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    Fort Carson Soldier earns Bronze Star Medal with valor

    FORT CARSON, Colo. – A Soldier from 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor April 11, 2018, for his actions in combat while deployed in support of Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan.

    Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael A. Loh, The Adjutant General, Colorado National Guard, presented Sgt. Ricky Beckles with the medal in a ceremony at the 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Reg. headquarters. Beckles was attached to the National Guard’s 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne); the battalion in headquartered in Colorado.

    According to his award citation, on August 16, 2017, Beckles, “deliberately and repeatedly exposed himself to heavy, direct enemy fire in order to defend the evacuation of thirteen critical casualties.”

    Loh also read a statement prepared by the 19th SFG(A) providing greater detail of Beckles actions that day. The account describes Beckles laying down suppressive fire on enemy forces when a projectile struck his helmet, knocking him out. He returned to consciousness and continued to fire his 40 mm grenade launcher at the enemy until they were completely suppressed.

    “This is a soldier we could all do well to emulate,” said Loh.
    Beckles battalion commander also highlighted the significance of this award.

    “It is a very special occasion that we have a Bronze Star with ‘V’ device being awarded and even rarer for it to be an E-5 receiving it, so this is something we are very proud of,” said Lt. Col. David Uthlaut, commander, 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Reg.

    Following the presentation, Beckles commented on the importance that his leaders and training played on the day of his heroic actions.
    “I have to thank everyone who mentored me and trained me. Our training isn’t always enjoyable but it really does matter,” he said. Beckles also thanked his wife, Marlene. The two married just before he deployed last year.

    The ceremony concluded with many of those in attendance filing through to shake Beckles hand, including members of the 19th SFG(A) who served with Beckles, and fellow 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Reg. Soldiers.



    Date Taken: 04.11.2018
    Date Posted: 04.17.2018 20:07
    Story ID: 273433
    Location: FORT CARSON, CO, US 

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