Academic journal article Military Review

Medal of Honor

Academic journal article Military Review

Medal of Honor

Article excerpt

In a 25 June 2019 White House ceremony, President Donald J. Trump presented former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia with the Medal of Honor for his heroic service as a squad leader in support of Operation Phantom Fury on the night of 10 November 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq. By coincidence, 10 November 2004 also happened to be Bellavia's twenty-ninth birthday.

Bellavia's unit, 3rd Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, was tasked with clearing out twelve buildings occupied by insurgents. The soldiers began kicking in doors, searching and clearing houses, and destroying enemy weapons. The first nine buildings were clear of the enemy and easily secured, but the tenth revealed enemy troops hidden behind concrete barricades who quickly opened fire on Bellavia's unit.

Bellavia assumed control of the situation; he provided suppressive fire while his men evacuated the building, and he only exited the building once all of his men had left. However, enemy fire still rained down from the building's roof, and even when a Bradley Fighting Vehicle arrived to help suppress the enemy fire and drive the insurgents further into the building, Bellavia wanted to ensure that no enemy remained alive. …

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