From the "Saudi Spearhead"
Issue 7 - May 1, 1991
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By Sgt. Miguel A. Rivas
3rd Field Artillery, 1st Brigade

Not since June of 1945, while the allies occupied territory of the former Nazi Reich, had the United States conducted a formal awards ceremony on enemy territory. But on April 4,1991, gunners of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, Third Armored Division renewed the tradition.

The 2/3 had distinguished itself during the ground war by firing more than 75 tons of steel in support of the "Ready First" Combat Team. Now, in southern Iraq, the battalion would honor its own.

At 2:00 p.m., "Steel 6," Colonel John F. Michitsch, commander of the 3rd Armored Division's artillery, called the battalion to attention. Shortly afterward, 38 soldiers marched to the center of the parade field. First Brigade Commander William L. Nash joined Michitsch, battalion Commander Lt. Col. Richard J. Treharne, Division Artillery Sgt. Major Thomas E. Carr and First Brigade Sgt. Major James H. Davis. Together, they decorated 11 soldiers with the Bronze Star and 27 others with Army Commendation medals.

But the most poignant moment followed. Trehame pinned a Meritorious Service Medal, the nation's second-highest award for bravery, to the sling ofanM-16 held at present arms by a battalion section chief. The recipient of the medal could not be present It went to Sgt Tracy Hampton, howitzer section gunner from Alpha Battery, the only 3rd AD gunner to have died during deployment on Operation Desert Storm.


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