FORT CAMPBELL, KY – The Soldiers and leaders of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), also known as The Legion, gathered to recognize the heroism of a comrade.
Capt. Rodney D. Jackson was awarded the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal in a ceremony at Fort Campbell, March 6. He received the award as a result of his actions taken during a multiple vehicle accident at Fort Jackson, S.C. on Sept. 12, 2010.
“A Soldier’s Medal presentation is a very rare event,” commented Col. Scott E. Brower, the commander of 5th SFG (A). “What makes it so rare is it calls for heroism not involving armed conflict, where the loss of life to both victim and the actor is clearly evident.”
Jackson, currently assigned to the 5th SFG (A) was assigned to the 60th Infantry Regiment at Fort Jackson, S.C., when he witnessed a multiple vehicle traffic incident.
While riding his motorcycle with two other individuals, one of the bikes was clipped by a car causing the rider to crash. As Jackson and the other rider stopped to help their fellow comrade they witnessed a chain reaction from the incident causing a Jeep to lose control and collide head on by another vehicle. The driver was knocked unconscious at impact and the Jeep burst into flames.
With his fellow rider safe and another rider stopping traffic, Jackson turned his attention to the wreckage in front of him. He was unable to open the door to the burning vehicle and therefore proceeded to kick in the window until he was able to climb inside, pull out the unresponsive driver, and carry him to safety.
Jackson ignored several elements playing into the unsafe conditions of the accident and without hesitation risked his life to save another human being.
“I really wasn’t focusing on the elements around me,” said Jackson. “I just saw a man who needed help.”
After Emergency Services arrived at the scene, Jackson was informed that the man he saved was an undercover deputy sheriff with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and a veteran Soldier who previously served in the Special Forces Regiment. The officer who Jackson pulled from the burning wreckage made a full recovery and was able to personally thank him during a private ceremony last year.
“To see him doing okay and to see him with his wife was a great feeling,” Jackson commented.
Following the publishing of the orders, Jackson took the time to formally thank his family for their continuous support. He made it a point to thank God, his parents, grandparents, his wife and kids and in-laws.
“They took their very first time flying to come here and see me,” Jackson stated in regards to the support his family has shown him.
Lastly, in closing remarks, he ensured everyone knew how humbled he was to be standing there receiving the award. “It’s an honor to be here in a positive light able to give back to an organization that has given me so much.”
Jackson’s heroic actions were formally recognized with the awarding of the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal. According to Army Regulation 600-8-2, The Soldier’s Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguished himself or herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.