Artillery soldier awarded Bronze Star for raining mortars on ISIS fighters during a harrowing firefight

news

Spc. Collin Jackson, a fire support specialist with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, received the Bronze Star Medal with a V device at Fort Bliss, Texas, July 11, 2019, for valorous acts during Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan

(U.S. Army photo)

The Army awarded a Bronze Star with a valor device to an artillery soldier for risking his life to save wounded personnel before obliterating enemy positions with 60mm mortar rounds during an intense engagement with ISIS fighters in Afghanistan.


Spc. Collin Jackson, a fire support specialist with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, was praised for his "valorous acts" during a Thursday award ceremony at Fort Bliss in Texas, the Defense Department said.

Jackson was conducting a clearance operation in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province on Aug. 16, 2017, as an infantry "uplift" soldier in support of a U.S. Special Forces Operational Detachment A and the Afghan military's 8th Special Operations Kandak when the group came under heavy fire from ISIS fighters.

After enduring more than eight hours of "fierce" machine gun and indirect fire, the joint U.S.-Afghan element "consolidated at an isolated compound on the valley floor in order to secure a defensible, remain-over-night position," 3rd Field Artillery Regiment commander Lt. Col. Jon Fausnaugh said during Jackson's award ceremony.

That's when things got out of control, according to Jackson's citation: "As the dismounted element finished clearing the compound, an explosive weapon of unknown origin suddenly detonated, wounding 30 personnel and ultimately killing four," including Green Beret Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler.

Jackson immediately sprang into action after the blast, moving wounded U.S. and Afghan personnel to a casualty collection point and even performing CPR on "a critical American casualty" as ISIS fighters continued to target the joint element from multiple positions with gunfire and RPGs.

After readying the wounded for evacuation, Jackson went on the offensive. Moving through the hailstorm of gunfire, he grabbed a 60mm mortar from his vehicle and destroyed the primary ISIS position with six well-placed shells, remaining exposed to enemy fire for more than an hour.

"Jackson had no choice but to fight from an exposed position in front of his vehicle," Fausnaugh said during the award ceremony. "He was vulnerable, but had good field to fire and courageously held his ground."

Speaking alongside Fausnaugh at the awards ceremony at Fort Bliss, 1st ABCT commander Col. Michael J. Trotter captured the major lesson Jackson's heroism to the assembled soldiers.

"We can talk about the most modern pieces of equipment in the world — tank, Paladin, M88 — all important tools, but none more important than you, represented right here," he said, gesturing to Jackson. "He represents you."

SEE ALSO: Most Americans Don't Think The Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq Were Worth It — Including The Vets Who Fought In Them

WATCH NEXT: Watch A Coastie Give Zero F*cks As He Leaps Aboard A Moving Narco Sub And Pounds On The Hatch

President Donald Trump (Associated Press photo)

A senior Pentagon official told impeachment investigators that President Donald Trump's freeze on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine posed a strategic nightmare for the Defense Department and put the American-allied country in a deeply dangerous position, according to impeachment inquiry testimony released Monday.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Creating a realistic battle scene — whether it's from World War II or the Napoleonic Wars — demands technical know-how and precise attention to detail.

Paul Biddiss, the military technical adviser on the upcoming World War I movie 1917, taught the actors everything they needed to know, from proper foot care to how to hold a weapon, "which allows the actor to concentrate on his primary task. Acting!" Biddis told Insider.

Biddiss has worked on projects from a variety of time periods — "large Napoleonic battles through to World War I, World War II, right up to modern-day battles with Special Forces," Biddiss said.

Read on to learn about how Biddiss prepared 1917 performers for the gruesome, grueling warfare of World War I.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Two military bases in Florida and one in Arizona will see heat indexes over 100 degrees four months out of every year if steps aren't taken to reduce carbon emissions, a new study warns.

Read More Show Less

This Veterans Day, two post-9/11 veterans-turned congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation to have a memorial commemorating the Global War on Terrorism built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less

Between 500 and 600 U.S. troops are expected to remain in Syria when all is said and done, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley said on Sunday.

Milley's comments on ABC News' "This Week" indicate the U.S. military's footprint in Syria will end up being roughly half the size it was before Turkey invaded Kurdish-held northeast Syria last month.

Read More Show Less