Master Sergeant Kevin Wallace
On April 3, 2011, while deployed to Afghanistan, Master Sergeant Kevin Wallace joined a
team of U.S. Army scouts to conduct patrol base operations from Outpost Reaper. Their mission
would take them further away from the outpost than coalition forces had ever patrolled in the
past. Under the cover of night, Sergeant Wallace’s team moved on foot toward Kamusari, known
The next morning, as the team was leaving the village of Kobalion, small arms fire erupted from a two story compound. Sergeant Wallace immediately returned fire with his M-4 rifle while he and the Army scouts took cover in the ruins of a nearby mud-brick structure. Sergeant Wallace and his team continued to engage Taliban fighters as small arms and heavy machine gun fire peppered the scouts’ makeshift base. Throughout the unrelenting firefight, with rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) streaking toward the team’s position, Sergeant Wallace alternated between engaging the enemy and visually documenting the actions of his teammates with his camera.
Suddenly, an RPG breached Sergeant Wallace’s fighting position, throwing him against a wall. He was knocked unconscious and wounded in the neck. Four of his team members were also hit. When he regained consciousness, Sergeant Wallace reengaged the enemy, pinpointing their positions so that his team could accurately fire mortar rounds.
Despite his injuries, Sergeant Wallace left his covered position to investigate a potential casualty evacuation route. Heavy machine gun fire laced the air and ground around him. Undaunted, he verified a safe route, braving fire in the open three separate times to ensure that the enemy had not flanked their element. His actions allowed his team to reach the casualty evacuation site. Although some were wounded, not a single Soldier was killed.
For his actions, Sergeant Wallace received the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Air Force Combat Action Medal, and the Army Combat Action Badge. He also received the Purple Heart for his injuries sustained during combat.