Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday's Hero: First Lieutenant Gregory F. Ambrosia

First Lieutenant Gregory F. Ambrosia

First Lieutenant Gregory F. Ambrosia
28 years old from Knoxville, Tennessee
2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade

U.S. Army

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Lieutenant (Infantry) Gregory F. Ambrosia, United States Army, for gallantry in actions while serving as Executive Officer, Company A, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team, in action in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, in Afghanistan, on 25 - 26 September 2007. First Lieutenant Ambrosia's gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: On 25 September 2007, Able Company, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry air assaulted into the village of Qowru and conducted a search and attack through the village and surrounding caves in order to disrupt Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in the Watapor Valley. The Company Executive Officer, First Lieutenant Ambrosia air assaulted into OP REDSKINS, one of two company observation posts (OP's) overlooking Qowru, in order to establish a command radio relay station and overwatch the mounted assault element in the valley with 60-mm. indirect fire. Upon occupation, ICOM intercepts informed the OP that the enemy was mobilizing and massing for an attack on both company OP's and the mounted maneuver element in the valley. Immediately upon insertion, the 22 Soldiers of 1st Platoon which assaulted OP REDSKINS linked up and moved towards their position overlooking the valley. There were explosions and shots fired across the valley during the night, but no fires were directed at OP REDSKINS. By morning the OP observed the rest of the Company move into position and begin their search and attack through the valley. A fire team plus-sized element of Anti-Coalition Militia was maneuvering to high ground to the east of the company when they made contact with the position at OP REDSKINS. The first individual that came close to the OP was an enemy scout. The individual was engaged immediately and within minutes several of the ACM fighters engaged the observation post with an intense volume of fire. Without any hesitation, First Lieutenant Ambrosia immediately assessed the situation and reported to the Company Commander who was located down in the valley and by this time under fire as well. He gave the enemy situation and without any concern for his own safety remained in place while exposed to heavy enemy fire from ACM forces advancing on his position to within hand grenade range. He continued directing fires and making critical radio transmissions using both FM and TACSAT communication. His timely and accurate calls for 40-mm. and 81-mm. danger close fire were the only effective defense for the OP. While the rest of the element were throwing hand grenades and engaged in close combat with a flanking ACM force, First Lieutenant Ambrosia held his position under heavy direct fire during the 4 hours of the engagement without deviating from his radio transmissions. He requested fire missions, using three different indirect fire assets and close air support simultaneously. First Lieutenant Ambrosia's strong character gave him the tools he needed to repel the enemy attack. First Lieutenant Ambrosia's indirect fire was able to hold the enemy front, which allowed the rest of the OP to fight back the enemy's attempt to turn their flank. First Lieutenant Ambrosia continued providing covering fire simultaneously as he had to make corrections on the 500 pound bombs dropped all within danger close. He gave the Battalion Commander updates of the enemy and friendly situations as they developed. He continued to hold his position even though he was constantly exposed to close heavy enemy fire. First Lieutenant Ambrosia kept keeping Close Combat Air updated on the enemy's location allowing the AH-64 (Apache) to effectively engage and kill three ACM fighters. Despite constant signal intercepts suggesting advancing and flanking maneuver forces, his ability to continue setting the tactical conditions gave the Non-Commissioned Officers and all junior leaders the ability to maneuver their Paratroopers. First Lieutenant Ambrosia's actions throughout the entire engagement were of the highest degree of valor. He performed honorably while under direct enemy fire and effectively engaged the enemy under the most difficult circumstances. First Lieutenant Ambrosia was a key leader during the battle, providing true leadership to the entire element. Even when events became dire, he kept his demeanor and without hesitation took the fight to the enemy. His actions are the true embodiment of the Infantry Warrior Ethos.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

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