FORT CAMPBELL — Four Fort Campbell soldiers were awarded the Silver Star on Wednesday for their actions under fire in January in Iraq.
Master Sgt. Petter Jacobsen, Master Sgt. Raymond Lancey, Staff Sgt. Greg Keller and Master Sgt. Sean Kirkwood received the awards, the third highest given by the Army for heroism in combat, after the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor. All four soldiers are assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
“Standing in front of us are truly great men, heroes among heroes,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas Csrnko, commanding general of the Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), to an audience of family and fellow soldiers. “This fight is what books are written about and what movies are made from.”
Detachment 566 received an urgent call from Iraqi army scouts at about 7 a.m. Jan. 28, requesting immediate assistance just north of An Najaf, the Army said. The small group of Iraqi scouts was outnumbered by enemy fighters and engulfed in gunfire, according to the military.
The Special Forces soldiers arrived to find the scouts isolated and suppressed by gunfire and were fired on by enemy small arms, machine guns and rocket-propelled-grenade and mortar fire, the Army said in describing the battle. Lancey returned fire from his .50-caliber machine gun before leaving his vehicle. He led a three-man team through a barrage of bullets in order to reach the trapped Iraqi soldiers.