Specialist Chase N. Ash, U.S. Army
Silver Star Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Specialist Chase N. Ash, United States Army, for gallantry in action on 12 September 2004 during combat operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, in Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. With total disregard for his own safety, he risked his life to save the lives of his comrades. Specialist Ash’s ability to react quickly and selflessly to a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device enabled the Soldiers in the disabled and burning vehicle to escape to safety. Specialist Ash’s heroism and gallantry in battle are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, Company A, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: On the morning of 12 September 2004 Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, was conducting operations on Haifa Street in Baghdad, Iraq, to extract the beleaguered 1-9 Cavalry scout platoon and Navy SEAL snipers from an observation post on the top of a 17-story apartment building. Upon arriving at the objective area, Alpha Company encountered an enemy force of 60 AIF fighters and came under heavy enemy RPG, grenade, and small arms fire from all directions. 2d Platoon was tasked to secure the objective area from the southeast. At approximately 0643 a VBIED turned northwest onto Haifa Street at a high rate of speed. The vehicle drove up onto the sidewalk and directly into A50, the Company Executive Officer’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The explosives in the vehicle detonated on impact and the Bradley burst into flames. Specialist Ash distinguished himself with heroism under enemy fire by risking his life to save the lives of his comrades. Without orders, Specialist Ash displayed extraordinary courage, exposing himself to the heavy volume of enemy small arms, grenade and RPG fire by running 50 meters forward of his covered and concealed position to the burning Bradley. Upon reaching the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, he exposed himself a second time by climbing onto the burning vehicle, exposing himself to both enemy fire and intense heat as he peered into the driver’s hatch. Seeing the driver’s seat empty, he dismounted the vehicle and moved to the side of the emblazed Bradley, where he was still exposed to enemy fire and intense flames. He remained there, in the open, helping the six wounded soldiers down off the vehicle and then directed them to the nearest covered and concealed position. Specialist Ash personally led the Bradley crew across the open area to link up with the rest of the squad behind cover. After first aid was given to the wounded soldiers, the Platoon’s Bradley Fighting Vehicles maneuvered to pick up the wounded. The vehicles, however, were restricted by the terrain and could not get to a position that would allow the wounded to be loaded behind cover. The wounded would have to cross an open area to get to the Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Specialist Ash, determined to ensure the wounded were loaded into the vehicle safely, provided suppressive fire on known enemy positions and overwatched the area. Specialist Ash, undaunted by the vicious fighting, refused to mount the armored vehicle and remained in his position to place fire on the enemy until the last possible moment when the company began to move from the objective area. Specialist Ash was instrumental in providing direction to the wounded and badly shaken soldiers from the vehicle. His extraordinary heroism and gallantry in battle at risk to his own life, saved the lives of his comrades and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and brings great credit upon himself, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, and the United States Army.