FORT BRAGG, NC – Because of his heroic actions on the fateful day of 15 November 2012, Sgt. Maj. William L. Lubbers was posthumously awarded the Soldier’s Medal, July 15, 2013.
Lubbers was aboard a float during a Show of Support parade in Midland, Texas when it was struck by a train moving at more than 60 miles per hour. The parade took place 4 days after Veterans Day in order to show support for veterans injured while in combat operations.
Lubbers had reacted as fast as he could, instantly pulling Soldiers and their wives off of the float in order to move them out of harm’s way. With only 15 seconds of warning, Lubbers showed remarkable bravery, courage, and selfless action when he jumped from his seat on the float and began to physically move people to get them to the ground. Lubbers stayed aboard the float, with no regard for his own personal safety, in order to save as many people as he could before being struck by the train killing Lubbers and three other veterans.
United States Army Special Operations Command commanding general, Charles T. Cleveland, attended the ceremony as the guest speaker.
“Sgt. Maj. Lubbers was a hero in every sense of the word,” Cleveland said, “He is greatly missed and will always be part of the USASOC family.”
After the orders were published, Cleveland presented the Soldier’s Medal to Lubbers’ wife, Tiffanie, and children Zachary and Sydnie.
The award ceremony in dedication of Sgt. Maj. Lubbers was attended by the Lubbers’ family and friends, civilians and Soldiers alike.
Lubbers enlisted in the Army on May 20, 1988 as an administrative specialist. After completion of his initial training, to include the U.S. Army Airborne School and Ranger School, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Wash. Lubbers served almost four years with the 75th Ranger Regiment before leaving to attend the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course in 1992. He graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in August 1994. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the 2nd Bn., 1st SFG (A) as a Special Forces communications sergeant. In 1998, Lubbers was assigned to 1st Bn., 1st SFG (A) in Okinawa, Japan as a Senior Special Forces communications sergeant.
In 2001, Lubbers was reassigned to 2nd Bn., 1st Special Warfare Training Group at Fort Bragg. From there he moved to 1st Bn., 3rd SFG (A), Fort Bragg, in 2003, where he served as an operations sergeant until 2005, when he was promoted to the position of first sergeant for Headquarters Support Company, 1st Bn., 3rd SFG (A).
From May 2008 through June 2009 Lubbers was assigned as the sergeant major for Special Operations Command Forward – Pakistan.
Sgt. Maj. Lubbers’ combat deployments include four tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.