SGT Craig Warfle Awarded Distinguished Service Cross - First Ranger to Receive DSC post 9/11
Posted By Blackfive • [October 29, 2012]
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno presents the Distinguished Service
Cross to Sgt. Craig D. Warfle, from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion,
75th Ranger Regiment, during an award ceremony at Hunter Army Airfield,
Ga., Oct. 26, 2012. Warfle received the Army's second highest award for
valor for his actions during combat operations in Afghanistan. (U.S.
Army photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade/Released)
U.S. Army Ranger Sergeant Craig D. Warfle's Silver Star award was upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross, our nation's award for valor second only to the MoH. Read the citation and the original award write up and see that the upgrade was well deserved.
His citation reads:
For Gallantry in action from August 18 to 19, 2010 during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States as an Automatic Rifleman for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this period, Specialist Warfle, with total disregard for his own personal safety, maneuvered on a fortified enemy machine gun position through effective enemy fire. Even after being wounded, Specialist Warfle continued to suppress the enemy with high volumes of effective fire in order to allow his team members to pull his unconscious element leader to safety. Specialist Warfle refused to be medically evacuated from the fight and his actions allowed the Platoon to hastily withdraw and defeat the enemy utilizing air assets. Specialist Warfle’s distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
The whole write up for the original Silver Star award is below:
SPECIALIST CRAIG WARFLE
SILVER STAR (ACH) OEF
Craig D. Warfle distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous
achievement as a Ranger Squad Automatic Weapons Gunner on August 18,
2010 while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring
Freedom. Specialist Warfle was assigned to a task force, whose mission
was to capture or kill Al Qaeda (AQ) and Taliban (TB) Senior Leadership.
Warfle’s valorous actions under effective fire while executing an
objective saved the lives of his teammates and were instrumental in the
death of at least 16 Taliban fighters, the removal of two Taliban
Provincial Commanders, and the recovery of a large cache of weapons
intended for use against Coalition Forces.
On August 18, 2010,
the team received special intelligence indicating that a Taliban
Commander and weapons facilitator, was meeting near a tree line with at
least 17 other Taliban fighters. Information gathered indicated that
the enemy was orchestrating an ambush on Coalition Forces in Logar
Province, Afghanistan. The team observed the fighters in position for
the attack to include multiple spotters and runners used to communicate
between the various fighting locations. The Battle Space Owner was
notified of the imminent threat and diverted all convoys. When the
enemy fighters aborted their attack they were observed walking in a
military formation back towards a meeting site along a tree line.
Enroute to that location the enemy fighters were positively identified
to be carrying weapons. The team initiated a kinetic strike on the
fighter’s location from two AH-64s. The team stood ready and boarded
two CH-47 helicopters for insertion once the kinetic strike was
Immediately after the kinetic strike, the team inserted
a Ranger Element onto the hot landing zone to the West of the target
area to eliminate the several remaining enemy combatants. Ranger
Element 1, consisting of Specialist Warfle and five others, were tasked
with isolating the Northern side of the tree line and suppressing the
enemy to allow Ranger Element 2 to assault from West to East. Upon
infiltration the Ranger Assault Force received effective enemy fire in
vicinity of the North-South running tree line where the AH-64s had just
completed gun runs. As soon as Specialist Warfle stepped off the ramp
he came under fire from multiple enemy positions and without hesitation
returned fire and crawled 15 meters through the muddy field towards the
enemy. From this position, Specialist Warfle suppressed the multiple
enemy positions with 150 rounds from his MK-46 allowing Ranger Element 1
to move to the North and Ranger Element 2 to maneuver to the South.
Under fire and with no cover in the open field, Specialist Warfle
continued to suppress the enemy positions permitting members of the
Assault Force to get down in the prone position while the leaders
determined a way to assault the enemy positions. After a couple of
minutes passed, Ranger Element 2 came under heavy effective fire from
enemy crew served weapons. Realizing that Ranger Element 2 was
effectively pinned down in the open field to the South, Specialist
Warfle moved with Sergeant Lugo to the North to flank the enemy position
from the North-West.
Specialist Warfle, while under heavy
effective enemy fire, advanced on the enemy position to suppress the
enemy and allow the Assault Force to maneuver on and destroy the
entrenched enemy. As Sergeant Lugo and Specialist Warfle voluntarily
maneuvered towards the enemy positions they identified two entrenched
enemy personnel with automatic weapons firing on the Assault Force.
Specialist Warfle continued to advance on the entrenched enemy using
suppressive fire alone to protect Sergeant Lugo and himself because
there was no available cover in open terrain. When Sergeant Lugo and
Specialist Warfle got within 25 meters of the enemy machine gun
positions, Specialist Warfle and Sergeant Lugo were both hit with a
volley of machine gun fire. Although Specialist Warfle knew he had been
shot in the right shoulder he disregarded his own personal safety and
moved through the kill zone to Sergeant Lugo’s side to protect his
incapacitated Squad Leader. Specialist Warfle purposefully positioned
himself in the line of enemy fire and immediately suppressed the enemy
in order to defend Sergeant Lugo and provide covering fire for the
platoon medic, Sergeant Solomon, to move to and treat Sergeant Lugo.
Specialist Warfle fearlessly continued to provide accurate suppressive
fire from his exposed position, allowing Staff Sergeant Myers and
Sergeant Kochli the ability to move forward, suppress the enemy, and
then subsequently evacuate Sergeant Lugo. Specialist Warfle continued
to provide suppressive fire as Sergeant Solomon, Staff Sergeant Tucker,
and Sergeant Kochli pulled Sergeant Lugo back to cover. Only after the
casualty evacuation aircraft evacuated Sergeant Lugo, did Specialist
Warfle treat the through and through gunshot wound to his right shoulder
by applying a tourniquet to his right arm. Specialist Warfle then
proceeded to engage the enemy position from a position between the enemy
and the Platoon for over twenty minutes while the Assault Force
reconsolidated and moved back away from the enemy positions. He
steadfastly remained at his forward position delivering accurate fire on
the enemy until all members of the Assault Force had moved across the
open field to cover 100 meters to the West. Specialist Warfle bounded
back to the West over the open field while the Assault Force provided
suppressive fire. Specialist Warfle’s actions allowed the Assault Force
to break contact, drop ordnance on the enemy positions, and safely move
to the exfiltration hot landing zone.
By repeatedly risking his
life for others, Specialist Warfle’s purposeful gallant actions,
selfless dedication to the safety of his teammates, and demonstrated
extraordinary heroism were distinctive and exemplary. He is most
deserving of the distinct recognition. Through his distinctive
accomplishments, Specialist Warfle’s personal actions reflect great
credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
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