FORT BENNING, GA – Rangers from 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment gathered together July 12 to honor four of their own for heroic actions during combat operations in 2011 and 2012.
“If you ask anyone of them they would down play the events of that day for which they are about to be recognized,” said Lt. Col. Marcus Evans, Battalion Commander, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. “But as you hear the narratives and read what these Rangers did you cannot help but feel a sense of pride and comfort that these warriors will deploy again and selflessly display the same tenacity and courage under fire that they have done on so many occasions.”
Silver Stars, the nation’s third highest award for valor, were presented to Staff Sgt. Scott Anderson and Staff Sgt. James Wilbur and for their valiant actions during the battalion’s 2011 spring deployment.
While conducting combat operations, March 8, 2011 in Northern Afghanistan, Anderson courageously led his squad on an assault against a fortified compound, housing heavily armed enemy combatants, while faced with intense enemy direct fire from close range during the mission.
Despite being outnumbered, Anderson selflessly remained in exposed positions several times throughout the mission, putting himself at risk in order to engage and destroy the enemy and ensure the safety of Afghan civilians as well as his fellow Rangers.
“Rangers are unique and have a lot of capabilities,” said Anderson. “We play a large role in what’s going on in Afghanistan and around the world.”
His fearless actions under direct and indirect fire resulted in the elimination of all entrenched enemy combatants, including two senior level Taliban commanders and enabled the successful casualty evacuation of a Ranger wounded during the mission.
“The Rangers in this Battalion have never lost sight of their commitment to this fight,” said Evans.
During combat operations on April 27, 2011, Wilbur’s platoon was tasked with clearing several areas of interest in Northern Afghanistan. He led his squad on an assault on heavily armed enemy combatants and utilizing direct fire and hand grenades, he eliminated multiple enemy combatants attempting to maneuver and engage the assault force with automatic weapons.
While braving enemy fire from extremely close range and imminent threats from multiple locations, Wilbur continued to close with and destroy the enemy while maneuvering his squad through complex terrain and eliminating additional enemy combatants while receiving effective enemy fire.
Wilbur’s actions resulted in the destruction of enemy fighters and prevented the enemy from inflicting any casualties on the assault force.
“My actions are a representation of the rest of the unit and I was in the right place at the right time,” said Wilbur.
Additional awards included a Joint Service Commendation Medal for Valor to Staff Sgt. Ryan Flora for actions on Jan. 15, 2012 and an Army Commendation Medal for Valor to Cpl. Ian T. Seymour.
“The men standing before you today and seated in this auditorium represent the best of America,” said Evans. “They represent a commitment to excellence and an audacious desire to be the best and win on the field of battle.”
September 2012 will mark 11 years of war for our Nation; for 3rd Bn., 75th Rgr. Rgt., this equates to 16 combat rotations totaling almost five years deployed. Behind each one of those 16 rotations there is a demanding training cycle that rapidly prepares these men for combat. The battalion will deploy later this fall for their 17th combat rotation.