighting:

(Army Times) A colonel was presented the second-highest award for valor Aug. 24 for his actions during a furious firefight last year in Iraq when he rallied Iraqi commandos to defend their position against an insurgent assault.

Col. James H. Coffman Jr., who was wounded during the Nov. 14 gun battle at Mosul, received the Distinguished Service Cross in a ceremony in Baghdad.

Last November, insurgents attacked several police stations in Mosul. According to the military’s account of his actions, Coffman was with a group of Iraqi commandos moving to reinforce one police station that was under attack when insurgents ambushed them.

All but one of the commando team’s officers were killed or seriously wounded early in the fight, leaving the Iraqi officer and Coffman, an adviser to the commandos, to direct the battle.

“Coffman exhibited truly inspirational leadership, rallying the commandos and organizing a hasty defense while attempting to radio higher headquarters for reinforcements,” his award citation reads.

During the fight, Coffman was shot in his shooting hand, a shot that wrecked his weapon. But he picked up AK47s from the wounded Iraqis and kept shooting.

The battle lasted four hours, ending only after U.S. armored vehicles and air support arrived. Coffman consented to be evacuated for medical treatment only after all of the Iraqi wounded were evacuated.

Twelve Iraqi commandos were killed, as were 25 insurgents, the military said.

Bravo, Colonel.

H/T: Charles

Posted by Kyer at August 28, 2005 04:18 PM | TrackBack