News: Soldier honored for valor in Afghanistan
Story by 1st Lt. Alessandra Braun
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Staff Sgt. Forester of Tallahassee, Fla., was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, Sept. 10, 2013. He is currently assigned as a squad leader for the Embedded Training Team, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 307th Engineer Battalion, Task Force SAW, in Regional Command West, Afghanistan.
While operating near Kushk-e-Khonah, Herat province, Afghanistan, May 4-7, 2013, Forester displayed uncommon valor in the face of enemy fire. On May 4, 2013, his unit received fire while conducting patrol base operations. The insurgents targeted Forester’s position with machine gun fire. He engaged the insurgents and maneuvered back to his vehicle, where he directed his gunner’s fires. On May 6, 2013, his element was engaged a second time. From his location, he directed friendly fires, killing three insurgents. Finally on May 7, 2013, Forester’s unit was attacked by two ambushes initiated with improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades. Forester was initially dismounted, but fixed the enemy long enough for the vehicles to gain positive identification and return fire. He later maneuvered his vehicle toward three insurgents firing rocket-propelled grenades, killing two insurgents.
Staff Sgt. Forester is an engineer stationed in Fort Bragg, N.C. His previous awards include: Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Commendation Medal (5), Army Achievement Medal (4), Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (3), Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Sapper Tab, Parachutist Badge, and the Driver’s Badge-Wheeled Vehicle. He was also awarded the Combat Action Badge for his involvement in this operation.