Staff SGT Donald Wayne West, Jr., enlisted in the United States Army National Guard on September 11, 2001. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Company A of the 150th Combat Engineers served active duty Aug 29, 2004, until Dec 30, 2005. SSGT West returned to college in January, 2006. He married Lauren Ritchie June 9, 2006, at Seaside, Fla., and they have three children. SSGT West completed military service at Camp Minden, LA on Aug 23, 2009.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Day 296 - 150th Awards Bronze Star Medals

LT Kimbrough with his Bronze Star Medal recipient dad, 1st SGT Kimbrough

General Augustus Collins recently presented Bronze Star Medals to members of the 150th Engineer battalion. The fourth highest award for bravery, heroism or meritorious service, the Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration.

The medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the military of the United States after December 6, 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Awards may be made for acts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star. To the left, 1st SGT James K. Smith accepts his Bronze Star medal for his technical expertise and inspirational leadership, critical factors in the successful completion of more than 150 combat operations without any casualties.

Awards may also be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The required achievement or service while of lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.

The Bronze Star Medal is typically referred to by its full name (including the word Medal) to differentiate the decoration from bronze service stars which are worn on campaign medals.

The dedication of America's soldiers is probably most evident in reenlistment rates, which continue to exceed the Pentagon's goals more than four years into the war on terror.

Bronze Star Medal Ceremony at Camp Dogwood

Congratulations, Soldiers!
(Posted at Mudville Gazette.)